George Osborne, the real prime minister of this country, is spending a week in China. Osborne, being an intellectual, is highly impressionable — as all intellectuals are — is already being bowled over by the wonders that he’s seeing over there. He’s already saying, even before he gets back, that the “our two great nations ought to be trading more together”.
I bet the Chinese are chuckling over that! This country a great nation? We had our day 100 years ago. We still have many rich people among us. But we’re an ordinary country now, and the quicker we get used to it the better. What we still have, fortunately, as a residue from the industrial revolution is a good science research base. But the fact is that almost half of our leading scientists were originally educated in private schools — which serve 7% of the population. It’s their services that we’ll need to trade with China in the coming years.
There’s no need to kowtow to the Chinese in such an obsequious way, Osborne. Just get on with helping the education minister to steer Free Schools and Academies away from the state system as soon as you can.