Diane Abbott’s son

The wonderfully colourful (pun intended) and lively Diane Abbott, black left-wing Labour MP, has been liberally, or illiberally, reviled by the knee-jerk egalitarians for her courageous decision to send her son to a private, fee-paying school, because she has no confidence in the ability of the local state schools to give the boy the education he’s capable of, or to give him the confidence and aspirations necessary to head off his infection by the dreadful culture of very many black adolescents in inner-city and other urban areas, a culture which glorifies drugs, violence, anti-social attitudes and activities of every kind from vandalism to mugging, obsessive victim psychosis, corrosive self-pity tinged with reverse racism, and all the rest of the poisonous brew.  Of course other city teen-agers are vulnerable to the same infection, but Ms Abbott rightly points out that black youths are most seriously at risk.  Abbott acknowledges that her decision contradicts her previous protestations of support for state education, is at variance with her past criticisms of other Labour MPs who have made similar (and often considerably less controversial) decisions about their children’s education, lays her open to charges of hypocrisy and even treachery in betraying her and her party’s principles, and damages, perhaps irrevocably, her reputation for principled consistency.  "Diane Abbott disgraces Labour:  By opting to send her son to a private school, the Hackney MP has shown contempt for state education," proclaimed William Dyaz in The Observer, going on to threaten her:  "Diane Abbott’s decision to send her son to a private school has made me mad, so mad that only her de-selection as our candidate at the next general election will appease me."  With sympathetic comrades like that, who needs Tories?  Abbott disarmingly refuses to "defend the indefensible", saying only that she had to choose between her political reputation, perhaps even her career, and the interests of her son as she (almost certainly correctly) perceives them.  She’s confident that when she looks back in future years on the decision she has made, she won’t have any need to feel ashamed, or to avoid looking her son in the face.  E M Forster had something civilised to say on the same lines[1].  Diane’s a brave lady, and all genuine egalitarians should wish her well.