Abbott and the Private School

The most controversial aspect of Diane Abbott’s reputation is her decision to send her child to a private school.

Parents have an awesome responsibility to do what is best for their own children; and there is no denying that Diane Abbott’s financial position opened doors for her that would be closed to others. The difference between Diane Abbott and many other people in her position is that she campaigns against privilege and inequality. As leading SWP activist Weyman Bennett correctly says:  “I send my kids to state schools. And I think that issue was damaging to her. But it was never a killer blow because she has so obviously tried to improve things for other people’s children. That kind of campaigning is more important.”

As a single parent of a young black boy there may have been any number of reasons personal to her own son that she decided to have him privately educated. It is to her credit that she has never defended or explained her decision because to do so would have intruded on her son’s privacy. Throughout she has protected him. We do know that her son took part in a radio phone-in show when he was 12 and said it had been his choice to go to a local fee-paying school, and he may have had good reasons.

I don’t know Diane’s personal reasons. I don’t want to know.

However, I am aware that black boys from single parent families are more at risk of bullying and educational disadvantage than other children. I am aware that of those few friends of mine thinking of having their children privately educated, at great personal financial sacrifice, they are all black or Asian, hoping that this will get their children away from racism and Islamophobia.

Often parents with the financial ability move house to be in catchment for a better state school, they pay for extra private tuition, and children of better off parents are more likely to belong to sports clubs, play a musical instrument, and learn to swim. We all know that these things help our childrens’ chances, and we have no guilt that we use our own advantages to help our own children.

The social system which allows financial inequality to lead to inequality of educational outcome is unjust and wrong. But that is the system we have. I have more respect for someone who does the best for their own children than someone who would sacrifice their children for the interests of their political career. Without knowing facts of the case which are frankly none of our business, then it is impossble to make facile judgements about whether her decision was correct or not. Private education is not always the best education, but for some parents, and some children it may offer a solution to problems which are not easily resolved in the state sector.

Diane Abbott is not a hypocrite, she is a loving mother. She campaigns for the best education for everyone, and has made the choices that she thinks are in the best interests of her son. It would be appalling if this was used as an excuse for some on the left to not rally to her support.

61 comments on “Abbott and the Private School

  1. I see we are back, Diane Abbott is imperfect but no doubt she is the most left candidate, any chance of moving on to something else know….another 15 Abbott articles may erode support.

  2. Odd omission on said:

    Diane Abbott is not a hypocrite, she is a loving mother.

    The two are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

  3. red snapper on said:

    So there is less racism and Islamophobia at private schools? You’re joking aren’t you?

  4. David Rosenberg on said:

    Yes I support Diane Abbott as the most left-wing candidate in general in the labour leadership election but I, and probably quite a few others, do so with a bit less enthusiasm and a bit less expectation because, yes, she is an absolute hypocrite on this issue.

    How can we expect people to have respect for and faith in politicians who declare their socialist ideals but make big life choices that show contempt for the lives of people they regularly seek votes from?

    And choosing private education for her child is a big life choice. (Her choice of Jonathan Aitken as the child’s godfather is bizarre but doesn’t rankle as much.)

    But, more seriously, it makes me wonder how solid her support will be for those struggling in an educational battle where the stakes have just been raised much higher by the Con-Dem coalition with its clear aim of privatising primary education through the ‘academies’ programme. And given that Diane Abbott, as I understand it, supported the academies programme in her constituency this does seem to be a real weakness where she is concerned. I am very involved in these issues as an NUT activist and she is one of the last people I would think of inviting to front our campaigns.

    But on the 80:20 priniciple I welcome Diane Abbott being part of the leadership race and will encourage friends in the Labour Party (I’m not) to support her. What I won’t do is try to find justifications/excuses for what she had done and be told what a loving mother she is. Lots of totally principled socialists who live their ideals daily, without any fuss, love their kids too!

  5. anon on said:

    When she decided to send her son to a private school did it occur to her to stand down as an MP and go back to whatever horny handed trade she had before becoming a full time politician?

    I suspect the thought never entered her head.

  6. #3

    “So there is less racism and Islamophobia at private schools? You’re joking aren’t you?”

    Well what is your explanation for the preference among many better off BAME parents for private schools?

