Biting the hand that feeds: Cameron attacks the Tory press over ‘private school’ story

david-cameron3-696x393Let us be clear from the outset: David Cameron is a perversely-rich toff, so of course he is going to send his children to private schools including Eton, and probably to Oxford thereafter.

There are no real privacy implications in reports speculating about which of these schools the youngsters will attend – they take the sons and daughters of the rich and famous so of course they should have privacy policies in place.

No, the concerns raised by ‘Downing Street officials’ are a screen.

The real issue is how it plays to the plebs.

It’s about the state-controlled education service, and the fact that Cameron is happy for his government (past and present) to tinker with it – but would not be happy for it to educate his children.

What does that tell us about what Cameron has done to state-run education?

Consider the changes that have been brought in – the rise of privately-run academies and free schools that are not overseen by local authorities and whose owners have been continually at odds with schools inspectors over the poor quality of the service they have provided. These were Conservative changes that the Tories insisted were good for education.

But they won’t subject their own children to that system.

Cameron wants this story killed because it represents a public relations disaster for him; he won’t use schools that have been affected by his own education policies.

And he knows that, if the fact is publicised, he is setting a poor example for all to see.

Meanwhile, the Tory Press has a right to feel slighted.

After all the work done by papers like the Mail, getting the Tories into office and publishing stories that set the Conservative Government in a favourable light, suddenly David Cameron is complaining about a piece that they would have seen as entirely within the public interest, for the reasons set out above.

He needs to watch out. He could not have got where he is without a huge amount of help from these opinion-formers.

If he bites the hand that feeds him too often, it will turn away and feed someone else.

Downing Street has complained to the press regulator about news articles reporting that David Cameron might send his son to a private school.

A complaint was made to the Independent Press Standards Organisation by officials at Number 10 following a flurry of media interest in the politically-charged decision.

A report that Mr Cameron might send his nine-year-old son Elwen to Colet Court, widely regarded as a “feeder school” to Eton, originally appeared in the Mail on Sunday newspaper this weekend.

The paper reported that the £18,000 a year school was being eyed by the Prime Minister despite previous comments that spending a lot of money on private schools was “crazy”.

The news story was subsequently followed up by a variety of news outlets.

Downing Street officials said [there was concern] about further coverage of the issue and the privacy implications for the PM’s children.

Source: David Cameron complains to press regulator over reports he’s sending son to private school | UK Politics | News | The Independent

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16 thoughts on “Biting the hand that feeds: Cameron attacks the Tory press over ‘private school’ story

  1. NMac

    Will his children be capable enough of earning a place at Oxford, or will they, like the Windsors, be given places at prestigious Universities because of who their parents are and the fact that they are the offspring of millionaires?

  2. Neilth

    I thought I saw in the Torygraph (I look at the headlines when I’m at the supermarket) that he was eying up St Pauls for the CaMoron scion. But more interestingly I thought I saw something about sending his daughter to a state school. If true does this indicate that he only values privileged education for his male offspring? The implications for his view of half the school age population are clear.

  3. Florence

    There speaks someone for who £18K pa in school fees is acceptable; he was obviously talking about schools with fees of £18K per term as being a lot of money. And as for “crazy”, well that explains the social misfits that these really expensive school pump out, if they get to run the country, you’d be “crazy” not to do it!.

  4. joanna

    Isn’t this the rich Low-Life who used his disabled son as a political tool, He also didn’t complain when the papers were reporting his negligence with his daughter.

  5. David

    The Attlee government, perhaps the best we’ve ever had, failed to grasp the public school nettle. To get a better education for all of our children and a fairer society, a government, one day, has to close some public schools and turn the others into comprehensives.

    Public schools put their students on a magic carpet to power, often without those students exhibiting any discernible abilities to the advantage of our country. Cameron, Osborne, Letwin all examples of unearned privilege. – no point in further extending this list of infamy.

    1. shaun

      David, could not agree more. These are the most socially divisive instructions any European nation has to live with. I believe it was one a very significant mistake not to have closed these institutions down in 1947, when their was the, and probably the only, possibility of getting it through Parliament and the House of Lords.

  6. amnesiaclinic

    Good article, Mike.

    People need to wake up to the hypocrisy of the tories – and the damage they have done to the education system.

    Once upon a time it was the best in the world until dirty politics entered with the Black papers. Now we have a report showing our undergraduates are the most illiterate in the western world and the clueless author blames it on ‘progressives’.

    No, it was destroyed by the tories in the 1980’s with the Black Papers.

    Deliberate dumbing down.

  7. James Taylor

    I was with him all the way, until he suggested that the Daily Mail may offer their support elsewhere unless Cam starts appreciating them. At that point, I realised this Journalist knows nothing about the Mail, their past or what they are likely to be in the future. If the Mail removed their support for the Tories, just who does he think they are going to support instead? They’d have nowhere to go now that the Nazi party is no more.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Oh, I know precisely what the Mail is. You should try reading this blog for a while before commenting out of ignorance.
      And, should the Mail ever give up on the Tories, there are plenty more fruitcake political organisations available.

Comments are closed.