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From The Socialist newspaper, 29 July 2009

Milburn goes to top of class

DESPERATE LABOUR Party supporters argue that at least a New Labour government is better than the Tories. However, after 12 years in power a report on social mobility shows that top jobs are still mainly restricted to the wealthy.

An embarrassed Alan Milburn MP in a report entitled Fair Access to the Professions admits that top professions remain the preserve of the rich. New Labour in power has not made the slightest difference - the rich still rule.

Examples cited in his report include that 75% of judges were educated at private schools, while 50% of all top jobs go to ex-private school students. 45% of top civil servants were also privately educated. Fees for private school education cannot be afforded by most people. For example, Eton College charges a basic 9,360 per term (payable in advance of course) or 28,000 per academic year. Music lessons are extra at another 588 for 90 minutes tuition per term; boat club membership costs 100, while membership to both the judo and fencing clubs will cost daddy or mummy another 58 per term.

No wonder bosses are demanding workers take wage cuts as these types of fees are difficult to meet when their profits are being squeezed!

Milburn's report clearly reveals the class nature of society: the rich get the best jobs due to their privileged background based on the wealth produced by workers.

So what radical solution does Milburn and his cross-party committee suggest? A radical redistribution of wealth or common ownership of the means of production? You're having a laugh.

Milburn's 'solution' consists of giving vouchers to school pupils in deprived areas to spend on going to a better state school in another area. This would be about as effective as giving a pair of flippers to a non-swimmer and expecting him to win an Olympic swimming final!

Rob Bishop

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