Why Are Lying Parents Socially Acceptable?
Listening to Any Questions on BBC Radio 4 this week, I was surprised by the panellists’ response to a question from the audience about parents who lie on school application forms. It followed the case of Mrinal Patel, who was accused by her council of fraudulently filling in an application for an over-subscribed primary school.
The panel, comic Will Self, columnist Rod Liddle and a couple of historians, all seemed to approve of parents who are economical with the truth because any good parent will do anything for the kids. Since when has the responsibility to push your offspring further and higher trumped any objection to being a deceitful two-faced liar?
Desirable school places are a limited resource – it is a zero sum game. What one parents gains from underhand behaviour, another will lose from following the rules, and this is an objectionable and immoral position to take. Claiming to be doing it for your child is a cop out – next we’ll hear the great and the good on the wireless smugly claiming that they jump the queues at Tesco and Disneyland rides for the kids.