  7. #5

    “5.When she decided to send her son to a private school did it occur to her to stand down as an MP and go back to whatever horny handed trade she had before becoming a full time politician?”

    So would we have been better off losing a fine socialist MP, just to satisfy your silly self-righteousness?

    How would that have helped anyone?

  8. #4

    “But, more seriously, it makes me wonder how solid her support will be for those struggling in an educational battle where the stakes have just been raised much higher by the Con-Dem coalition with its clear aim of privatising primary education through the ‘academies’ programme. And given that Diane Abbott, as I understand it, supported the academies programme in her constituency this does seem to be a real weakness where she is concerned. ”

    The full scale academisation of schools is a largely different issue from the Academies brought in by the last government.

  9. Peckham Parent on said:

    Black boys from single parents more at risk from bullying. Where do you and Diane Abbott live? Where I live in, inner London, the majority of the boys in my local school are black and a high proportion from single parents. No bullying on that score. Some bullying of middle class kids, black and white, solvable within the school, and that might have been be Diane son’s problem.
    I believe it is damaging to her reputation that she prefers her son not to mix and be educated with the sons of her constituents. It smacks of the elitist condescending view that the working class need help but you wouldn’t want to particularly live next door to any of them.

  10. anon on said:

    Abbott isn’t a fine socialist MP.

    Though she did replace one.

    Who knows, perhaps she might in turn have been replaced by a fine socialist MP.

  11. Rorschach on said:

    #6 – because children educated at private schools have better life chances than children educated at state schools, racist bullying or not. Bullying and humiliation are rituals/rights of passage at certain private schools and that has never dissuaded wealthy white parents from putting their kids through what could be seen as a cruel ordeal.

  12. Anonymous on said:

    “Well what is your explanation for the preference among many better off BAME parents for private schools?”

    BAME is a paticularly useless term but if you mean Afro Caribean or even African..

    Not hard to answer:

    The perception that the State school their kids are likely to access will be poor and not ensure academic achievement.

    Real fear that their kids would get involved in gang culture in State schools with high risks of injury or death for the boys and rape for the girls.

    Dislike of secularism and liberalism.

    And for the astute and well connected (cf Diane Abbott) a clear understanding of the role of private schools in helping ensure continuing class advantage for their child.

  13. Red Bandits at School on said:

    2Diane Abbott is not a hypocrite, she is a loving mother. She campaigns for the best education for everyone, and has made the choices that she thinks are in the best interests of her son. It would be appalling if this was used as an excuse for some on the left to not rally to her support.”

    Andys desperation means voting and supporting anyone and anything and it always starts with underminig the idea of principle.

    You do not undermine the Public Sector and buy adavantage for your own over the common good by sending your own kids to Private School.

    I do recall Abott talking about her decision on the Politics Show with Brillo pad Heed and that fawning Thatcherite Portillo. Abbotts reason/s as I recall was lack of good local school in her area and a new Academy Opening too late for her son. This is Hypocrisy in that if she earned as little as most of those who voted for her she would not be able to afford private Eduacation she would have no choice so whose interests is she representing? Her own? Abbott professes to believe in some type of Socialist ideas of representation and yet she uses Private Services which undermine and are parasitic on the Commons Services used by most of her voters and constituents. Abbots choice damages and undermines their services. It is Hypocrisy because she stood up on her hind legs for 20 years and argues for Comprehensive Schools and against private schools.It is Hypocrisy because she knows she is not just buying schooling she is buying social adavantage for her kid at the exspense of the rest of the kids.Hypocrisy because she professes Socialist sensibilities and the Labourite “For the many not the few”.Its hypocrisy because Abbotts own Education was State Education and she votes for a Govt that destroyed Comprehensive Education and imposed tuition fees on University Students. Buying your kid adavantages that other parents cannot is hypocrisy for a Labour politician

    The Labour Party arent worth voting for or supporting they are taken over by Neo Liberals and sold out to Murdoch

    What next
    BUPA sponsored stalls at Labours Conference?
    Telling the Bankers they have created a Golden Age of Finance?
    Joining a Right wing oil baron in a bloody rampage against a Middle Eastern Country?
    Allowing Rupert Murdoch access all hours?
    Privatising NHS Services?
    Labour Lords selling influence to Corporations?
    Frank Field writing the New Poor Laws?

