Quite a good Sunday Times article on British schools by Harriet Sergeant here. I've heard the factoid about 81 percent of 1.7 million new jobs created since 1997 going to foreign workers before, but since most of those jobs were created in a state sector operating a system of positive discrimination in favour of multiculturalism, even if true I doubt that it proves anything.
It is undeniable that British employers have been complaining for decades about the lack of work ethic in Britain, blissfully unaware that the fish rots from the head, and that the blame for chronically poor productivity must rest with their own lazy and incompetent management. The present regime's open-door immigration policy and encouragement of foreign take-overs at least partially betray a politically unconfessable belief that 'British' and 'worker' are antonyms.
It is more likely that the schools reflect rather than fashion British attitudes towards work. The culture of levelling envy and sullen under-achievement has very deep roots indeed, and it seems to me improbable that trimming the educational foliage will alter the nature of the tree.
It would be interesting to conduct a multi-generational study of, say, the upwardly mobile non-Muslim immigrants from the sub-continent. The form book says that the first generation works its ass off to boost the second generation, but by the third generation the imported momentum is attenuated and the assimilated culture comes to predominate.
My bet is that such a study would find that many members of the third, thoroughly British generation will be a great disappointment to their parents and grandparents.