06 October 2012

‘Class warfare’ as a cover for IQ warfare

Critics have accused Ed Miliband of ‘class war’ tactics after he devoted most of a party political broadcast to the fact he went to a comprehensive school.

In an attempt to compare his background with that of Eton-educated David Cameron, the Labour leader makes repeated references to the fact he was educated at Haverstock School in North London.

But a backbench Tory MP called the broadcast ‘a bit rich’, given that Mr Miliband’s background is far from ordinary. Weaver Vale’s Graham Evans, who grew up in a council house and left school with few qualifications, pointed out Mr Miliband was born to a very well-off family which was part of the ‘Labour elite’. ‘Whenever a wannabe prime minister tries to use class war, I think it’s ridiculous,’ he said. ‘I am a working class lad who went to a comprehensive, but I think it doesn’t matter where you’re from, it’s where you’re going to that matters. It is a bit rich for him to say I am a normal bloke just because I went to a comprehensive school. Most will look at the broadcast and think he’s just from the Labour elite.’

Mr Miliband is the son of Marxist academic Ralph Miliband, who was close to prominent Labour figures in the 1960s and 1970s and lived in a large house in Primrose Hill, North London.

In the broadcast, to be shown tonight, Mr Miliband is filmed in a classroom at his former school. He says: ‘I’ll always be grateful to Haverstock because I honestly don’t believe I’d be leader of the Labour Party if it wasn’t for the grounding, the education, the learning about life that I had from this school.’ The broadcast also includes former teachers and students who were taught politics by Mr Miliband at Harvard University in 2002 and 2003.

Meanwhile, in a New Statesman interview shadow chancellor Ed Balls said he thought private schools were a barrier to social mobility and social justice but admitted he ‘enjoyed’ his private education at Nottingham High School. (Daily Mail, 2 October 2012)
It seems extraordinary that Ed Miliband’s academic success must be ascribed either to his comprehensive school or to his advantageous home background. The debate about the causes of his success is able to continue indefinitely without even a passing reference to the possibility that he might have inherited an IQ somewhat above average from a father who was known as a leading intellectual.

I know that there is a strong wish to believe that there is no hereditary factor at all in IQ or in related personality attributes. But it is remarkable that this has led to a universal belief so strong that any mention of the possibility that it might not be so is suppressed.

Apparently the social consensus would like to believe that intelligence is created by social influence. Society must own the individual body and soul. There can be no doubt that it owns him bodily by the time it has set up a National Health Service, and an army of social workers to take him into care (away from his parents) at the earliest possible age, if they see fit.

In spite of all this, there remains a lingering suspicion that IQ is not created by ‘education’.

In the article quoted, Ed Miliband is also credited with saying that the country has ‘deep problems – about who Britain is run for, and who prospers in it, about one rule for those at the top and, too often, another rule for everyone else’.

Considering the distribution of power, one might well conclude that Britain is ‘run’ for the benefit of people with a fairly high, but not necessarily outstanding IQ, who have a liking for political power, and for interfering with others.

In other words, the country is run for the benefit of agents of the collective, of whom Ed Miliband himself is one of the better-paid ones, who are rewarded for interfering in people’s lives. Prominent among them is the medical ‘profession’, as well as teachers, social workers, lawyers, and purveyors of psychological ‘help’.

It might be imagined that the country is run for those who receive the benefits which are administered by agents of the collective, but if you think this, you should think again.

What they receive is what others consider suitable for them, and generally involves surrender of freedom. Even when it is money rather than a dubious ‘service’ which is being provided, this is handed out only when there is an obvious drain of a socially acceptable kind on the expenditure of the recipient.