    Not the Labour Party……………. surely not?

  14. Well what is your explanation for the preference among many better off BAME parents for private schools?

    I think it’s obvious that there is a marked preference towards private education amongst the better off in the society generally, regardless of skin colour.

  15. Doug on said:

    Andy Newman should be in a circus where his intellectual somersaults will be more appreciated. Next week – why Jon Cruddas is actually more of a socialist than Lenin was. Then, support the ConDem government so we can start buidling ‘progressive alliances’ with ‘left moving Lib Dema’ When will the piffle ever end from this low rent Gramsci distorter.

  16. Social and class apartheid- no private schools. Cant believe socialists or even pretend socialists can defend Abbott or any other hypocrites on here.

  17. David Rosenberg on said:

    @ 8: “The full scale academisation of schools is a largely different issue from the Academies brought in by the last government.”

    There are some differences, Andy, but much that is very similar in philosophy and intention. The academies programme under New Labour did make more effort to target ‘under-performing” schools while the new proposals allow for fast-tracking ‘outstanding’ schools, but under the “old” and the “new” academies programme there is a common desire to bring in as much competition and marketisation of education; to break nationally agreed teacher conditions; to remove schools from the ‘burden” of democratic accountability through the local education authority, to increase overt and covert possibilities of selecting pupils (and off-loading unwanted pupils through permanent exclusions), and to offer golden opportunities to business friends, especially in the construction industry.

    We never had full comprehensive education in this country but a large slice of the education system was placed in the comprehensive framework. That has been deliberately undermined and fragmented by neo-liberal education policies under New Labour and now, what is left is in great danger of being so distorted as to be unrecognisable.

    We are approaching the tipping point in education. And those fighting back need to be sure who our best champions and allies will be in this fight.

  18. Larry Nugent on said:

    Doug

    The fascist prosecutor said of Gramsci; “the only cure for the hunchback, is the grave”

    You put Andy Newman in exalted company. Socialist Unity is a fine blog due to Andy’s moderation and tolerance of troll’s piffle like you.

  19. Anon on said:

    ‘However, I am aware that black boys from single parent families are more at risk of bullying and educational disadvantage than other children.’

    Educational achievement of white working class boys is lower than for black boys.

  20. Yes, support Abbott. But don’t go soft on your principles. We need decent, first class state funded schools and hospitals for everyone, thats equality and basic socialist principles. Allowing the wealthy to opt out of public services is a recipe for their further degeneration, and further social division, with decent services only for those who can pay for them, with the rest of us left to rot.

    Andy is wrong. Abbott herself said her decision on her sons education contradicted her basic principles. there is no need to move to the right of Abbott on this, Andy.

    We wont use this as an excuse not to support Abbott, but we can still be critical of those who wish to carry the standard for the left. Unconditional but critical support for Abbott. No retreat on the demands for first class comprehensive education for all, and the abolition of private schools and all class privileges. Full stop.

    PS – this website has been down all day… and before, a few days ago. Anyone else notice this? Hackers?

  21. Jim McLean on said:

    Cant condemn her as I haven’t walked in her shoes, but if anyone knows her voting record in relation to private education they could let us know if it is a do as I say and not do as I do situation.

  22. Here again, is Abbott’s statement from 2003, where she shows more socialist principles criticizing herself than in the soppy gush in the blog post that started the thread!

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3229453.stm

    Abbott speaks out on school row

    Labour MP Diane Abbott has said sending her son to a £10,000-a-year private school instead of a comprehensive is “indefensible”.
    In her first detailed comments on the controversy, she told BBC One’s This Week programme: “Private schools prop up the class system in society.

    “It is inconsistent, to put it mildly, for someone who believes in a fairer and more egalitarian society to send their child to a fee-paying school.”

    But, she added: “I had to choose between my reputation as a politician and my son.”

    When Prime Minister Tony Blair sent his eldest son, Euan, to the London Oratory, a selective school, she criticised him, saying people voted Labour because they believed in equality.

    And when Solicitor General Harriet Harman sent her son to a selective grammar school in Orpington, Kent, Ms Abbott said: “She made the Labour Party look as if we do one thing and say another.”

