The hapless state of the Labour party is getting a lot of gleeful media coverage at the moment and particularly so, Jeremy Corbyn, the clear choice of the right.
Like most people, I hadn’t heard of the ‘firebrand’ MP until very recently and although his statist politics don’t chime with me, his dignity is something that I can admire.
Because it appears that his political beliefs are even more important to him than his marriage- which reached an impasse over whether or not their child should take up a grammar school place that he had secured for himself. Mr Corbyn, himself a grammar school boy preferred an Islington Comprehensive that Tony Blair so deftly swerved but Mrs Corbyn insisted on the grammar school and the marriage eventually failed.
I agree with mum here – in a similar situation, I’d have made her choice also. As the father of four boys who have all gone/go to comprehensive schools (as I did) I admit that if I could have afforded the fees and if my boys had the necessary ability then I would have sent them all off to a fee paying school because it is fairly obvious that in business, the professions, the stage and even sport – public school kids have the lion share of success and this is irksome and tiresome and frustrating and plain not fair…
But like my most parents, I want the best for my kids but I also understand that the world is not fair despite whatever meddling and social engineering conducted on our behalf by politicians and civil servants, most of whom have themselves been to public school.
But this injustice is at the very core of left wing politics.
Left wing politics is all about egalitarianism – where every child has the same opportunity as the next – and who would argue against such a lofty thing.
Not me anyway – just that I realise that it isn’t even a remote possibility.
Close down all private schools as George Galloway advocates – and parenst with means will find other ways to spend their own money on their own children – and as such, the advantages and varying success parabolas will continue.
This is why so-called Left wing politicians are so vulnerable to the accusation of ‘do as I say, not as I do.’
Because so many of them – when it comes their own children are happy to dispense with their beliefs that fee paying or selective schools are wrong because they ingrain advantage.
Chris Huhne, Diane Abbott, Shirley Williams, Harriett Harman, Tony Blair, Ruth Kelly… and any number of multi-millionaire luvvies.
They argue that they have no choice because the alternative schools are below par and in their world (and heads?) – all schools should be the same.
Yes but they aren’t are they?
And your taking your privileged children elsewhere only perpetuates the problem because it is demographics and the families that provide a school’s intake which is the major factor in the success of a school – more so than the standard of teaching or how swanky the facilities are.
So ‘do as I say and not as I do’ definitely applies. They want it both ways. To cover themselves in the political benevolence that comes with the left wing cloak but also maximize advantage for themselves when awkward choices are called for.
Lord Adonis, a ‘left winger’ calls these types politically bankrupt and he’s right. They compound a problem when it suits them and their offspring.
There are a few exceptions of course.
Paul McCartney and Ben Elton (I think) spring to mind. And now Jeremy Corbyn also.
I don’t agree with them but I admire their honesty and their conviction – a quality in scant supply in the modern politician these days.