The Guardian asks us about mediocre students getting into Oxbridge to which the correct response is Polly Toynbee. The background to this is that scandal over in the US where people paid to allow their children to cheat on the exams. We, of course, don’t do such things here. We fix society in a rather different manner.
The Guardian’s headlines:
The US admissions scandal: have any mediocre students ever ended up at Oxbridge?
What’s the best path to a top education in the UK if your grades fall short? History suggests family ties, a private education and a lot of rugby practice
They get Toby Young, Boris Johnson, to describe cute and fun methods of doing this. The thing is there’s an exemplar, the ne plus ultra in fact, rather closer to The Guardian’s editorial pages. Polly Toynbee herself:
Polly Toynbee was born at Yafford on the Isle of Wight, the second daughter of the literary critic Philip Toynbee (by his first wife Anne), granddaughter of the historian Arnold J. Toynbee, and great-great niece of philanthropist and economic historian Arnold Toynbee, after whom Toynbee Hall in the East End of London is named. Her parents divorced when Toynbee was aged four and she moved to London with her mother. After attending Badminton School, a girls’ independent school in Bristol, followed by Holland Park School, a state comprehensive school in London, as she had failed the 11-plus examination. She passed one A-level, obtained a scholarship to read history at St Anne’s College, Oxford, but dropped out of university after eighteen months.
Well, yes, ahem.
To be honest about this it’s such a well known case that I can only imagine that Zoe Williams is doing a piss take here. Perhaps Polly’s position as the Godheadess of progressivism is weakening a little if they’re prepared to amuse themselves this way internally these days?