    The Hackney North and Stoke Newington MP, who became Britain’s first black woman member in 1987, told the programme her constituents would understand – “particularly black mothers who know the position I’m in”.

    But she added: “You can’t defend the indefensible – anything you say sounds self-serving and hypocritical.”

    It had been a “shame” to throw away her reputation for “political consistency” Ms Abbott said.

    “But I threw it away in the best possible cause.”

    Ms Abbot was defended by her son, James, on a radio station phone-in earlier this week. “She’s not a hypocrite, she just put what I wanted first,” he said.

    The school he starts at next year, City of London, came 43rd out of 287 independent schools in this year’s A-level tables.

  23. chjh on said:

    I’ve been in several meeting in Hackney when white liberals have defended Diane Abbott’s decision, and the worst derision has come from black mothers. It’s not defensible, any more than the anti-abortion politics, or the refusal to criticise their local Labour council, of other left-wing MPs. But it’s something you weigh in the balance against what else they do.

    The reference to anti-abortion politics isn’t intended to open up old arguments, by the way – I’m thinking of Eric Heffer, who was universally admired on the far left, and was deeply hostile to abortion.

  24. Owen Jones on said:

    Andy, it is my position that we should support Diane Abbott as the left candidate in this election and seek to maximise her vote.

    But we should not allow that position to corrupt our own politics by starting to make rationalisations we would otherwise never dream of making for things which are completely reactionary – like upper-middle-class parents sending their kids to that atrocious pillar of the class system, the private school.

    We should stick to Diane’s position on the matter – which was that it was an “indefensible” thing to do – and focus on how we can use her candidacy as an opportunity to raise issues important to the left, like workers’ rights, progressive taxation, and a break with a neo-con foreign policy. Oh, and scrapping charitable status for private schools as a minimum demand!

  25. aurora on said:

    I am a loving mother and a single parent.Unfortunateley I didnt go to Cambridge and come from a disadvantaged background myself.My sons school aint great but I cannot afford to send him to a private school.Abbott used her class priviledge. Her choices are very different from the single mothers who have black children that I know.

  26. “Well what is your explanation for the preference among many better off BAME parents for private schools?”

    That middle and upper class people from ethnic minorities are very similar to middle and upper class white people.

    They use their wealth to cement their advantages and to the exclusion of those without their privileges. It’s called class society Andy, and before you drowned in the liberalism of identity politics, you were still able to recognise it.

  27. ahmed on said:

    For all its faults, including the unbelieveable fact that it sits alongside a tax-break-subsidised system of private education for the rich and is itself grossly underfunded, comprehensive education is the beginnings of a fairer system which can raise the abilities of all our kids, for all our benefit.

    When I retire, maybe 75 by the time this government is finished, I would like the economy to be vibrant, high-paid, fully-employed one that can pay for a decent retirement and healthcare for all.

    Diane Abbott deserves all the crticism she gets for not sending her son to a state school. But the other candidates send their kids to schools in the leafy suburbs, and, no doubt pay for private tuition paid for by Ministerial salaries.

    Diane Abbott never harboured any realistic expectations of ministerial salary (and lucrative post-government cab-for-hire ‘consultancy’).

    Why?

    Because of her stance on issues like the Iraq war.

    Diane’s decision on her kid’s education is wrong. But, compared to the saughter of hundreds of thousands people in Iraq and Afghanistan, it fades to relative insignificance.

    She is the candidate making the case against the wars, for the TU link and against cuts. She should be supported for those reasons.

  28. jim mclean on said:

    27# But the other candidates send their kids to schools in the leafy suburbs.
    In my council a middle class area has just won the right to have their kids bussed at a cost of £80,000 per year to a posh local authority school 10 to 15 miles away with two schools within five miles of their nice little middle class homes, dont want their kids tainted by the Methil plebs.

  29. “Well what is your explanation for the preference among many better off BAME parents for private schools?”

    You never know, the reason for the preference might be the same reason that better off HW parents send their kids private.

    On the other hand as a single black mother bringing a soon-to-be-teenage child in London, she may have wanted to be sure he avoided inappropriate peer-groups.

  30. henry on said:

    Socialist? Maybe an “intellectual” one – but she did slate Blair and Harman over private education choices for their kids, so maybe “hypocritical, intellectual, socialist”.

