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And some are more ‘equal’ than others

So Dianne Abbott’s decision to send her son to a private school is indefensible.

Says who? Says Ms Abbott:

On BBC2’s This Week, Miss Abbott, a member of the Socialist Campaign Group of MPs, said: “I’ve said very little about this because anything you say just sounds self-serving and hypocritical. You can’t defend the indefensible.

Since Ms Abbot appears to be lost for words, allow me to assist. Here are a few things Diane Abbott could say:

  • “I have realised that education is too important to be left to the state.”
  • “Perhaps everyone should have as much choice as I do.”
  • “If I am not prepared to condemn my child to the state system, why should anyone else?”
  • “The pursuit of equality for all means everyone gets crap.”

But Ms Abbot has not said any of those things. And she never will.

26 comments to And some are more ‘equal’ than others

  • This is a truly despicable position for Ms Abbot to take. She knows that state education doesn’t work, why else would she send her son to a fee-paying school, yet she doesn’t want to re-examine her reflexive socialism on this issue. She’s right, it is self-serving and hypocritical.

  • David,

    And the hypocrisy of this socialist bitch surprises you why, exactly?

  • What about “However idiotic my beliefs, I am not willing to screw up the lives of my own children”?

    The children at least should be grateful.

  • Verity

    Hmmmmm. She has acknowledged, as T Bliar and Harriet Harmon did not, that she has seen a horrible crack in socialism. Education, education, education, their flagship programme so memorably hissed by Bliar in his first few days in office, has failed and by her action she shone a glaring spotlight on that failure. I like that. I like it that she hasn’t weaselled.

    I said a couple of days ago that this may be a conversion on the road to Hackney. Let us wait and see where this leads Ms Abbott. She has been brave enough to acknowledge what slithery hypocrites Bliar and Harmond did not: Labour’s not working.

    Meanwhile, I have waited in vain for the BBC’s website Have Your Say to have a forum on this rather important event. GM crops, hunting, vaccinations, where will the Tories go with Michael Howard (ca va sans dire)? …. but no thread about a prominent Labour MP and TV personality – and an “ethnic minority” at that – jettisoning socialism to place the future of her child ahead of her own future. And owning up to it. Odd, what?

  • Just like in France where Segolene Royal, then education minister, put her 3 kids in a private school. Claude Allegre, former education minister, left to teach in a US private university.
    Now it’s Luc Ferry’s turn: his 2 kids go to a catholic school.
    No reasonable nomenklaturist in France would ever put his children in public schools, but in a very few ones in Paris where they control who gets in.

  • Ryan

    Why I’m enjoying Abbot’s self-immolation:

    1) Due to the execrable state of state schools in his mother’s consitutency, Abbot’s own son demanded to be sent to a private school, rather than be left to the tender mercies of the disgusting segregationalist agenda of Abbot allies like Trevor Phillips, Newty Livingstone and his henchman Lee ‘the black Nick Griffin’ Jasper;

    2) All of Abbot’s racist loony-left preachings, her self important, patronising attacks on her colleagues, intensify her hypocrisy to a degree that is nothing short of sublime;

    3) She’s obviously stupid enough to believe that if she ‘makes noises’ about resigning, she’ll be encouraged to remain as an MP… by… ?

  • none

    Where did this lady go to school? I have the queasy-making idea that she imagines “indefensible” means “It’s not necessary to defend my decision to you idiots.” How else to explain?

  • wayne

    If only those politicians in the U.S. who send their kids to private schools would get blasted like her by the liberal media.

  • Dave

    It was a part of Question Time, if that helps Verity.

  • Verity

    Dave – If this had been a prominent Tory doing something that was completely against Tory principles and that a Tory prime minister had made his flagship programme, the BBC would have had it as its lead in Have Your Say with obscene haste. The invitation to the public to comment on Abbott has yet to appear on their website and this cannot be construed as anything but a deliberate perversion of their mandate. Yet again. The BBC needs to be privatised or dismantled. Either way, all the little lefty hacks who currently infest its corridors should be sacked and sent away with a free copy of the Thursday (public sector employment ads) Guardian.

