LETTER:Don't make excuses for Blair and his my-son-first policy

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The Independent Online
IN YOUR editorial "Looking after their own" (14 January) you say, "Nobody should blame him [Tony Blair] or any other middle-class parent for these ambitions". But I blame him. I blame all middle-class parents whose concern for excellence is just a mask. Their ambitions maintain the divide in our society. They do their children no favours either.

I was an undergraduate at Cambridge in the 1960s and saw at first hand the effects exclusive schooling has on human beings. All were marked by it. Some were ill. None had much idea how most people in our country lived.

What excellence can we expect of a 12-year-old who is responsible for where his or her parents live? It just inflates the self-importance of children if they are treated like hothouse flowers.

The men and women of this country would do better with a common purpose. But while the leader of the Labour Party ditches his education policy just to keep his son away from ordinary people, there's precious little chance of it. What on earth are you excusing him for?

Bob Hewett