There are those who argue that the mere fact that it is still possible, in the 21st century, to argue about the merits of private education as against state education is not just an anachronism, but a first-rate scandal.
They argue that in a society dedicated to equality for all its citizens, the ability to obtain social privilege and educational advantage by means of the cheque book has no place, any more than the public schools' charitable status should help them save millions of pounds a year in tax, simply because they offer a few free places to poorer children.
Others, of course, argue that in a democracy you cannot tell people how they can or cannot spend their money and that, in any case, any government that tries to do this will pretty soon be voted out of office.
Really, it's not so much a question of political ideology or class - it all comes down to money.
Having it gives you choices, not having it gives you only two choices - take it or leave it. So, in the end, its not just a question of private v state. That's something of a red herring.
After all, private education isn't just about those who have pots of money and can afford to send their sons to Eton or Winchester.
It's also about those who have just enough money to send their child, with a struggle, to a little local private school that offers small classes and good discipline. Choose private above state and you're gambling with your money and your snobbery.
Your private school may do no more for your child than the local comprehensive.
After all, your little private school may have unqualified teachers, or teachers who have left previous jobs under a cloud. They may teach children of different age groups in the same class as an economy measure.
Perhaps, to be frivolous, it might be better for would-be consumers, as a rule of thumb, to avoid as deeply suspect those establishments that boast vile-coloured, expensive uniforms: garish-striped blazers, like refugees from a PG Wodehouse story, or strange, St Trinian's-inspired velour hats.
These will offer snob value and little else. It's all too easy to mock private education or get hot under the collar about inequality and unjustified privilege, with some justification, but those who think that the public sector is free from cheque book influence are living in cloud cuckoo land.
Political clout and money can, even here, manipulate the system for their own ends.
For example, when Solihull went comprehensive in the 1970s it was arranged that all the former grammar schools (with their highly academic staff) were to have in their catchment areas all the estates of luxury, expensive houses, even if they were nearer to an old Secondary Modern school.
It is still true, even though catchment areas have been abolished, that the well-heeled go to Arden School or Tudor Grange, with their superior exam-pass rates.
I wonder how many children from Chelmsley Wood (which is now part of Solihull) go to either of these schools?
Let's face it, the poor can neither get access to a private education nor the best in the state sector.
If all children got the same standard of state education as that available in affluent areas, then the state versus private education argument would cease to have any meaning.