    Teevee appearances are very poor, I mean really really poor. She comes across as dismissive, arrogant and contemptuous of other’s opinions with frequent grimaces and impatient expressions as others speak.

    Could well be the Michael Foot for the waste-land years.

  31. anon on said:

    What kind of socialist would choose Jonathan Aitken as a godfather for their son?

  32. badger on said:

    Of course we must get a good vote for Diane. To a certain extent, the size of the vote will an indicator of the strength of the left in the labour movement. The contest also gives us a limited opportunity to raise the weaknesses of New Labour with its emphasis upon markets, marketisation and choice whilst arguing for socialist solutions. Sadly tailending Diane on policy will not help us in that latter task.We have to support her candidacy and go beyond her political limitations. We need to raise our level of sophistication to the extent that we can walk and chew gum at the same time.

  33. Question for Andy and Diane Abbott: what happens to black boys who are the sons of educated, professional parents if they go to comprehensive schools? Do they fail? Do they get beaten up? Do they join gangs? Do you, Andy or Diane, have any evidence for this justifying why you think it’s a good idea for a boy such as hers to avoid comprehensive schools? Only if you can answer these questions can you come up with a statement that she was doing him a favour. Instead, there’s quite a lot of assumptions flying around here (and, I suspect in Diane’s head) that some awful fate was avoided.

    (At that time, there was a wider choice than is suggested above. It was (and still is) to go out of borough if you were (are) unhappy with Hackney Schools.

    Incidentally, what Hackney has done with secondary education is a scandal – and I’ve never read a word of criticism of it from Diane. For years, we campaigned for more secondary places (ie more schools) that were 1. non-denominational 2. mixed 3. comprehensive (ie non-selective. By the time the ILEA broke up, there was only one left: Stoke Newington.

    Since then, Hackney have created a series of secondary schools. They are all Academies. Hackney was so corrupt and incompetent they took education away from it, so it’s run by something called The Learning Trust. So we now have a secondary education in Hackney that is not controlled by locally elected members and is not comprehensive. I have never read any criticism of any of this from Diane. Perhaps she did. I hope so.

  34. dennis on said:

    Oh, for goodness sake leave Andy Newman and Saint Dianne alone. Everyone knows you can’t have principles when it comes to the kids. Your self-righteous posturing is all very well, but we all know that unless your prepared to clamber over the less fotunate and buy a priviliged education for your offspring, away from all that nasty racism and predjudice you tend to find amongst the lower orders, you’re simply being irresponsible. Poor Dianne must have agonised over the decision.

  35. She effectively made a stand for the principle that private education is better than public, and she herself admitted that it was indefensible and that she had sacrificed her political credibility.

    The fact that she seems to get on so very well with one of history’s most odious Tories is also not a recommendation.

    Nevertheless in the leadership debates (and imagine what they would be like without her on the platform) she was the only one who said anything meaningful – on immigration and on the illegal war, both comments going down to huge applause at the Compass conference.

    As the only remotely leftwing candidate for leader it is essential that she get the highest vote possible. It is however a tragedy and a travesty that John McDonnell was kept off the ballot paper.

    Also I will be surprised if she plays any role in the (hopefully) revitalised Labour left after Blairite Muppet A, B or C has been installed as leader.

  36. Jonny Mac on said:

    So there is less racism and Islamophobia at private schools? You’re joking aren’t you?”

    Well what is your explanation for the preference among many better off BAME parents for private schools?

    -Loved this. My local private school had more asian and black kids than the local comprehensive, because their parents were so ambitious for their children and knew that private schools get better results than comprehensives. Many of the parents made massive sacrifices to pay the fees. Yet Andy can only see an explanation that involves ME people as victims of racism and Islamaphobia, not as people who want their kids to get the best education and best exam results they can.

  37. I think Barry Kade at #22 has it best – Diane Abbott said her decision was indefensible , so why defend it ? If you do, you end up being pulled right by Diane’s worst decision, making excuses about public schools, rather than seeing the left strengthened by her campaign. It’s a flaw, but , as Weyman B. said, certainly not a fatal flaw. Diane sent (and I think this is past tense because I assume her lad has left school by now) he son to public school – Ed Balls nkew a war that killed 100’s of 1000’s was based on untruths, but kept quiet about it. D Miliband covered up torture. Balls and Miliband don’t want to attack the Tories on housing, they want to attack immigrants. On balance, which is the worse hypocrisy ?

