The grating self-righteousness of the bourgeoisie

Battered by the OFT’s claims of fee-fixing, the Independent Schools Council has come out whining. In a statement quoted at the BBC News website, their general secretary, Jonathan Shephard, managed to exhibit all the worst traits of the English middle classes, self-righteousness, special pleading and defensiveness.

His bleat was, more or less: the poor independent schools didn’t know the rules had changed, and it was all quite sensible, and no-one minded really, and surely laws were only for poor people to obey, and the OFT were being beastly cads who just didn’t understand how gentlemen behaved, and why don’t the OFT go and catch some real criminals rather than nice middle class people doing 70 in a 30 zone who just happen to be blatantly flouting anti-cartel laws.

Most extraordinary was his claim that:

“Schools have no motive to raise more money than they need. Any money raised from fees has to be spent on the children and the schools so any extra money might be spent on better food or another brick for the gym.”

Yes, or massively subsidised accommodation for teachers, new wallpaper for the Headmaster’s study, or perhaps a jaguar-fur lined jaccuzi for the staff room.

As I’m sure he and his colleagues have said to a thousand pupils: Stop snivelling, Shephard, and take it like a man.