Going to private school is a right, but like many other rights, not everyone is always in a position to exert it.
Some can afford to, some can't, but the right to pay for your child to go to the best school is fundamental to a modern, liberal society. It's the right to do your best, however unfair that may be to others.
For that reason, I wasn't in the least bit surprised to hear the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg say this week that he is considering sending his son Antonio to a private school.
Of course he is. He lives in London where many of the state schools are terrible and he's worried about what will happen if he sends his boy there.
That's pretty much why my parents sent me to a private school. Our local state secondary in Aberdeen was not very good so they decided a private school would be a better option, even though it meant they struggled financially. I've always appreciated them doing it, because they did the right thing for them, and for me.
And just think about the opposite scenario and how horrifying it is: the idea that you would send your child to a poor state school just because you believe in the principle of free education?
It isn't right to make your child suffer because you have a so-called principle; it's your children who need looked after, not your principles.
The Deputy PM would certainly seem to agree with this and at least he isn't taking the path of the middle-class coward and moving house to be nearer a better school. At least, as a liberal with an antipathy to telling people what to do, he is following an instinct to do the best for his son. At least, even if it is a little shamefacedly, he is doing his bit for the right to a private education.
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