  38. prianikoff on said:

    It’s certainly justifiable to criticize an onstensibly socialist MP for sending their kid(s) to a private school. Andy Newman also criticized Yvonne Ridley for doing the same thing with her daughter Daisy, before he joined RESPECT.

    The argument about their being a single-parents and “loving mothers” doesn’t wash at all. There are numerous loving single parents who can’t afford to buy such privileges. Just as their are numerous people who are seriously ill and can’t afford to jump NHS queues by going private.

    When I lived in Hackney, I went the local parish primary school.
    I also went to a state grammar school just up the road from Diane Abbott’s.
    She’s buying privileges for her son that we never had.

    Nevertheless, I’ll be supporting her bid to be Labour leader and arguing that she needs to be mandated on policy.

  39. Stockwell Pete on said:

    Never mind all this business about Diane Abbott and her wretched decision to send her child to a private school, I am still trying to come to terms with Andy’s sentence at the top that has the words “Weyman Bennett” and “correctly says” in it.

  40. Yes I really don’t think that its right for people, including Weyman Bennett, to make excuses for her. The decision to send her son to a private school simply demonstrates that when the chips are down, that is there is something that really effects her personally, she abandons principles and embraces privilege, wealth and power.
    Is that really what we want from a Labour leader?

  41. #34

    MIcael Rosen

    “Question for Andy and Diane Abbott: what happens to black boys who are the sons of educated, professional parents if they go to comprehensive schools? Do they fail? Do they get beaten up? Do they join gangs? Do you, Andy or Diane, have any evidence for this justifying why you think it’s a good idea for a boy such as hers to avoid comprehensive schools? Only if you can answer these questions can you come up with a statement that she was doing him a favour. ”

    I ioften wonder whetehr Michael is just intellectualy lazy, or wether he sees red whenever he is seeking to debate with me, and simply doesn’t read what I have written, and what he is ostensibly responding to.

    What I wrote was this:

    “Without knowing facts of the case which are frankly none of our business, then it is impossble to make facile judgements about whether her decision was correct or not. Private education is not always the best education, but for some parents, and some children it may offer a solution to problems which are not easily resolved in the state sector.”

    I have some expereince of this, as my parents moved mountains to get me into a Direct Grant School, which was a system in the 1970s of private schools with a mix of fee paying and state funded pupils. They did so for a number of reasons, despite their own left politics (both in the Labour Party, my mum had been in the CP). It was the wrong decision for me, and did not have good outcomes, and I left as soon as I culd at 16. So I know full well that the private sector education can be rubbish.

    But I wouldn’t be so crass as to assume that it can never befenit any individual students, it just didn’t help me.

    Now, without knowing Diane’s detailed reasons, which are none of our business as they affect the privacy of her son who is not a fugure in the public domain, then neither I nor MIchael Rosen know whether it was in his best interests or not.

    It is interesting that there was little opprobrium at all when leading left blogger Dave Osler admitted that he not only has private health insurance, but uses it. Maybe, these firm socialist prnciples don;t apply to the hard left, only to the centre-left?

  42. John Meredith on said:

    The accusation levelled at Abbot is not necessarily that she chose to sendher children to an exclusive and very expensive private school but that she was loud in her criticism of, amongst others, Tony Blair for choosing to send his kids to a state school because she did not think it was comprehensive enough! If that is not brazen hypocrisy, what is?

  43. David Ellis on said:

    The decision to send her son to private school showed a shocking lack of solidarity with those she represents and she herself has called in `indifensible’ and neither is it a private matter as Andy suggests. Nevertheless, now that we’ve all agreed that it was either right or wrong it is important now to turn to the programmatic issues and tone upon which we think Diane’s campaign should be fought before this becomes nothing more than a deliberate distraction either on the part of her right wing supporters or her hard left opponents to avoid those truly meaty questions. I think on education we’ve established that she must oppose private education.

  44. Chris Harrison on said:

    How do you explain her forcing the poor kid to go to school in Africa, against his will?

  45. Charles Dexter Ward on said:

    Why does the Guardian think anyone gives a flying turd what Weyman Bennett thinks? I guess his phone number was just in someone’s address book. More lazy journalism.