    I still say that this has been an eye opener for Abbott. She said she’d seen on the streets of Hackney how black boys who went to state schools got dragged down into the dominant black thug culture and once in it, it was all but impossible to save them. I say someone from the Tories should point out to her that with the Tories’ passports for education programme, she would never have had to make the grim choice of putting her child’s future ahead of her own. Diane Abbott is very clever. Is she brave enough to cross the floor, I wonder?

  • What’s contemptible is that she has not abandoned her socialist principles, she just thinks they should apply to everybody else and not her.

    The standard socialist line on this, as trotted out in today’s Observer by William Diaz, is that middle class parents have an obligation to send their kids to state schools so that they can contribute to raising of standards in those schools. This is, of course, completely wrong-headed and requires a significant, not to say borderline abusive, level of wilful ignorance about what these sink schools are actually like but it has the virtue of consistency. Abbot wishes all middle class families did as the Diaz family… except her own.

    Her stance would be a lot more admirable if she just came out with one or more of David’s suggested statements. I’m afraid, Verity, I must disagree: “Weaselled” is an apt description of her action.

  • Joe

    Verity, “The invitation to the public to comment on Abbott has yet to appear on their website and this cannot be construed as anything but a deliberate perversion of their mandate.”

    There is the BBC iCan site which might be made to be useful for this type of thing. Why not initiate something on it and see if anything happens?

  • Verity

    Frank McGahon – With respect, I think Bliar and Harmon weaselled, saying they weren’t going to comment, personal family business blah blah blah. Abbott has faced the press and answered them. She’s agreed that she’s behaved in a way which she can’t defend. She put her child’s interest ahead of her socialist beliefs and she admits it. This is way out front of Bliar and Harmon, both of whom contended they weren’t doing anything wrong (from a socialist/commie point of view). Abbott is more robust, and a better thinker, than either of them. I still say wait and see.

    Joe – I don’t know what iCan is. In any event, it was their duty to put the Abbott case up for comment the minute it happened – and they didn’t. They are hoping it will blow over. And while I’m at it, if you want further proof of the pusillanimous hard left politics of the management and editors of that site, the minute a star or other famous person dies, there’s a Adam Faith: Your Tributes, Barry White: Your Tributes. Same with political figures. Except, when Dennis Thatcher died, it was Dennis Thatcher: Your Thoughts.

  • R C Dean

    I love the way she says her decision is indefensible, and then goes right ahead and does it anyway! Realy, the arrogance is simply beyond belief.

  • Guy Herbert

    Frank McGahon’s is a little too kind to William Diaz’ line.

    Diaz says “I never thought Abbott would commit the ultimate sin of breathing life into the very institution most responsible for London’s social apartheid – the private education sector.” He may be more consistent than Abbott, and he claims to be in favour of personal choice(!), but he still doesn’t get the point.

    Bad private schools as well as good ones survive despite heavily subsidised competition, because people don’t trust the state sector and can only exercise choice on behalf of their children by getting out of it altogether. If you accept his equalitarian statist premises, then the private education sector is still symptom not disease.

  • JK

    And to top it all off, following this ‘ritual self-criticism’, she will now be allowed to get away with it.

    Just watch.

  • Of all the surveys I’d love to read about, the number of public schools’ teachers putting their own children in private schoools has to be near the top of the list.

    My own parents, both retired teachers in the French public school system, voted with their feet and put me in a private high school, thanks in no small part to the introduction of the husband of one of my Mom’s colleagues.

    And I wasn’t the only one. Both in their circles of colleagues – the more Leftist, the more likely they were to put their kids in private schools from the youngest age, it seemed – and at that school proper. In fact, this fine institution (Ecole Alsacienne, Rue Notre-Dame-Des-Champs off the lovely Parc du Luxembourg near Montparnasse) charged less for us and other ‘educator families’ to ensure they could afford keeping us there.

