2 October 2012

Does Ed Milband have anything to gain by banging on about which school he went to?

Call me old fashioned, but I really don't get this "I went to an even more ordinary school than you did" stuff that we're being promised from the leader of the Labour Party in his speech later today.

Nor do I get why he's apparently going to tell us (yet again) the story of his parents' flight from the Nazis and their successful upwardly mobile life in Britain.

The point, Mr Miliband, is that none of us has any control over who our parents were, or where they came from or which school they decided to send us to when we were children - whether our surname happens to be Cameron, Clegg or Miliband.

Nor, dare I say it, is your attempt to affiliate with the ordinary very convincing when the school in question turns out to be Haverstock Comprehensive, which strikes me (who went to a prep school in Doncaster) as being rather close to a posh suburb called 'Hampstead'.

The embourgeoisment of the Labour Party may have become a source of embarrassment to all you MPs who've been parachuted into safe Northern seats. But is all this "more ordinary than thou" a sensible way to address the problem?

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