  46. rikki on said:

    diane can afford to send her kid to private school

    liebour has been shutting down primary schools in Glasgow because they had the aveage class size of a private school.

    ffs would you put your childs education in her hands if you were in an acheving local council school in a deprived working class area.

    TAKE GLASGOW FORINSTANCE

    every liebour counciler voted to stop the closures IN THEIR WARD and VOTED FOR CLOSURES IN EVERY WARD BAR THIERS

    SHOWER OF SCUM.

    SOCIALISTS SHOULD GIVE LIEBOUR THE BUMS RUSH.

    the red flag liebour version

    The working class can kiss my arse ive got the gaffers job at last

  47. Red Bandits on the road to Socialism on said:

    Andy to whom these things seems to matter, see his concerns about the other Left MP who joke about assasinating Thatcher, has not thought this through how will Abbot be able to argue for Public over Private provision on TV?

    As Labour leader how will she be able to stand up in the Commons or on Question Time or impress Mrs Smith in the Campaign and argue for a Progressive Education System, not even a Socialist Comprehensive one, when she has used the private system to BUY advantage for her kid that the vast majority e.g. 90% cannot.
    Thats why hypocrisy and principle matter

    Dave Ellis hit the nail on the head it shows a shocking lack of solidarity

    Bob Hope is right when he says that it shows the degeneration of the Left inside Labour they have surrendered or been disarmed ideologicaly and the whole Consultants,Privatisation, Corruption of Labour MPs, Ministers and Lords is a sign of how deep the rot is. IMHO Labour is not worth fighting for we should let Abbott and the other psuedo Socialists carry on hob nobbing with the Wealthy and imagining that they are more important than the rest and organise around them………….. from below.

    Andys blog is fast turning into a long, long apology for the Labour Party

  48. RedRose on said:

    The school that Ms Abbott’s son attended, City of London School for Boys, has a highly competitive selection process. It is not just a question of her having found the £11k pa for the fees – her son must have been academically excellent as well.

  49. Bill Scott on said:

    Wow RedRose that he was “academically brilliant” makes it completely hunky dory. Let’s bring back Grammer Schools so that most of the proles are kept where they belong doing apprenticeships. Oh there aren’t any? Or any jobs? Tough it’s a meritocracy that we want not socialism.

  50. Dustin the Turkey on said:

    “Andy Newman should be in a circus where his intellectual somersaults will be more appreciated.”

    To be fair, this is amateur stuff compared to his marvellous “teaching Creationism is progressive” screeds.

  51. scousescally on said:

    There us a basic truth for any socialist who aspires to lead others: you have to share the fate of your class. For Abbot to send her son to private school is a disgrace, period. If she felt she “had to” then she should cease to try and tell the rest of us what socialism is. I live in Brixton, could afford to send my boys to private school but do not because defence of state, secular education is about defending communities. Abbot is helping break up communities along class lines. When the oiks from sink schools break into her house I hope she does not come to us asking for sympathy.

  52. pauline ross on said:

    #57 Well I could at a pinch afford to send my children to public school, the question never crossed my mind because -not withstanding the politics of it- state schools are superior in every way to private. The only choice public school parents are making is to send the kids to schools devoid of working-class and special needs students.

    Private schools turn out a procession of un-self aware superior toss-pots incapable understanding anyone from a different background or perspective -as many of the posts and comments on this blog demonstrate on a daily basis.

  53. #59

    So in response to a leadership contest in the labour Party the anarchist vermin issue a poster … … attacking the left candidate.

    you couldn’t make it up.

  54. The poster is actually several years old Andy.

    Still relevant though – after all if Diane Abbott is the left candidate, the Labour party is more fucked than we thought.

  55. Laughable…. she is the most wonderful example of everything that is wrong with people in the political system…. They start with strong views and morals then realise quickly that money can buy them… morals and strong views fly out the window… this has nothing to do with race or bullying…but everything to do with a woman who had no intention of being an effective politician… stand down and let someone else take your place have some pride

  56. Guy Debord on said:

    #58 “you couldn’t make it up.”

    You couldn’t make it up, Andy. You’d need a sense of humour firstly and then the ability to not take yourself too seriously.