The competition to see who will become Deputy-Leader of the Labour Party is most certainly exposing the anti-meritocratic class envy that drives the British left. Today brings the news that Alan Johnson – the Education Secretary – is threatening Independent schools with the "need to do more to earn their charitable status. It’s not enough just to lend their playing fields; it’s about opening up their science labs, it’s about lending their teachers to the state sector, it’s about sponsoring academies and forming trusts." Rubbish. As this Telegraph editorial says…..
Mr Johnson’s tone is worrying. We don’t just want your playing fields and science labs, he implies: we want your teachers to clean up the mess we have made of comprehensive education. And, if you don’t co-operate, then wave goodbye to charitable status and say hello to rates and corporation tax
Independent Schools should of course revoke their charitable status and remove the stranglehold that this gives Government over them. Yes, the increased taxes Government will take from them means that this will remove the bursaries that they provide to children from less well-off backgrounds – but this is the lesser of two evils. Johnson makes it clear that Labour hates the idea of "Independent" schools – he wants to control, to coerce, to manipulate.