I would think that Nick and Miriam are deciding which is the best school for their son- not "shall we go Private or State?" They are also deciding someones life- not their own. They cannot say to their child in years to come"We could have sent you to what we thought was a better school, but it wasn't the right thing to do- politically". Mr Fawcett; I believe that the cycle of well off people buying a head start for their children is wrong, but I would not sacrifice my child's future trying to prove it-would you?
For pretty much the same reasons as those Stephen Tall has given, I think Nick T. is wrong about that. But I think Stephen too is wrong with his implication when he says:
Politics works when it is representative, when leaders understand the lives lived by those they seek to lead. If too many of our politicians become too detached from the grind of everyday reality — if they don’t use state schools or travel by bus or use the NHS — how can we hope they will come up with solutions that help the majority?
That’s because politicians deciding to spend money on trying to get the very best for their children isn’t being detached from the lives of those they seek to lead. It’s doing just what those they seek to lead do too. For the poorest of parents, it may be about scrapping together a few extra pence for a treat for their child. For the richest, it may be about expensive private schooling when faced with underwhelming state school options. Either way the motivation is the same – prioritising your children and doing what you can to help them.
That’s a shared emotion, playing out differently for people in different circumstances.
If a politician is a parent, I’d far rather they shared that emotional instinct than that they made it play second-fiddle to other considerations.