ON and on it goes, never-ending. You wonder just how many times newspaper reports, television bulletins and Labour party political broadcasts are going to remind us that the Miliband brothers went to school at Haverstock. The ‘Labour’s Eton’ features have been filed several times over, the rest of the famous alumi such N-Dubz and footballer John Barnes and Joe Cole have been solidly researched.
Nevertheless, this weekend’s Mail On Sunday was back on the Miliband link, revealing Ed’s latest filmed message to the nation will centre on his comprehensive, rough and tumble education, as a deliberate contrast to the private school fixtures in the current government cabinet. It sounds a tad cringey and the idea of the film, to be broadcast on Wednesday to coincide with Labour’s conference, has already been ranked as iffy by some well known commentators.
Does Labour really want to play this mad game? Ed M went to comprehensive. So did many us. His was between Hampstead and Primrose Hill.
— Iain Martin (@iainmartin1) September 30, 2012
This tweet led ITV’s political correspondent Chris Ship to joke:
@iainmartin1 Yes I imagine hard times at a Primrose Hill comp is being unable to replace the Volvo every three years!!
— Chris Ship (@chrisshipitv) September 30, 2012
But we do not need to imagine what life at Haverstock, which is actually only on the fringes of Primrose Hill, was like. Ed Miliband should simply get X-Factor judge Tulisa, another former Haverstock student, to testify about the school he had to rough it up in as a teenager. In her new book, Honest My Story So Far, the singer writes about her time at the school, which it should be pointed out had not been rebuilt and improved back then:
A lot of kids at Haverstock were [sexually active] by the time they were twelve or thirteen years old. I was actually one of the few girls in my group who wasn’t having sex. Even though I was only 14 when I lost my virginity, pretty much everyone I knew had lost theirs a year or so before.
I’d suddenly gone from a strict Catholic school where everyone did as they were told to a place where mayhem ruled. Nobody listened to a word the teachers said, no one did any work, there were police cars outside the school every other day. There were kids puffing weed all over the school ground. It was more like some crazy play centre than a school.
Further paragraphs make no mention of Volvo woes.