Shami Chakrabarti

How ‘Hypocrite’ Lady Chakrabarti Failed School Test

By Miles Goslett | 5:19 am, October 12, 2016

Ever since Heat Street revealed in August that Labour peer Lady Chakrabarti accompanied her son to Eton College to sit its entrance exam, she has been under scrutiny over what kind of school the boy attends.

The Sunday Times found out the answer 10 days ago. Instead of going to Eton he is at (equally expensive) Dulwich College.

Chakrabarti has dealt with the fall-out from this appallingly. She has discredited herself when she could so easily have turned the situation to her advantage.

She shot herself in the foot three times. Firstly, she (or someone speaking for her) tried to blame the decision to send the boy to Dulwich on her ex-husband, making her appear weak; secondly she has criticised the idea of selective education, earning a reputation as a hypocrite; thirdly, she has opined that she lives in a big house and leads a “charmed life” when she needed to do no such thing.

Someone should have told Chakrabarti there was a straightforward – and honest – way of defending herself over the matter of her sons’s education while maintaining some self-respect.

Even if the comprehensive-educated peer is opposed to grammar schools, she lost the right to believe this, let alone discuss it on TV, when her son started attending Dulwich. (If she doesn’t realise this, she should not have been appointed shadow attorney general last week).

Why didn’t she just say that her hardworking and successful ex-husband is in the fortunate financial position of being able to pay for their son’s education – thereby saving the state from having to pick up the tab and ensuring that the state’s money can be spent on a child who really needs it.

This is unarguable. Surely only the most demented Leftie would want a rich man to cost the state money unnecessarily? Indeed, she could have further pointed out that her ex-husband was in effect shelling out for their son’s education twice because his £40,000 a year school fees are paid out of taxed income.

She could have then pitched herself against Tony Blair, David Cameron and Nick Clegg – three privately educated, well-off politicians who made so much noise about sending their children to state schools but in fact only did so on their terms. Each sent their offspring to selective state institutions many miles from where they live having snubbed the bog standard comprehensive options closer to home. In this respect, Chakrabarti could have said “At least I’m not a plastic politician, unlike those three.”

As for her living arrangements (she lives in a house worth, apparently, more than £2 million) why did she even introduce this to the argument when she appeared on TV at the weekend?

Chakrabarti now looks ridiculous. She’s on the ropes before her political career even gets going. The only way back is to take her son out of Dulwich College, send him to a comprehensive school, sell the £2 million house and live somewhere more modest. None of this is going to happen.

How is it that the new shadow attorney general – considered by so many to be so clever – failed this very simple test?