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En av lederkandidatene for Labour, Diane Abbott, anklages for hykleri og rasisme etter at det ble kjent at hun har plassert sin sønn på en kostbar privatskole. Abbott, som tidligere har angrepet både Labour-statsminister Tony Blair og partikollega Harriet Harman for å sende sine barn til privatskoler, har nå pådratt seg kollegaers vrede ved å forsvare seg med uttalelser som fra flere hold blir karakterisert som rasistiske:

The Labour leadership contender defended her widely-criticised decision to send her son James to a £10,000-a-year school claiming: ‘West Indian mums go to the wall for their children’.

Miss Abbott risked fury among her white colleagues in the Labour party by saying they would ‘never understand’ the afro-Carribbean culture of parents wanting to do the best for their children.

The left-wing Labour MP, who once attacked Tony Blair and Harriet Harman for sending their children to selective state schools, has repeatedly come under fire from Labour colleagues and activists over the issue.

The Hackney North and Stoke Newington MP has in the past called her decision ‘indefensible’ and ‘intellectually incoherent’, but she yesterday insisted that her son would have been lost to the ‘world of gangs’.

In an interview with the Mirror, she said: ‘I knew what could happen to my son if he was sent to the wrong school and got in with the wrong crowd.

‘I realised they were subjected to peer­pressure and when that happens it’s very hard for a mother to save her son.

‘Once a black boy is lost to the world of gangs it’s very hard to get them back and I was genuinely very fearful of what could happen.’

I intervjuet angrep Abbott sine kritikere internt i Labour: – De forsto meg ikke. Jeg er en Vest-Indisk mor, og Vest-Indiske mødre vil gjøre alt for barna sine. Det er det mine ventreorienterte kollegaer aldri kan forstå. Når det kommer til stykket kommer jeg fra en kultur hvor du gjør alt du kan gjøre for barna dine:

‘It’s that kind of atavistic streak that we have. I can see them in the market on a Saturday morning. A kind of «touch my children and we’ll turn quite difficult».’

The Labour MP went on to claim that local black women had supported her decision and would stop her in the street to ‘shake my hand’.

She said: ‘It’s got me the most positive response from black women locally. Because ultimately in their eyes it’s about doing the right thing for their children.

‘That’s what some of my colleagues on the Left would never understand. In the end you’re coming from a culture where whatever you can do for your children you do.’

Kritikere mener at Abbotts kommentarer er en fornærmelse mot hvite familier, som f.eks. partikollega og tidligere skoleminister Ed Balls som har sendt sine tre barn på offentlige skoler.

Tidligere spesialrådgiver for Labour, Paul Richards, sier: – Dette er rent hykleri og en fornærmelse mot alle foreldre som er en del av det offentlige utdanningssystemet.

‘It is an aspiration for many working class parents to send their children to private school and it cuts across the racial divide. It doesn’t matter whether they are black or white.

‘The decision has nothing to do with race, it has to do with affluence. It is about the hypocrisy of wanting to draw down the education system while being rich enough to send your child to a private school.’

Laura Midgley fra Organisasjonen mot politisk korrekthet, legger til: – Hvis en hvit person hadde sagt det samme, ville Diane Abbott med rette rast over hvor hårreisende det var.

Alle foreldre fra alle kulturer forstår konseptet med å gjøre det beste for sine barn. Det er ekstraordinært at en som Diane Abbott, for hvem rasespørsmål har vært en stor sak i hele hennes liv, kan si slike ting».

Daily Mail: Diane Abbott plays race card to excuse her decision to send her son to private school