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By Edward Higson
With the splash from the boat race ebbing away, we are ready for an entirely tongue-in-cheek discussion of elitism in British universities. Trenton Oldfield is not a fan, and we know his opinion is to be highly regarded because of his quality education from Shore School and his Master’s Degree from the prestigious LSE.
But is elitism really bad? Most people don’t like the old Oxford stereotype of inbred toffs with more surnames than sense. However, a meritocratic elitism in which we celebrate those who work hard and do well can be a profoundly positive thing, and this is what the boat race and Oxford University in general are all about.
If you need any further proof, look at societies where they didn’t worry about political correctness – in the USSR and North Korea the brightest and best were taken from their families to be taught in super schools, not for their own benefit, but for the society in general.
Judging by the overwhelming voting statistics for these regimes, this the model we should emulate; in Britain today we have nowhere near enough Oxbridge-educated politicians. If only we could have more elitism! We could end the recession with incredible economic growth from five-year plans and collectivisation, or better still have a Dear Leader who can hit 11 holes-in-one in a round of golf and who doesn’t need to defecate.
So how would Mr Oldfield react in the face of this overwhelming evidence? Your correspondent imagines catching up with him over lunch at his father’s country club.
“Clearly I was wrong, and we in fact need to show people we need more elitism. As a graduate from the prestigious LSE, to me it is obvious how we should demonstrate our support for elitism – we must ruin the sporting events of less academic universities! Let’s invade the pitch at the Oxford Brookes football matches and jump in front of the runners at the Roehampton Athletics events! To be honest the people who should be spending less time playing sport and more time studying are the ones who don’t even have three As at A level.”
So there you have it, a true man of principle. Or perhaps someone who just really doesn’t like sport.
PHOTO// Annie Mole