AMONG other things, the poet John Donne penned the axiom ‘no man is an island’, and since then many people, erroneously, have tried to prove him wrong.

This scenario invariably crops up any time that a trade unionist takes to the media on a contentious issue.

What grounds has the teaching profession got for justifiably complaining when millions of other workers in more onerous and less wellpaid employment have also been told that their retirement is being stretched out towards 70 years of age?

Teachers’ salaries and pensions are paid by the taxpayer and millions of these have seen their private pensions blighted by a Labour Government (1997-2010) which chose the novel path of redistributing wealth by impoverishing all of us whilst hand-in-hand creating an exponential increase in welfare dependency.

It is said that the main causal factor behind the influx of young economic migrants from the EU to the UK is that their average level of basic education is far higher than those who have spent 11 years in the state education system here — thus they are more attractive to employers.

In the UK every private school is a centre of educational excellence, whilst only a small minority (primary/ secondary) have ever been brought up to this standard in the UK’s state education system — a shambles which has not just been supported (heartily) by the unions and many teachers in the state system, but they have also moved tooth and claw to have the excellent private system abolished, and all the while millions of young Britons have had their educational and life prospects blighted by a state education system that is not fit for purpose.

Every time the teaching unions kick off it’s always ‘union rights’ or ‘teachers’ aspirations’ – never even as a backdrop, the rights and aspirations of the pupils.

It is perhaps not surprising that a mindset so entrenched in the left of British politics does not see the educational no-brainer (and perhaps intentionally so) in the elitist debate, namely that the way to abolish elitism is not by abolishing private education but by educating ALL pupils (state and private) to the same elite level.

Paddy Keenan, Ward Close, Andover.