Economics/Class Relations

Goodbye, Mr. Middle Class

By Rod Dreher

You think, “Why do I want to read an essay by the son of an Old Etonian, himself an Old Etonian, complaining that he can’t afford to send his son to Eton?” But then you start the piece from the Telegraph, and you think, “Oh, man, this guy is onto something.” Excerpts:

So my father went to Eton. I went to Eton. And my son goes to Bishop Luffa Church of England comprehensive. Now this comp is in no way bog standard. It achieves excellent exam results, produces confident, well-mannered children and provides a much wider social mix than you would find at a private school. Nevertheless, my son’s life chances are probably not as great as those of the average Old Etonian.

His big sisters, meanwhile, are now in their early twenties. One has graduated, the other is still at university, studying medicine. Both have student debts to pay. And both are entering a world in which the average UK house price is £242,415 and a staggering £475,940 in Greater London. We will do our best to help them. We’re planning to sell our house, downsize and divide whatever’s left over among the children so that they’ll all have something for a deposit.

But even then, they will each have to take out six-figure mortgages simply to get a foot on the ladder. And they will have to do very well indeed to have any chance of buying a house like the one in which they were all raised.

One might ask: how did it come to this?


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