Darth Vader, the near-omnipotent ruler of the Empire, stood, sure-footed on a little visited balcony of his newest genocidal toy, the Death Star. Opposite him, clinging to cables and buzzing wires, hung an injured Luke Skywalker, a rebellious youngster from a desert world.

Darkness and light. 

Both had achieved considerable power and powers, though one had decided to use those powers as they were not intended.

“Luke, I have something important to tell you,” said Vader.

“You have nothing to say to me”, replied Skywalker. “You and I are from different worlds, raised to lead different lives.” 

“Luke. I went to a grammar school and have become all powerful. If you had taken the 11-plus as I had wished, you too would feel the full force of the Dark Side. But your mother wasn’t having it. She believed in state education and look what you have become – a one-armed space bandit! Join me and I will return you to greatness.”

Skywalker fell back with shock, but managed to hold fast at the last moment. “Vader, your anecdotes don’t impress me. My comprehensive education, though once a ticket to failure in certain parts of Tatooine, has improved immeasurably over time, and the power I now wield is for goodness and light, not death and destruction.”

“But Luke”, implored Vader, “if we join together we will become unstoppable. Once I have taught you the way of the Grammar our might will be unrivalled.”

“Vader, you don’t understand: I, and many others, have made it without having a grammar-school education. Your personal success story is not a reason for a revamp of the galactic education system. Also, we know that grammars often have negative effects on the surrounding schools and their poorer children.”

“Do you not want the chance to join me as the imperial tormentor of souls? It’s your choice.”

“No!”, cried Skywalker. “Choice is for the middle-class who can afford tutoring and light-sabre lessons. I want to be a bastion for the poor. If I join you those wretches will face many more years of poor prospects under a divisive system.”

Confusion crept across Vader’s masked face. “But that’s the whole point!”

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