Over the weekend I took part in some discussions about Matt Damon’s choice to send his children to private school (shhh…i’ll get to the history in a minute).
Many people were dismayed at Damon because he advocates hard for US state schools (see below)
And there was a feeling that this sort of hypocrisy is typical among politicians:
No doubt many education Secretaries have put their children through private establishments while simultaneously advocating for state schools. But to think that all politicians are inevitably hypocritical is to be overly pessimistic.
Reading Quintin Hogg’s biography last week I was stunned by a story which showed a remarkable lack of hypocrisy. It went like this:
“I joined the army by the back door in September 1939, just after war was declared. I do not wish here to say anything of my military career, which was sufficiently undistinguished. But I do make the point in my own favour that, having voted for the war in Parliament, I showed my willingness from the first to expose myself in it in an infantry battalion, and not in an administrative job, and, in the event, I did, in fact, have the honour to lead an infantry platoon in a minor battle and numerous night patrols in the desert in the summer of 1941.”
That Hogg traded his comfy Commons position for the infantry is quite a remarkable act of courage and one that restores at least a little faith in politicians. Hogg also returned home from war to find his wife ‘not alone’ but instead ‘in the company of Charles de Gaulle’s ‘Head of Staff’. That story, however, is for another day….