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Stephen Kinnock: another private school champion set for parliament?

Pupils at EtonHe swanned over to Wales, and it seemed he meant business. Helle Thorning-Schmidt, his wife and the Danish Prime Minister, flew over for a county Labour party dinner in a grand and rather questionable move that some said would backfire. But apparently, the thing getting Labour members exercised in Aberavon is a story that we only saw ripples of three years ago. The story that Stephen Kinnock had opted for a private education for his daughter.

Yes, that’s right. If selected in Aberavon, Stephen Kinnock can join the dream team of Diane Abbott, Ruth Kelly, Lord Falconer and other rank hypocrites who have graced Labour’s parliamentary benches in recent years. Falconer, indeed, was allegedly told by senior Blair advisors that his bid for a Dudley parliamentary seat would be hindered if he would not pull his sons out of Westminster. It seems that Miliband’s office are less rigorous with advice to their parachutees.

Or, they thought that no-one would notice. It tends to be women, after all, who get the rap for sending their children to private schools. “It was a divorce issue,” you hear the men cry again and again. “She’s the one who insisted.” Pass the sick bag, Alice!

But if it has been a thorny election issue for Kinnock’s wife, Danish PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt, why shouldn’t it come back to haunt Kinnock? At the time when the the family’s choice came to light, Danish media reported that “Apparently dozens of the young girl’s friends have made the switch from public to private in recent months and Thorning-Schmidt’s daughter wants to follow suit.” Blaming the child is the lowest of the low – who can forget when Diane Abbott asked or allowed her son to make that nauseating phone call to a radio call-in?

As Fiona Millar has argued, it is simply not the case that one’s “private decisions as a parent are irrelevant” to political abilities. Indeed, as one Helle Thorning-Schmidt once said, there are lots of reasons why parents send they children to private schools, but “The most important explanation in many cases, however, is the selfish narrow-mindedness of the middle class.”

7 Comments

  1. Rod says:

    They only get away with it because you let them get away with it.

    In 2015 you’ll be campaigning hard for a Labour victory. The Labour elite will probably be elected and will form a government. Of course, you’ll enjoy complaining about them, about their arrogance, about their disdain for ordinary people, about their manipulation of process in order to secure their unaccountable ascendancy.

    But they ultimately are dependent on you. They rely on your support.

    If you don’t like them don’t vote for them.

    It’s never too late to do the right thing.

  2. swatantra says:

    Its nepotism, pure and simple.

  3. John reid says:

    Wil Straw,asked me the other day would Simon Darvill stand, I said nah ,that’s nepotism, then I realised what I said

  4. Robert says:

    I’m afraid when you look back through history labour died about 1946 .Look today at the new election of a Labour MP, he is Progress, he is a Blair-ite and like Blair and Ball’s a Conservative, his first words today were about One nation and Disraeli.

    Kinnock who was my MP for years once said to me, if you were in my shoes Rob would you not want the best for your kids, and I said yes, but then again I’d have the decency to fund it from working, not pretending to be an labour socialist.

  5. Mickhall says:

    Public Schools are one of the bulwarks of the UK’s wretched class system which again and again benefits a minority at the expense of the Majority.

    These businesses may well help upper middle class louts get onto the gravy train, but produce a rounded individual they do not.

    No LP parliamentary candidate should be selected if their children attend public schools, the reasons are so obvious I don’t feel the need to trot them out..

    They can pretend to be as left wing as they like, but by sending the kids to a public school they are doing two things.

    1/ They see nothing wrong with these schools which in itself speaks volumes.

    2/ They are sending a loud and clear message to the ruling classes that when push comes to shove they are in their camp.

    The Kinnock’s have a history of this, when Neil toured the TV studios during the miners strike bad mouthing the national NUM leadership.

    Why anyone would wish to be represented by someone who can afford the Westminster Schools fees is a mystery to me. For they have about as much understanding of how we live as Clegg and Cameron.

  6. Daniel Potts says:

    As a strong Labour member I am getting so fed up of the disunity this party has, instead of tearing chunks out of each other lets be glad our party attracts and represents such a diverse range of people and get on with electing the best candidate for Aberavon. Our anger and attacks should be saved for the Tories who are ruining this country. How can we hope to unite a country behind us if we cannot even unite our own party.

    Rather than just believing everything someone angrily posts online, I actually went and researched this, because I care who is elected in my seat enough to do so. SO lets get some facts into this debate.

    1) Danish Schools and UK schools cannot be compared, it’s like apples and pears. In Denmark there are some schools that provide specialist teaching for high ability children, and in order to enable them to provide that they make a nominal charge of about £100 a month, so we’re not talking about Eaton, Harrow, or even a school down the road like St Claire’s.

    2) As the fees paid are so small that the school clearly is not funded in any way by them, these schools are 99% funded by the state. They are therefore more state schools than private, even more so than an ordinary Catholic school in our area like St Joeseph’s would be.

    3) There are one or two fully-fledged private schools in Copenhagen, that charge big fees and are nothing to do with the state, but they are few and far between. And NOBODY is saying that his kids went to one of these.

    Can we please now start focusing on the job of electing a really good MP for Aberavon. Someone who can bring desperately needed jobs and investment to the area. Someone who will be an active local campaigner and a strong national voice. Lets stop this horrible infighting, we’re just doing the Tories job for them.

  7. Mickhall says:

    Daniel

    The problem with the LP today is it does not attracts diverse range of people to become Labour candidates, you really do need to look at the background of Labour MP’s. There are hardly any who worked on the tools (manual labour) before becoming an MP, with the majority coming from the middle class professions, the rest are apparatchiks.

    It is a national scandal that 35% of MPs have been privately educated while only 7% of the school age population attend private schools. 31% went to Oxbridge, that is just two universities, while only 9% of the currently sitting Labour MP’s coming from the working class.

    How can we have a representative democracy when the 50% plus who claim to be working class are so scandalously unrepresented in Parliament.

    Now is the time to debate this, as candidates for the 2015 election are being selected, and the last thing British democracy needs is another shed load of rich kids. That has always been the Tory way but now it is also the LPs.

    The only way to solve this problem is positive discrimination in favor of Working class candidates, you have them for women and now we need them for working class people. It is not as if all those nice middle class boys have even done a good job over the last three decades, now is it.

    I note you do not deal with the issue you use the old chestnut of splitting the party. Much the same when women were fighting for the vote and black people for civil rights, I despair sometimes.

    There is more on this subject here.

    http://www.organizedrage.com/2012/10/affirmative-action-is-only-way-to-get.html

    The LP is either a progressive party which attract all classes or it is not, and at the moment it is not.

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