He both wants to go back and yet thinks he has gone beyond his class, feels himself weighted with knowledge of his own and their situation, which hereafter forbids him the simpler pleasures of his father and mother. And this is only one of his temptations to self-dramatization.

Richard Hoggart, The Uses of Literacy

In the Conservative home grammar school offered an educational release from cramping conditions of working-class life; in the Socialist home it seemed to promise the long-awaited consummation.

Brian Jackson and Dennis Marsden, Education and the Working Class

In the ‘Massacre of the Innocents’, Herod of Judaea ordered that the first-born male in every family be put to the sword, as a result of being warned that a rival leader of the people was about to be born. In postwar Britain, state education succeeded where Herod most conspicuously failed by selecting out a significant proportion of the academically most able working-class children—many of them first-born males, too—and sending them to selective grammar schools where they were estranged from their own families (and therefore their own class) and disinherited from their political and cultural traditions. The full story of the huge cultural swathe which the grammar school system cut through British working-class life and politics has never been written, yet it could be argued that it was one of the most effective pre-emptive attacks on the possibility of a popular working-class socialist politics in this century, and was achieved with hardly a murmur of resistance.