Leading article: Level playing fields

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The Independent Online

Has the class war been won without a shot being fired? It's almost tempting to believe so on hearing the news that Eton College will allow pupils from the local state school to use its cricket pitches and rowing lake.

Old communists will be rubbing their eyes in disbelief. Those sacred fields which nurtured the victors of Waterloo, those waters associated with the Eton Boat Song – are they finally in public hands? Well, not quite. But it's certainly a remarkable partnership.

Yet the pupils of Langley Academy shouldn't assume that Etonisation is always benign. It's not all cricket and messing about in boats. There's the cruelty of copying out Latin hexameters and the viciousness of the Eton Wall Game. So good luck to these two schools as they "swing swing together". But a word of warning to the pupils of Langley Academy: if your tail-coated counterparts casually suggest a resurrection of something called "fagging", call the partnership off.