Clegg's phone-in this morning on LBC, where he ummed, aahed and generally squirmed around in his seat, has caused a great deal of debate. Which school will the Cleggs choose for their children: will it be state; will it be private; will it be Roman Catholic? I'd be willing to bet it will be none of those.
I'd be very surprised if they didn't end up HERE.
“Educated side by side, untroubled from infancy by divisive prejudices, acquainted with all that is great and good in the different cultures, it will be borne in upon them as they mature that they belong together. Without ceasing to look to their own lands with love and pride, they will become in mind Europeans, schooled and ready to complete and consolidate the work of their fathers before them, to bring into being a united and thriving Europe.”This not-sinister-at-all quote is from Jean Monnet, one of the chief architects of the EU, and it is written on parchment and sealed into the foundation stones of all the schools in a not-spooky-at-all ceremony. The schools are scattered about the members states (there's currently one in the UK, Culham in Oxfordshire, but that is due to close in 2017). They are for the sons and daughters of European Union officials and are funded out of taxation, ie by you and me.
Projected 2013 costs are in the region of £160m+ so in effect the British taxpayer is contributing about £22m this year to the cost of private education for the sprogs of EU bureaucrats. Clegg won't have to worry about school fees for little Miguel, Antonio and Alberto, nor will he have to fret about them mixing with the hoi-polloi in British schools - private or otherwise.
.pdf Convention defining the Statute of the European Schools
The English Trust for European Education
Clegg's a strange beast. He was only elected an MP in 2005 following a five-year stint in Brussels as an MEP, yet look at him now: a mere eight years later he's Deputy Prime Minister of one of the greatest countries on earth, in a Coalition Government with a finger in every pie. Perhaps the only person unsurprised at his meteoric career progression is Charles Kennedy who, when Leader of the LibDems, almost immediately appointed Clegg to be the party's spokesman on Europe and deputy foreign affairs spokesman. He certainly impressed somebody as having the makings of the perfect European Technocrat.
Clegg finished his own education at the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium where he obtained a Masters Degree. How much more refined and gentil for little Cleggy than his early school days at Caldicott where a succession of Masters royally rogered a succession of young boys between 1959 and 1981. Clegg was Head Prefect in 1980.