There is a new racism. And it is directed to parents and pupils at fee-paying schools

By Abigail Pennson, our reasonable, plain-speaking middle-class columnist slightly to the right of Hitler

THEY’RE meant to hate racism. The left, the woke, the warriors of social justice. But this racism? Fine with them. Be as prejudiced as you want about private schools. 

Why, they’re barely human, those pupils lined up neatly in smart uniforms. They should be wiped off the face of the earth for learning Latin in beautiful old buildings. Eradicate them.

Does it matter that they’re merely children? Children with responsible parents who dare to dream of betterment? Parents who’ve scrimped and saved and gone into debt?

Of course it doesn’t. Up against the ivy-covered wall of the fives court with the lot of you. The class warriors have a point to prove, so you must be machine-gunned like Russian royalty.

Because that’s what Sir Keir Starmer’s sad little tax grab is doing. By stripping the schools which have educated our inventors, our entrepreneurs, our ruling class for centuries of their charitable status? He is decapitating Britain.

He is drawing targets on the back of every child and parent who dares pay fees for school, and loosing his Twitter attack dogs. ‘Tear them apart,’ says jolly old Keir, ‘so I may smear their blood on my face and win socialist votes.’

Already Oxbridge colleges are ashamed to accept decent applicants, pretending to prefer instead a handful of B-grades from 18-year-olds already pushing double prams.

Next will be our institutions – the City, the civil service, the RSC and the ENO bowing to regional accents and being good in a scrap outside a council estate pub.

Racism? Alive and well. Segregation? Back in fashion. Exclusion and condemnation to lesser careers and social death? Thumbs up emoji.

Well, war on the cut-glass accented classes at your peril, Labour. Because the cut-glass will cut you back.

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Let's move to a city in the midst of marshes where the locals carry wooden clubs! This week: Kilkenny

What’s it about? 

Kilkenny, Ireland’s living medieval city, is a testament to centuries of systemic underinvestment. Small, impractical lopsided buildings that should have been razed to the ground have been given a new lease of life by opportunistic locals spinning decades of infrastructure neglect as ‘quaint’.

If you have a problematic relationship with alcohol or want to cultivate one, then the Marble City’s the place for you. Featuring almost as many pubs as people, every second storefront’s dedicated to booze.

While guaranteeing a river of pissed tourists flowing through the streets, this surfeit of pubs is less useful if you need to buy a toaster, milk or anything other than a pint of local ale and a packet of salted nuts.

Any good points?

Kilkenny is fiercely proud of its sporting culture, with the Cats its foremost representatives in the Irish sport of hurling. This passion’s evident from the many wanderers in the city wielding hurls. So if you piss off a local you’ll be battered with a heavy wooden stick.

The vibrant food scene means many renowned restaurants dealing in fresh local produce. Within a month you’ll wonder how the fuck they survive while all selling little more than slight variations on beef stew.

One of the finest examples of Norman architecture in Western Europe is right in the centre. Dating from 1195, Kilkenny Castle really hammers home just how little else of note has been built in Kilkenny in the last 827 years.

Wonderful landscape?

Not only is Kilkenny Ireland’s smallest city, but it is also the furthest from the coast. However there’s a rich culture of river swimming in the Nore, which has a rich culture of its own. St Luke’s hospital is right there in town to treat your bacterial infections.

There are numerous walking routes to take hikers through spectacularly bland and marshy countryside, and along a perennially under-serviced N-road. Through summer these are heaving with silent, hungover stag parties killing time before the pubs open.

Hang out at…

The first weekend of June plays host to the Cat Laughs Comedy Festival, the Edinburgh Fringe for acts whose careers aren’t going well enough for them to have been on telly.

Ever wondered how one of Ireland’s lowest-ABV mass-produced ales is made? Then why not take the Smithwick’s brewery tour? Honestly, after a few weekends here, you’ll feel wildly entertained by a drama student working as a tour guide lecturing you about hops.

And there are a hundred bars like Ryan’s famous for their traditional music. Stumble in to find dead-eyed local musicians begrudgingly playing fiddles, bodhráns, and other stereotypically Irish instruments for the amusement of bloated American tourists.

Where to buy?

The opulent Kilkenny Castle was sold by its last owner, Lord Ormonde, to the Irish State for £50 in 1967. Property prices in the area have never recovered. You can buy what amounts to a mansion on the outskirts of town for the cost of a shitty studio apartment in Dublin.

It might even be worth trying your luck at buying back the castle. Given what it went for then, rock up, hammer on their oaken doors and offer your 2013 Toyota Yaris for the deeds to the place.

From the streets:

Tom Booker said: “I moved here from Glasgow. It should be illegal for any urban centre in the 21st century to call itself a ‘city’ without any discernible form of public transport.”

Joseph Turner said: “For someone as into lizards as me, it was a no-brainer to live near the National Reptile House. I will fight their restraining order with every fibre of my being.”