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Parents of boys sent to Eton seem to really dislike their children.
Not only are they prepared to pay almost £50,000 a year to not see them for six months, but they'd rather someone else dig into their unformed minds to remove every trace of humanity, decency, and kindness.
Children are born good. They must be taught to fight, steal, hate, or belittle. Parents with less cash have to make do with brutalising their children themselves, but for the better-off it can be outsourced.
The upside for parents is that the entitlement, pettiness, abuse of power, and extensive training in the social destruction of others in order to advance your own interests means that for the price of a decent house, their little tyke may become Prime Minister one day.
Then the entire nation can get a lesson in how to be a Master of the Universe.
"What is this thing we're on? Is it a bus, or a tram, or a train? Where's the chauffeur?"
(Image: AFP/Getty Images)
In Classics, you learn bantz like "we refuse to compromise on our values" and "no-one takes pleasure from people making money out of the misery of others, but that is a function of capitalist markets.
In Geography, boys learn that "levelling up" happens when we all hurtle screaming into the face of the Sun, and not before, and in History they are taught that the Northern Powerhouse was closed by Her Majesty Margaret Thatcher 40 years ago, and that's the way it must stay.
But where Eton really excels is the Maths department, where they teach all the future bankers, hedge funders, quangocrats, chief civil servants and members of the House of Lords that 2+2 = 2 if you're a pleb, and that 2+2 = £150million government contract, for boys in the correct colour waistcoat.
This is the Slough Theory of Etonomics: that if the people from Slough want something, they must give something up and only get whatever the people of Slough had before. If your chum who, like you, has never been to Slough in their life wants something, they get it with cherries on, and we'll find a way to make the people of Slough pay for it.
Labour Party campaigners pose for a selfie outside Downing Street
And so it is that when NHS staff were awarded a 3% pay rise after a year and a half of being at front line of a deadly pandemic, worth about £1.5bn, they were told it must come out of existing budgets, which are already £20bn in the hole.
The doctors, nurses, cleaners, porters, receptionists, IT crew, and security staff will get more money – so long as they lose a few colleagues, patients, computers, beds, wheelchairs, clinics, and whatever else isn't nailed down.
Complain about your pay, and we'll kill people.
Then we'll say you asked for it, you want too much, and we'll pit you against the teachers, police force, prison officers, bin men and social workers who will be swallowing a real-terms pay cut.
"It's all your fault"
But if you meet a jolly nice chap down the pub, pass him a £30m deal for Covid testing equipment. If small British firms develop testing kits, why not give £2.8bn to an American firm for kits that the Americans said weren't good enough. Why not establish a 'VIP lane' for cronies, siblings, and friends to ask for money from the taxpayer, and then make sure the taxpayer knows as little as possible about it.
The basic principles are that people can be traded, the cost of something is never explained, and there is not only such a thing as a free lunch, but also free money, free wallpaper, free housing, and freedom from consequences, unless you happen to be from a different school or took the knee at an England game.
Equality, efficiency, and rationality – basic principles of economics in any other walk of life – are simply not on the curriculum.
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These are the Etonomics of the madhouse.
their little tyke may well become Prime Minister one day