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IOE Blog


Expert opinion from IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society


Are we all egalitarians now?

By Blog Editor, IOE Digital, on 3 December 2015

John White
David Cameron recently wrote that ‘the Conservatives have become the party of equality’.  Most of the article is about ending discrimination – of ‘gender, race, religion, sexuality or disability’ – partly by basing entry to universities and good jobs ‘solely on merit’. He also mentions his party’s ‘belief in equality of opportunity, as opposed to equality of outcome’, drawing attention to the centrality of educational reform under his leadership.
Where the Prime Minister is spot on is in his opposition to equality of outcome. If his opponents in other parties stand by it, they are wrong. There is no intrinsic value in equality in this sense. Aiming at everyone’s having an equal amount of some good – income, educational attainment, well-being, or whatever – is compatible with each person’s living below the bread line or in almost total ignorance or misery. (more…)