I RECENTLY read an article by Martin Stephen in the Daily Telegraph saying, “Most of all, (Labour) seeks to punish parents for being aspirational”.

He goes on to say: “Independent schools have made a vital contribution to the success of this country……parents would sell their souls to get their children into it (Eton).

“Independent schools have carried the flag for physics, chemistry, advanced maths and a host of other subjects”.

Unfortunately, he misses the point, (deliberately I suspect), like most right-wing columnists.

Having ‘aspirations’ for your children is futile if you don’t have the means to support their and your ambitions.

Merely providing more access to grammar and independent schools by selection doesn’t solve the problem since the financial means of a family will greatly decide whether a child’s future prospects in life are either damaged or enhanced.

Three factors largely determine a person’s future; nature, nurture and luck.

Our nature (genes) is what we are born with. Luck can influence our lives enormously from our conception but nurture, the love, indifference or wealth we are born into plays an enormous part in how our lives pan out.

Put simply, parents will nearly always want the best for their off-spring but hardship in its many forms, especially in a child’s formative years from 6-11, is at its most damaging.

The lack of empathy of the rich explains but doesn’t excuse them.

They feign ignorance of how insecurity and substandard rented accommodation with its concomitant low morale can adversely affect children’s education. Never mind mental health!

Unsurprisingly, the wealthy have no such problems; like their parents, they were signed up at birth to private nurseries, independent schools and private coaching, not to mention ‘networking’ skills and paid-for internships. Is it any wonder they come out top of the heap?

Charles Darwin famously demonstrated how species including Homo sapiens evolved by ‘natural selection’.

Imperceptible steps occurred over billions of years to make us what we are today. Neo-Darwinism is the opposite of natural selection.

It is social engineering.

People are surprised to learn that Hitler’s racist eugenics programme had some support here in ‘Great’ Britain.

I put it to your readers that the extreme poverty caused by David Cameron’s austerity, successively pursued by succeeding Tory Prime Ministers is social engineering at its worst.

Just as sinisterly, capitalism disguised as liberalism is known as neo-liberalism.

Mike Joslin