Monday, August 15, 2022

My MP wants to turn Britain into "the grammar school of the world"

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I think I've found the most Tory tweet ever sent.

And it was sent by my MP - Neil O'Brien, the Conservative MP for Harborough - as part of a thread promoting an article calling for large cuts in immigration he has written for Conservative Home.

His argument is that the government must do this because voters thought that's what they had voted for in the European Union referendum.

Well, some did, but the arguments used to win the referendum were so varied and so contradictory that it's impossible to satisfy everyone who voted Leave.

O'Brien, for instance, is concerned that immigration from the EU had been replaced by immigration from further afield.

But this is what many people arguing for Leave said they wanted. I can remember being told that it was racist to favour immigrants from the EU.

Bangladeshi restaurant owners were targeted by the Leave side and told that if Britain voted Leave then they would find it easier to obtain visas for chefs trained in Bangladesh.

I'll leave others to debate the racial politics of O'Brien's article. What interests me most here is the assumption that the world's brightest and best will want to come to his global grammar school.

People who can choose where they work will go for countries where their rights are protected, where the legal system is independent from the government and where the rivers are not full of sewage.

I fear the brightest pupils will not choose a school with an old-fashioned curriculum, petty uniform regulations and overmighty prefects.

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