Ed Miliband, as we all know, went to a comprehensive. This, apparently, sets him apart from the rest because it wasn’t one of those fee-paying, posh boy schools where privilege abounds and who you know is more important that what you know.
Except he did. Because that comprehensive school was in Primrose Hill, and you need only look at the area and its alumnus to see it’s not quite what he wants us to think.
Now I like Ed; he’s a personable guy who is easy to talk to and I do believe he wants to make the difference he says he does. But he’s fallen into the trap of patronising all those he seeks to win over. Because this “see, I’m just like you!” attitude is, quite frankly, bollocks.
Because it’s not the school that’s important, it’s the person who goes to that school; the kid whose parents are unemployed; the one who falls in with a bad crowd; the one whose learning difficulties go unaided because the school hasn’t the resources.
When people say they want more people ‘like us’ in Government, they mean those who have experienced hardships – who went to a rough school, who built a business up from scratch, who – yes – spent a decade working in a trade union.
It’s not quite as simple as saying comprehensive students are normal, people who ride horses are posh – that’s the binary of Westminster, not the working world.
Of course, it’s not just Ed who falls into this trap, but a myriad of others who seem to think their Westminster intelligentsia bubble know all -maybe they read it in a book once, or even wrote one.
Ed Miliband doesn’t need to differentiate in this way. Nobody does.
The choices of your parents are not the ones that make a difference, it’s the choices you make after that determine the type of person you are.
The colour of your school blazer tells me nothing about you, but the policies you choose to push do.
Whatever happened to policy not personality?