Friday 31 October 2003

But she is a hypocrite

Labour MP Diane Abbott has got herself into hot water for sending her son to a private school. According to Ms Abbott:
... she had decided that ruining her political reputation was preferable to choosing the local comprehensive.

"It’s not a defensible position, and I haven’t attempted to defend it. I spent five days not defending it," she said, speaking on her weekly appearance on the BBC’s This Week politics programme last night.

In the Daily Mail Colette Douglas Home writes:
She (Ms Abbott) stands accused of hypocrisy for sending her son to a private school when she has, in the past, castigated colleagues for doing just that.

But she isn't a hypocrite. She is just a mother who is learning a costly lesson.

I'm sorry. That just won't do. Ms Abbott has realised that her party has created a disaster in inner-city schools and she wants her son out of them. Fair enough. But she remains a Member of Parliament who was elected as a candidate for the Labour Party. She retains the Labour whip. She continues to earn a salary more than double the national average with benefits on top. That's how she can afford to send her son to a private school. Few of her Hackney constituents have that choice. She should immediately give up her membership of the Labour party, resign from Parliament and get a job in the private sector. Then and only then will she not deserve the title of hypocrite.