The reason that I respect Chris is that he writes about what he knows, i.e. money and general economic theory, but in this case, I am afraid, he not only displays a woeful ignorance of public schools and their ethos but also a massive chip on his shoulder. In fact, the only thing that I can hope for is that he is writing with his tongue firmly in his cheek.
I for one never had an argument with an aristocrat at Balliol - and if I had, I wouldn't have lost.
A statement that displays all of the arrogance that he attributes to public school boys, a theme on which The Reptile is remarkably eloquent). It's rather sad, actually. Are you sure that you wouldn't have lost an argument, Chris? Perhaps you would like to argue about some aspect of microbiology with your humble Etonian Devil, hmmm?
Thirdly, it's not chippiness we feel towards public school kids, but contempt.
Arrogance, once again.
I, and I hope Clive, are quite happy with the way our lives have turned out. We don't envy Etonians. Quite the opposite.
Well, bully for you; what do you want—a medal. I should think that the vast majority of Etonians are quite happy with the way that their lives have turned out as well, and I doubt that many of them would possibly expect you to envy them. What's your point, precisely?
It's pitiful that such people have had so much money spent on their education and yet have (with a few exceptions) turned into no-marks.
Quite apart from the large number of OEs who have gone on to do good things (Ranulph Fiennes is someone I've always admired, for instance), including one or two becoming Prime Ministers, Chris utterly misses the point about what one pays for.
I have written on this subject several times before, so I shall summarise from one of my previous postings.
I was in a class of 24 or so until my first A-level year; that's not an awful lot lower than state schools. But, why was the Eton education so valuable (not for my A-level results which were, due to my extreme laziness and inability to grasp the more complex points of organic chemistry, not particularly good)? It was because whilst there I could do almost anything that I wanted in terms of... well... hobbies. I took part in theatre, both acting and producing; I am sitting in my flat, in Edinburgh, right now, surrounded by my metal sculptures (my primary passion at school); others played sport, or did fencing, or swam, or built working aeroplanes, or... Well, you get the idea.
The point is that schooling should not simply be about exam qualifications. It should be about finding out what you are good at, it should involve having the opportunity to try many different things.
Some, I've heard, are so imbecilic that they couldn't even get into Oxford.
Many more, of course, realising that Oxbridge are completely overrated in some areas (especially the sciences and medicine, where there are far superior universities) and didn't even try. Besides, we also didn't want to be labelled as the kind of twats who act like they are lord god almighty because they went to Oxford. Whoopie-fucking-do, eh?
The fact is that when there are seven boys competing for each place, as there were when I attended Eton, one tends to find that the entry exams are quite tricky (and the more people there are going for a place, the higher the required mark). So, whilst I have known Etonians who are hardly worldly-wise, few of them are actually "imbecilic".
Even the public schoolboys who have done quite well for themselves have done little better than us.
Again, whoop-de-do! The medal is in the post, Chris.
When I worked in the City, I remember talking to an Harrovian colleague and asking: "aren't you embarrassed that, with all that money spent on your education, you've ended up working next to me?"
And what was his reply? Was it reasonable? Or was it, "yes, in fact I'm embarrassed to sit next to a 'snotty nosed little provincial oik' like you"? I doubt that it was the latter myself.
But since we have already established that Chris utterly misunderstands the point of spending that money, it is hardly surprising that he would ask such a fatuous question.
I've often thought we should rename public schools as "special schools", designed to give an education to people who would otherwise be unequipped to thrive in normal society.
It is that kind of pathetic chippiness that marks out the fool; not only lumping in every person who went to public school together in one epithet, but also lumping all the public schools together.
What makes Chris think that his rather disgusting inverted snobbery is any more attractive than the values that he attributes to the entire body of public school educated people. I believe that the word for this is "bigotry", and my contempt for that attitude matches, I am sure, Chris's contempt for public school boys.
Stick to what you are good at, my dear Dillow, i.e. writing about money and markets rather than something that you haven't the faintest clue about.