Harrow is letting down the nation
In the last quarter of a century, Britain's so-called success story has depended entirely on the astonishing skills and energies of city slickers, drawn from all classes.
I call them city slickers so as to differentiate them from the old city gents whose success sprang from trustworthiness; from their proven record over two centuries of their word being as good as their bond. Sadly, no such moral base - as we are beginning to realise - sustains the present financial system which is driven, quite simply, as I have had occasion to remark before, by avarice.
Nor is that the worst of it. The worst of it is that so many of Britain's other main institutions have simultaneously also lost the public's trust.
This was not at all the same in the 1930s at the time of the Great Depression when parliament, the trade unions, the BBC, the quality newspapers, the professions and, above all, the armed forces - in other words, the old governing class - were still able to exercise some degree of authority and command, if only for old times sake.
That is all long gone. For the new meritocracy, primarily concerned nowadays to feather their own individual nests rather than the public nest, is proving itself entirely incapable of filling the leadership vacuum left by the dissolution of the old governing class.
In this respect the public schools in general and in particular Harrow - where the two sons of the disgraced Tory MP Derek Conway were educated - are falling down on what used to be their traditional job. Perhaps filling that vacuum is where they could serve the nation today, thereby justifying, once again, their charitable status. ·
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