This morning's Times is running a story which I'm sure I saw last week somewhere about proposals to lower the entrance requirement for university courses in circumstances where the applicant is poor.
The argument, as any good Leftie will tell you, is that if you're from a poor family then you won't have access to books (or computers in today's world) like the rich kids will. Therefore you are less likely to acheive at school.
This argument is of course complete nonsense and problematic on a number of levels. Firstly it's based on the rather dodgy assumption that affluent parents are good parents who support their children. Conversely it also assumes that parents from less affluent backgrounds will be bad parents and not wish to support their children.
Secondly, the argument punishes children on the basis of hereditary values. In effect, two children of equal intellectual ability, but from differing backgrounds, are expected to achieve different levels of attainment simply because of the circumstance of their birth. How odd that such an argument would be promulgated by those who supposedly hold an ideological opposition to hereditary privilege.
Gaining access to University should be about academic attainment and perhaps, if the institution chooses, an interview. Lowering entry levels on the basis of someone's background does not create equality it actually extenuates difference. It says to prospective undergraduates, "you are not you, you are merely the sum of your parents' earnings".