A Pan African Human Rights Organisation challenging the misrepresentation of African people, culture and history in the British media.
Wed 29 October 2003
When the going gets tough… run?
Hackney Labour MP Diane Abbott this week came under fire for choosing to send her son to the exclusive City of London School at a cost of £10,000 per year.
Submitted By: Ligali Media Network
While some have suggested that as a mother, she is entitled to do the best she for her child she has also established herself as a hypocrite for condemning other MP’s who have previously done the same thing by opting to 'buy' their children out of the system.
Ms Abbott, who currently refuses to comment on the subject, once criticised Labour colleague - now Solicitor-General - Ms Harman, for sending her son to a selective school in Orpington, Kent. Ms Abbott said: "She made the Labour Party look as if we do one thing and say another." (Click here for the full story)
Ms Abbott’s 12 year old son also entered the debate when he called in to LBC radio; 'My Mum didn't force me to go to private school, I took the test for the schools I wanted to go to, and I chose the school I wanted to go to'.
So now we have children fighting their parent’s battles.
As a Hackney resident, I (Toyin) feel that her actions have sent a disheartening message to her constituents. As a parent who strongly believes in working with and developing his local community, I feel she had the perfect opportunity to experience what other Hackney parents have been experiencing for decades and subsequently to make real and effective changes in Hackney state schools. If Ms Abbott was not satisfied with the results produced by these schools, surely she should become more involved in her local schools, maybe even becoming a parent governor. Not only would this have given her first hand experience of the very issues she claims to be an expert on, but it would also have given her the opportunity to encourage and empower other Hackney parents to take the fight for quality education right to the heart of the educational institutions. Her actions have shown that she sees this as too tough and hopeless a task.
Diane Abbott's choice to take advantage of the financial advantage she gained as an elected MP means that she is now betraying the very people who believed she would represent their concerns with integrity. What is the point of holding annual conferences on the state of London Schools if there is little positive action resulting from them? With Trevor Philips in one breath stating that private education is a growing option for a significant number of African British parents, yet in another acknowledging that African Britons are still paid less in the workforce, we have to question what exactly is the message our 'affluent' African British government employees are selling us?
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