Selection by ability is just natural selection
But as Leader of HM Opposition, Mr Cameron’s policy has flipped. And it has not only flipped, but to even raise a contrary view risks accusations of being 'delusional', or obsessed with ‘right wing debate’, or of a 'pointless' unhealthy fixation with the redundant arguments of the past. If one were to believe Mr Willetts, it is simply a question of social justice, and grammar schools are no longer the motor of social mobility they once were. He would be wiser to look at examination results in Northern Ireland instead of in Kent, for there he will find a considerably higher level of attainment than in the rest of the UK, and that among some of the Province’s poorest.
Does not Mr Cameron understand that the Lord created human beings with infinite variety? Some are (with apologies to Mr Shakespeare) noble in reason or infinite in faculties; others, in form and moving, are express and admirable; still others in action are like angels, and a very few in apprehension like a god…
Why is it that sports colleges may select on athletic prowess; beauty and modelling colleges on looks; drama colleges on presence and acting expertise; music colleges on ability in counterpoint and harmony? And if a child shows neither aptitude nor ability in these areas, they are rejected. As cruel as this may be, is it not simply natural selection? There is no equality of outcome, but a sifting of the sheep from the goats, the wheat from the chaff.
Yet Mr Cameron is concerned to protect the goats and the chaff from ‘hurt feelings’. But the problem is that a goat will never be a sheep, and chaff is useless for making bread. What business is it of government to force modelling colleges to take fat and ugly students, or music colleges to accept the tone deaf, or sports colleges to offer cricket and football to those in wheel chairs? Selection by ability not only accords with natural law; it obliges an acceptance of the truth, encouraging an accurate assessment of one's gifts, and that is an act of love.
Why is selection on academic ability at the age of 13 (Cranmer’s preferred threshold) so wrong, but not at 18? Should all have an equal opportunity to go to university? Of course. But should all have an assurance of an equal outcome? Not at all. Failure is a part of life – some win, some lose; some are in, some are out. If this is somehow artificially engineered so that all win, and all are in, the future is bleak. If Cranmer is sick, he wishes to be operated on by great physicians who have good degrees. Then he shall be healed. If he walks over a bridge, he wants only the finest engineers with the highest qualifications to have been involved in its construction. Then he shall have safe journey. And if he wants to be governed…
…well, why not fill Parliament with those who got poor GCSEs, no A-levels, and a poor degree (if any)? After all, does not everyone deserve the chance to be in Parliament, irrespective of aptitude or ability?