David Thompson
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May 03, 2011

Comments

Peter Risdon

I was lucky enough to be privately educated, but only with the help of the direct grant and parents who decided to sacrifice things like overseas holidays. Even our Christmas and birthday presents had to be much smaller than the norm at the time.

Funnily enough, though, many of my (wealthier) peers at school spent their teens years in delicious paroxysms of guilt over this privilege. They then joined the staff of the Guardian, figuratively speaking.

Peter Risdon

I think it works like this: their compassion for the less privileged overrides our compassion for our children. This means Meg and friends can bask in the warm glow of self-adoration. On reflection, the marooning of hundreds of thousands of kids in sink schools is a small price to pay for this.

David

“…marooning of hundreds of thousands of kids in sink schools is a small price to pay for this.”

Which, however loudly declared, is a strange kind of compassion. While my own state schooling was pretty dismal, it never occurred to me that alternatives shouldn’t be allowed to exist or that no-one else should be permitted to escape.

rjmadden

it never occurred to me that alternatives shouldn’t be allowed to exist or that no-one else should be permitted to escape.

Then maybe you're not as envious as the average lefty.

melk

I think that you're being tough on Meg. I think that what she really wants is for ALL children (except,maybe,her own) to be educated in the same mediocre environment. She will then reserve her compassion for the least mediocre of these.
Compassion is, after all, a precious thing to waste.

Squid vicious


If you could have one (more or less realistic) wish come true, what would you wish for? > I'd wish that whatever miserable process of evolution created a species plagued by overpopulation, starvation, greed, illness and war could be replaced by humans adapted to live quietly, happily and at peace.

Just what the world needs, a compassionate misanthrope.

Bill W

Mediocre is what the majority of human beings are, by definition. So, after touting compassion as the foremost virtue, she turns around and expresses contempt for the majority of the human race. Squid gets it right. She is a compassionate misanthrope.

It all makes sense, if you think of opinions as status or tribal markers, not the end result of any consistent reasoning process. She is not at all unusual in this- rather mediocre, in fact.

rabbit

Never let the little darlings out of the enveloping embrace of the mother-state. Otherwise they might start to think for themselves.

sg

Ms Rosoff belongs to the Cult of Remote Caring, much in evidence these days. Once a member, like her you can show your finely honed skill of remotely caring by demanding that society immediately changes the fabric of the lives of others, especially if they are seen as somehow privileged or advantaged. Much praise is then heaped on the 'outspoken' member by fellow members of the Cult, with attendant congratulations and back-slapping all round.

You can see the appeal for the chattering classes...

Kerrari1898

"I'd wish that whatever miserable process of evolution created a species plagued by overpopulation, starvation, greed, illness and war could be replaced by humans adapted to live quietly, happily and at peace."

Um, the fact that most species overpopulate then engage in life or death struggle over limited resources to ensure their genes are passed on is kinda evolution 101. Any half decent (or "mediocre", if you will) biology student could have told you that. The "miserable process of evolution" you'd like to change is, in fact, the very basis of evolutionary theory.

Which is surprising in someone who thinks "theism" is the one philosophy it's most important to challenge.

Andrew Grichting

It's an interesting choice of word, "outlaw". Not merely to withdraw support, but to declare the actual practice of any form non-state delivered education illegal. I think that this formulation may reveal a lot more than the author intended.

Sam

If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > Outlaw private education.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > Mediocrity.

There, corrected. No need to thank me.

Jonathan

It seems that, like many on the Left, her 'compassion' is theoretical rather than real. I'm always amused that supporters of State education are quick to claim it's brilliance, yet are absolutely terrified by the tiny number of private schools daring to compete. And yet, look at the number of extreme lefties produced by private schools; Hattie Harman, Ed Balls and everyones favourite, Laurie Penny.

Trimegistus

The only freedom the left supports is uncontrolled, consequence-free sex. Every other aspect of life must be minutely regulated.

Andrea Harris

"I'd wish that whatever miserable process of evolution... could be replaced by humans adapted..."

Does this woman even know how to use words?

David

Jonathan,

“…and everyone’s favourite, Laurie Penny.”

I suppose the desire to “outlaw” private education is another socially acceptable kind of ill-feeling. It’s a small and casual malice that caring, compassionate people can indulge in freely, even piously. In much the same way that people like Laurie Penny (and there are plenty of people just like Laurie Penny) can feel pious while wanting to confiscate even more of someone’s earnings.

The Guardian’s Seumas Milne, for instance, seems to regard taxation as a kind of righteous punishment for people who earn more than he deems acceptable. Ditto Polly Toynbee. And both of them blather about “social justice” as if the term couldn’t possibly be contested. Say, by the people whose earnings are being confiscated.

pst314

Another unintentionally amusing pair of answers from that same interview:

"If you could have one (more or less realistic) wish come true, what would you wish for? > I'd wish that whatever miserable process of evolution created a species plagued by overpopulation, starvation, greed, illness and war could be replaced by humans adapted to live quietly, happily and at peace."

and

"What animal would you most like to be? > A killer whale."

Truly, the mind of a leftist is a dark and twisted place.

Lovernios

Yes, but a killer whale that lives quietly, happily and at peace (when it has a belly full of baby seal).

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