The chippy grammar school boys are on the right... and they still are
Well you've got to laugh, haven't you.
Today Tyler had a rather long, and shamefully liquid, lunch with an old friend from the Treasury bunker. Two old Treasury hands, and two grammar school boys from the old days.
Ah yes, the old days.
The days when public school toffs were not the only game in town. The days when the richest fifth of students were not seven times more likely to be admitted to the top unis than those from deprived backgrounds. The days when kids who were eligible for free school meals (such as Tyler) had a serious chance of making it to Oxbridge and beyond. And the days when comfortable middle class parents (such as Tyler and his friend) did not feel the need to send their own kids to public schools.
Yes, indeed, ladies and gentlemen. Our new coalition cabinet comprises 23 members, of which no fewer than 14 went to fee-paying schools. Eton, Westminster, St Pauls, Charterhouse, Rugby, Wellington - they're all there (although interestingly, not Winchester).
Does it matter?
On one level no. As long as they can do the job, that's all we need. In fact, grammar school girl Mrs T reckons that when it comes to leading a charge into the machine guns, your average toff is a far better bet than your average prole. It's not just brains you see. It's character. Breeding. Bred to lead. And Cam is right out of the top drawer.
But jeeps, what does it say about the state of our state education system?
93% of our kids get educated in state schools, yet state school pupils comprise just 39% of the cabinet.
We know the Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton, but this is 2010, not 1810. As things stand, Tyler and his friend feel like some historic aberration. We benefited from a short burst of sunshine when those at the bottom of the pond had a real chance to crawl out and become butterflies. But now the dark clouds of privilege have rolled back in.
We've said it before, but we'll say it again: the single most important thing our new government must do is to push through Gove's free schools reform. We need the sunshine back again.
Let's hope it wasn't all just blather.
PS Declaration of personal involvement - Tyler knows our new Home Secretary personally. We thought Theresa did a good job at the Police Federation Conference today. The police don't like the idea of elected sheriffs, but Theresa got them to listen by putting it into the context of returning authority to the police themselves, and away from Whitehall. Most people on the right wrote Theresa off long ago. She may yet surprise them. Apart from anything else, she's one of the 9 cabinet members who were state educated, so she immediately gets six bonus points in our book.