Class War has a policy for the next general election to abolish all public schools. Whitgfit School in my constituency is an ‘independent’ school where parents fork out fees as follows: “£17,340 (day), £27,924 (weekly boarding) and £33,396 (full boarding). Other charges apply so you might want to read the small print in case Tarquin wants Oboe lessons.
The motto of the school is “Vincit qui patitur”, which I naturally had to look up as we didn’t learn Latin at my comp. Interestingly enough it apparently means that he who endures or suffers will conquer. As an alumni of the school Lord Freud might have thought back to this motto when he outrageously had a go at people with disabilities a week or so back. Here is a man who has not had to endure anything in his life. The level of suffering in his world is purely about what he does to others rather than anything he has to deal with himself. When he proposed that some people with disabilities could be paid less than the minimum wage it told us so much about the hierarchical society the Tories want us all to endure. People under this view of society are to be graded according to worth: League tables, performance related pay, stringent work appraisals, benefit cuts, benefit caps, immigration quotas – so much policy comes from the idea that because we are a diverse species we should be divided according to values attached to us by the powerful. Freud has also claimed that Food Banks have nothing to do with poverty – Purley Food Bank just down the road from Whitgift might tell you a different story. When Freud retired from the City at age 53 he boasted that he’d spent most of his career ‘firing people’. This is a man of the lowest standards educated to believe that struggle was something you inflict on others. That’s the Whitgift way.
Of course we have a different way of interpreting the Whitgift motto. We often say that we call our quest for a fairer world ‘struggle’ for a reason: it’s bloody tough. We suffer and endure so much. We are involved with struggle as class warriors but we also recognise that struggle is intersectional along a large array of diverse aspects of life. That’s why we work together for disabled rights, an end to patriarchy, racism and ageism for example. It’s why we fight for sexual liberation, tansgender rights, the environment and animal rights. These things are all linked by the threat of capitalism and the state. That threat is a reality on a dialy basis for anyone involved with suffering and enduring our struggle. When you look at the list of notable alumni from Whitgift you can see that heading to such a school can propel you far in life. Isn’t it a shame that such an expensive education goes hand in hand with causing great harm in later life. Whitgift School – you’re a fucking disgrace and you’re polluting young minds.
So we have two issues in this case. What to do with Lord Freud and what to do with the school that taught him to be so fucking wretched? I long for a day when we have democracy. Getting rid of these unelected, dangerous ideologues would be progress for sure. Folks like Freud need to be swept aside. In terms of the School I see a vision of this space not simply being abolished but being occupied by the local people of South Croydon. A school should be developed which is truly ‘independent’ and free. A school for the whole society offering education to the community from the cradle to the grave. A school where teachers and pupils /students decide the rules and decide what gets taught. A school where mutual respect and collegiate learning go hand in hand. A school where everyone learns to nurture each individual in our society wherever they can regardless of the differences we find in the hope that by helping each other to develop we might improve our society
This is our task then: to kick Lord Freud out of power and to craft a new form of education for all. Occupy Whitgift!