It is a cliché that Holland Park School – for which even the Guardian has used the description “the alma mater of the left-wing aristocracy” because it has been full of generations of Benns and Toynbees – is famously known as the “Socialist Eton”. The school is not like other state schools and allows progressive parents to maintain snob values without sending their children to a fee-paying school. Perfect you might think for the likes of the Bercows. In fact, Sally Bercow even got herself elected as one of the two-parent governors on the board.
She faced some criticism in 2018, perhaps not fully justified, over voting to authorise spending thousands on posh Jo Malone scented candles and Farrow & Ball paint. This is nothing to the muttering since in late 2019 her husband John Bercow got himself elected to be the other parent governor. Posh parents claim that he actually campaigned for the position, phoning around to solicit votes.
Guido is at a loss to understand why both Sally and John thought it a good idea to take all the elected parent governor positions on the board. There are obvious reasons why this is not a good idea to anybody with any self-awareness or understanding of the principles of good governance. Guido has heard muttering that they take stances that advance their own children’s interests.
There was nothing in the rules to prevent a couple from running for the two parent governor positions because no one conceived of that possibility. It has now dawned on the other governors that it is unlikely the Bercows will do the conventional thing and they don’t see how they can make a move without causing more trouble than it really is worth. As parliamentarians can attest, unseating a Bercow is not easy to do…