Starmer’s attack on private schools now looks more reckless than ever

starmer’s attack on private schools now looks more reckless than ever

Starmer

Going to private school is good for your health. So says a vitally important new study led by researchers at University College London. In middle age, they found, people who were privately educated tend to be slimmer, and have lower blood pressure, than people who were state-educated.

Well, that clinches it. We’ve long said the Labour Party is mad to want to impose a 20 per cent tax on private schools. But now its plan looks even more misguided than ever. Because if, as Labour endlessly claims, it’s the party of Our NHS, it shouldn’t be trying to drive private schools out of business. Instead, it should be doing all it can to support them.

“Two thirds of adults in this country are overweight or obese,” Sir Keir Starmer should cry, in an impassioned speech to the electorate. “This shocking rise in obesity has put Our NHS under intolerable strain. And, quite clearly, there’s only one way to solve the crisis.

“We must send more of our children to private school, so that they grow up slim and healthy – and thus ease the pressure on our hard-working doctors and nurses.

“That’s why, as of today, we in the Labour Party are not only abandoning our hopelessly short-sighted plan to tax private schools. We’re actually going to grant them lavish new subsidies, so that more parents can afford to send their children there – rather than send them to state schools, where they risk becoming a burden on our beloved health service. Vote Labour for 50 per cent off next term’s fees!”

That, plainly, would be a far more sensible policy. Then again, even invoking Our NHS might not be enough to extinguish the Left’s burning hostility to private education. Many Conservatives call it “the politics of envy”, but I don’t think that’s right. The Left can’t possibly envy people who go to private school. After all, a great many on the Left went to private school themselves – including, funnily enough, almost a quarter of Sir Keir’s shadow cabinet. And, of course, a strikingly large number of Left-wing journalists, pundits and activists.

Does that make these people hypocrites? Actually, I don’t think it does. None of them chose to be sent to a private school – that decision was taken by their parents. All the same, I do think it’s a good rule in life to automatically disregard the political opinions of any Left-winger who was privately educated. This is because their worldview is invariably founded on, and hideously warped by, middle-class guilt and self-loathing. They utterly despise themselves for having benefitted from such privilege.

I do feel sorry for the poor things. Even so, I’m not convinced that their problems will be cured by taking out their anger on their alma maters. A course of therapy, I suspect, would be much more beneficial. In fact, if they agree to drop this nonsense about taxing private schools, I’m sure many of us would be happy to help pay for their treatment.

That, then, is a second good reason for Labour to ditch its pledge. But I can also offer a third – and, to Sir Keir, this one may well be the most appealing of the lot.

Many Labour Party members are still furious with their leader for what they see as his appallingly disrespectful treatment of Diane Abbott. He urgently needs a way to make amends. And luckily for him, I’ve got one.

He should say: “As everyone knows, the wonderful Diane Abbott sent her very own son to a private school. So, in her honour, I’m going to make sure that other parents can afford to do what she did.”

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