IT has been revealed that Eton College sent more students to the country’s most prestigious universities than all Swindon Schools combined.

I daresay more or less the same story could be told about plenty of other communities across the country.

Somebody was asking me about this in the pub the other night. “Barrie,” they said,”as a journalist, you must have your finger on the pulse of current events, so what are your thoughts? Does this news mean Swindon’s children and young people are somehow less able than the pupils of our most prestigious public schools?”

Should that person be reading this, I’d like to offer my apologies. At the time of our conversation I was attempting to fend off some giant spiders which I have since been informed were not real. That is why I ran away and fell over instead of answering your very pertinent question.

Anyway, I hope I can make amends by answering now.

The fact that one prestigious school sent more students to the country’s most prestigious universities than all Swindon Schools combined does not mean Swindon students are less able.

Far from it.

I wouldn’t mind betting that Swindon students are 10 or more times as able.

However, they are for most part the children of ordinary people, and not the children of the People in Charge.

If the children of ordinary people were allowed to compete fairly, the results for the People in Charge would be catastrophic.

Imagine what would happen if the children of ordinary people began a mass infiltration of certain professions associated with the People in Charge.

Imagine, for example, if they took over the running of countless major companies and public utilities whose boardrooms are infested with people only one or two IQ points away from being biologically classified as plants, and who only got the job because they wore the right school tie at the interview, or because Mummy or Daddy knew somebody else’s Mummy or Daddy.

Perhaps the economy would boom, more things would work properly and our infrastructure would be rock-solid.

Imagine if more children of ordinary people infiltrated the upper reaches of the legal profession, where about seven of every 10 senior QCs and judges are privately-educated.

Perhaps our streets would be safer because far more of those administering justice knew how it felt to live in and walk those streets, as opposed to having grown up in the sort of neighbourhood where any random passer-by who looks a bit proletarian is liable to hear sirens within three minutes of being spotted by a resident.

Imagine if more of our lawmakers were the children of ordinary people - the last time I looked, about half of the Lords and a third of the Commons were privately-educated.

Perhaps it would be easier to pass laws which benefited everybody and protected the vulnerable from predatory people and organisations.

Perhaps our public services would be funded in such a way that nobody, let alone key workers, had to resort to food banks.

Perhaps the loopholes allowing some of the planet’s richest corporations to wriggle out of paying taxes while small firms are hammered out of existence would be closed.

Perhaps all children would have the educational opportunities they merit, and we wouldn’t be left wondering how many potential Nobel Laureates or curers of dreadful diseases are denied their rightful chance.

But that would never do, because the last thing the People in Charge want is some real competition.