"Dhu on Gate" wrote...
Post by Dhu on Gate Post by Byker
Small wonder my humble ancestors sailed away from all this bullshit 300
I feel similarly: about 2/3 of my ancestry is from around
the north end of the Irish Sea: there are places it's
better to be from than to be ;-)
When Bob Ballard found the Titanic in 1985, many authors went in search of
living survivors to interview. Since most were dead, they wound up
interviewing the descendants of those who survived the disaster and settled
down in America. They noted that their children and grandchildren had done
quite well for themselves, becoming businessmen and engineers, doctors and
lawyers, etc. As for the descendants of those who BUILT the Titanic in
Belfast, Northern Ireland, they were stunned to discover that these people
were still living in the same drab, dingy, working-class neighborhoods,
often on the same street, that their grandparents had occupied. So much for
So who has it better today, the descendants of those who crossed the pond or
those who stayed behind?
The UK/Ireland has never had much in the way
of "upward mobility" - by design of their
"betters". The class system is still quite
strong. Everybody has their niche and defends
it against all upstarts. No wonder the Brits
liked India ...
On the contrary, post-WW2, England & Wales had a successful bi-partisan
approach to education, agreed by Parliament in 1944 when the government
was a coalition (with R.A.B. Butler as education minister and Clement
Attlee as deputy Prime Minister for a start).
The Butler Act provided for three types of secondary schools: grammar
schools (continuing a great tradition but widening access so that the
former fees* were not payable and entry was conditional merely upon
ability), technical high schools (more honoured in the breach than the
observance) and secondary modern schools (which might have been better
dubbed "modern secondary schools").
Grammar schools and the technical schools provided access to the UK's
then relatively few universities via the public examination schemes.
Although Scotland didn't have exactly the same system, in practice, it
A higher percentage of state school alumni got into Oxford and Cambridge
under that system than does now, after the wrecking of grammar schools
(except in a few places where local politics was conducted in a wiser
than average manner) and the few technical high schools that ever existed.
[* Grammar school fees had often been payable, but not for pupils
winning a scholarship award, hence the continued vernacular use of the
term "scholarship" for the 11+ exam for decades afterwards in some areas.]
[Most x-posted NGs in header deleted.]