Daisy Buchanan of the Guardian had fun with our lords and masters – they were Eton alive. (emphasis added)
The 12- and 13-year-olds competing for the school’s King’s scholarships in 2011 probably felt quite confident encountering a question that stated “You are the prime minister“. We can’t know whether the majority pictured themselves off camera in The Thick Of It or dancing around Downing Street a la Hugh Grant in Love Actually, but their moods may have darkened when it emerged they were being asked to justify the act of deploying soldiers who had opened fire and killed 25 protesters.
The scenario for the question was set in year 2040, when one of the candidates could feasibly be in a position to answer the question for real. Which makes me think Eton is the perfect training ground for future leaders, not because it offers an education better than anything else available in Britain, but for the reason that it forces its students to make their minds up about moral issues at an early age. If you want a decision made quickly and efficiently, you go to a person who sees the world in black and white – ideally, someone who thinks like a fairly bright 12-year-old.