Monday, 3 December 2007

My response to reply in The Times

Dear Dave,

I am well aware that people can buy access to doctors, or lawyers, there just wasn't space to explore these concepts in a short letter. I chose the analogy of A&E or criminal justice because they expose an interesting contradiction at the heart of British society. Namely - were we to apply the principles, structures and outcomes of our education system ( i.e. that better off parents can buy better opportunities and outcomes for their children) to the criminal justice and healthcare systems, we would end up with ambulances speeding past dying poor people in order to pick up the privately insured, and whole swathes of the population would not have access to sufficiently able lawyers to guarantee them a good defence in court. It is difficult to deny that this would be the case, because the report I referred to shows the tangible, and astounding benefits which flow to children in private schools. I question why education is exempted from fairness.

Best wishes,

John Slinger

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