In The Birmingham Post on September 26 we had the managing director of Whale Tankers, on the letters page, saying it was wrong for schools "to encourage all pupils, whatever their interest or ability, to continue into further education" when they could be learning a useful trade as apprentices.
On the same day, David Davis, Tory leadership hopeful, was complaining that "Britain has been failing generations of vocationally-minded youngsters for the last 50 years through an overemphasis on academic subjects".
The implication, of course, is that it is the wicked intellectuals and academics who have done this.
Little do people know that all this chaos and confusion in education began in the 1960s, when adherents of the Marxist theory of the class war between the working classes and the hated bourgeoisie came into education, with the avowed intention of getting rid of "elitism" and creating an egalitarian society, starting in the classroom.
They didn't go to the extremes of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, when Red Guards dragged intellectuals from their homes to work with the peasants in the fields, "to teach them humility", but war it was.
The badges of the elitist education system, the O and A levels and university degrees that gave you letters after your name were, after much effort, eventually watered down to GCSE and new universities were created, teaching non-academic courses to less academic students, to give them letters after their name as well. Now, of course, Tony Blair has the aim of 50 per cent of young people going on to higher education.
The witch-hunt began in the 1960s against those perceived bastions of privilege, the grammar schools, only, as is often the case with fanatics, the "reformers" threw out the baby with the bathwater and destroyed, in their search for their egalitarian Utopia, many excellent schools, teaching vocational subjects, such as Birmingham's technical schools, which taught building and engineering, the art school and commercial colleges, subsuming them into the new monolithic comprehensive schools.
When I taught in a technical college in the 1960s, we had 5,000 students- a- week through the college on day release from work, sent by their employers to gain their City and Guilds qualifications.
Now all we have is all children forced to do GCSE exams to prove that the system is rigorously egalitarian, many pupils taking watered-down courses in useless subjects in their quest for the Holy Grail of five GCSE passes, which offer them nothing whatever.
The huge chip on the shoulders of those people whose creed was "everybody has to do the same thing" and "if everybody can't do it, nobody can" because that means "equality of opportunity".
The feeling that academic ability was an affront to their beliefs because everybody didn't have it, has had a disastrous effect upon education. Not only have its followers spiked the guns of the hated academic elite by providing them with simplistic pap in their GCSE courses, which waste their talents, but they have also sold down the river the great number of youngsters who want only first-class training in vocational subjects, leading to nationally recognised qualifications which will get them a job anywhere.
All these children have been sacrificed by the "reformers" with their blind belief in an outdated Marxist theory; they are martyrs to these people's desire to prove to the middle classes that the working classes are as good as them.
All the fault of the academics, wanting only academic subjects? Don't make me laugh! Why, then, do we have good universities having to close physics, chemistry or classics departments and cater for "media studies" instead?