The Daily Telegraph reports (here) that the People’s Liberation Army off Communist China may have been responsible for a serious cyber attack on the US Defence Computer system that may have closed parts of the system for up to a week.

This is plainly a very grave matter. It is worrying not just because of the fact that they were able to carry out such an attack but because the act itself is an inherently hostile one.

After the cyber attack from Russia upon the IT systems of Estonia recently, it raises the issue of whether we are sufficiently protected against this sort of assault. What is worrying is that China and Russia both seem to produce large numbers of mathematicians (the large numbers of Russian chess players of repute suggests that they have a considerable propensity for those sorts of analytical skills) and that many may be channeled into their military with precisely this sort of capability in mind.

It may not be well known (and for reasons that may be obvious) but the Public Schools have developed a considerable dependency on pupils from China. Perhaps 10% of the pupils at the alma mater of myself and my son (Oundle) are Chinese, many of them sons of senior Communist party officials. I say ‘sons’ because it is notable that the privilege of a UK Public School education is not extended to their daughters.

My son is very scathing of them. They do not join in, instead forming private cliques in which they only speak Chinese. They eschew anything which smacks of Britishness and the traditional values of the country which is their host. Most make it plain they believe fully in communism, notwithstanding their privileged position. They all do science: not for them the likes of Drama or English Literature. Most are excellent mathematicians. They avoid sport like the plague. One of them used to turn up at the beginning of each term with a suitcase full of crisp £50 notes to pay the fees at the Bursar’s office which must have made for an interesting conundrum under the money laundering regulations. One announced to my son that he was hoping to go into missile research when he gets back to China.

My point is this: are we being wise to be affording a first rate education to people who may soon pose a real threat to our national interest?

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