    In retrospect, the real interesting bit was to run into all the sons and daughters of the leftist media and intelligentsia. Many of whom were picked up after school and driven home in the kind of cars the popular masses never gets to drive, let even own. And sometimes, the driver was a chauffeur sent by Dad, who was too busy at work penning his next pontificating editorial about capitalism’s evil, invariably concluded with the unavoidable “Do we want to become like America ?” (Yes !!! Please !!)

    These people are not against privilege. They are against the privilege of others, especially when these are earned on the basis of merit. You see, nobody has asked them to define what merit should be. And it is inconceivable in their eyes that they should not be the ones who define what it should be based on, without ever explaining why.

    The latter is always beneath them. Reason is so reactionary.

  • Guy: I had no intention of being kind to Diaz. I think his is a, well, indefensible position. What irks me about Abbot’s position over that of Diaz’s is (sorry Verity!) that Abbot’s choice hasn’t prompted her to re-evaluate the socialist line on education. Anyone who was a “robust thinker” could see that a choice of school for her own son was a kind of experiment. The experiment comprehensively disproved the theory of socialist education. Yet she still claims to support this discredited theory.

    However weaselly you might think Blair or Harmon are they have no ideological devotion to state education, they simply pander to their party’s line on this (this is still a contemptible position!). Abbot on the other hand remains a proud, soi-disant socialist, ideologically committed to state education.

  • Verity

    Frank – I didn’t know Abbott was still a supporter of state education! I don’t live in Britain, so haven’t seen her on TV. If this is the case, then she is contemptible. I thought she’d seen the light! In that case, she should either pay for every other black parent of a son who will get dragged down into the black thug culture to go to private school, too, or stand down.

    Regarding Sylvain’s post: what exactly are all these people espousing? They clearly know that socialism is a failure (and has been a failure through 100 years of experiments), and won’t touch it with a 10-foot pole. Yet they’re pushing it on others. Is it naive to ask why?

    I agree Blair has no opinion on state education, except he doesn’t want it for his “kids”. But then he has no position on anything until he’s been told what it is, and given some choice little soundbites he can hiss into a microphone. Harriett Harmon is too absurd to discuss.

  • Reason why there are still people who espouse socialism: hypocrites abound everywhere.

    I should know; I am a hypocrite too!^_^

  • Susan

    They aren’t just hypocrites about state schools. What about the pro-criminals who do everything in their power to pamper criminals and increase crime rates, all in the name of their beloved “social engineering” but make sure they themselves live in “safe” neighborhoods?

  • A_t

    ‘What about the pro-criminals who do everything in their power to pamper criminals and increase crime rates, all in the name of their beloved “social engineering”‘

    wow… quite a charge…. who’re they then? Or is this just another “common sense” rant?

  • Susan

    Well, A_t, I was thinking specifically of how the left-wing media attacked former NY mayor Rudolph Guiliani for eight years as a “fascist” for his zero-tolerance crime policies.

    The FBI just released a report which said that the NYC crime rate is now lower than the national US crime rate (itself falling), and that NYC murder rates are below 1963 levels despite the fact that NYC has obviously added quite a few people since 40 years ago.

    SO yeah, I consider the people who attacked Guiliani to be “pro-criminals.”

  • R. C. Dean

    Susan, I think that should be “objectively” pro-criminal.

    Not that it makes any difference to me. I long ago stopped caring about people’s professed, subjective preferences when it comes to politics. These subjective preferences have little to do with the outcome of their proposals, which outcomes are the only thing that impact on my life.

    If your policies are likely to increase criminal activity, then you are plenty “pro-criminal” enough for me!

  • A_t

    Hmm… ok, so say every citizen in the country is implanted with a tracking device, which will allow the government, the police etc. to know where they are at any time. If any crime’s committed, all the authorities have to do is find out whose transmitters were in the area, & they’ll probably catch the bad guy. This would almost undoubtedly reduce crime, possibly to negligable levels. However, personally, I’m *strongly* opposed to any such measures. Does that mean I’m pro-criminal?

  • Paul

    What the hell does anyone expect from socialist vermin? The filthy parasitic scum couldn’t give a toss for anyone but themselves. Blame the cretins who vote them into power.