Charles Moore asks in his Telegraph opinion piece today "In Theresa May's meritocracy, what will become of the stupid and useless? I am reminded of an anecdote I heard many years ago recounting the advice the dying Frederick the Great gave to his son.
"You will find those who make up the State fall into four categories. The clever and lazy will form the top echelons of the army, the treasury, government and the judiciary. The clever and industrious will fill the ranks of the second and third tiers, and are to be valued. The stupid and lazy are also to be valued, for these will form the vast bulk of all those who serve the State. They can be managed, manipulated, directed and utilised to overall benefit.
But my son, wherever you find one who is both stupid and industrious, you must eliminate them as if they carried plague, for left in place they will cause irreparable damage and undo all the good done by the others".