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Anorak | Katie Price and Arabella Weir – the rich and connected love the State school zoo

Katie Price and Arabella Weir – the rich and connected love the State school zoo

by | 26th, February 2012

KATIE Price tells Sun readers in her new column – title: Kids need love…not posh school” –  that her kidzzzzz Peter Andre Junior and Princess TenaLadyMee (aka Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball – the growing pains years) go to state school and: “I don’t spoil my kids because I don’t them them to be different.”

Begging the question: So. Why do you spoil your kids, then?

Are these the same children seen with Katie and husband Peter in OK! photoshoots, who feature in public rows between the divorced parents, and who star in fly-in-the Touche Eclat reality TV shows? Is media exposure the norm?

This is Katie Price who told us:

I’m not really a big spender. My cars cost money and my horses cost money, but I don’t go and buy designer clothes every day of the week. I’d rather buy a nice horse than waste it on an outfit. I spend a lot on my kids, but myself? Not really.

What does she spend money on?

My hair extensions. I have them done every three months and it costs six grand each time. I’ve been doing that for 12 years, so you work it out (it’s £288,000).

What’s been her worst buy?

Ferraris. Mine always break down and I can’t fit my shopping in them.

What about the house?

I’ve got 52 acres. No one can see in there. I’ve got a nice long driveway. The kids love it – they’ve got quad bikes, their little motocross, they can play outside; it’s safe.

In 2011:

She tweeted: “My gorgeous boy turns 6 today – he is going to LOVE his birthday presents and cake… and 1 big present he won’t expect! (sic)” Katie reportedly opted for the £1,200 present after enquiring about buying Junior a quad bike, only to be told they were unsafe for children.

So. Minted Katie makes a big deal about sending her children to State school because it allows her “kids to mix with all sorts of people from all walks of life“.

It’s all reminiscent of Arabella Weir, the connected,white, upper class TV personality who told Guardian readers:

When it was our turn to decide, my husband and I were in the happy financial position of being able to consider private schools. We did not contemplate that option for long. Neither of us was educated privately and most of the least socially and emotionally capable people I know went to posh schools. For us, then, it was a choice between the two local state primaries equidistant from our house. One is regarded as the Shangri-la of primaries, principally because it has an extraordinarily low number of disadvantaged kids despite being opposite a massive council estate. The other is much more representative of the area’s demographic. We chose the latter because we liked the school and because it felt like the right thing to do…

When my parents moved to London in the early 1960s, they were advised by their Oxbridge-educated peers against buying their Camden house because “people like us” didn’t buy houses near council estates. That sentiment is laughable now, for many reasons, the main being the property prices in inner London (their house is now worth more than 200 times what they paid for it), but the underlying attitudes are still very much the same. For all their social consciences, eco credentials and liberal leanings, very many middle-class white people, especially in London, do not want their kids going to school with those from working-class, lower-income and immigrant families – the kids who live on the estates surrounding their houses…

There is so much that is positive, wonderful even, about state schools. At a state school your kids will learn to live alongside and appreciate other kids from many diverse and different cultures…They will learn street sense, who to be wary of, who to avoid, how to keep their heads down and how and when to stand up for themselves. They will learn to make room for people of different abilities…

I know a lot of people fear the rougher types who might be at a state school, but surely it is better to know who they are and how to deal with them than for that kind of child to appear as a completely different species to yours…

My 10-year-old daughter now walks home from school alone with a classmate. They walk through several council estates without even thinking about it… My children know that they have much more than a lot of their peers, but, crucially, they do not see that as making them better than them. If my experiences are anything to go by, then rejection of the state system stems from fear – fear of the unknown and, more specifically, fear of contamination, of our kids being altered by the “different” ways of people not like us. Unappealing as it may be to acknowledge, the wish to keep our children in the social equivalent of an armed, gated community is very strong….

I will be honest – it is more cosy knowing that all your fellow parents have access to, and funds for, three foreign holidays a year, organic food, and Mini Boden clothes. But, really, what has cosy got to do with the price of eggs? Sending your child to a state school does not mean you have to give up your lifestyle. It means accepting that it takes all sorts to make up a fair society. More importantly, it means you are taking part, as a responsible citizen, in helping raise the bar for everyone while making room for others with fewer opportunities – nothing more, nothing less.

It was not work of parody.

Arabella Weir and Katie Price are peas in a gilded pod.

In 2005, Weir told Times readers:

MY LAST holiday was to the English seaside, with the children — not my idea of a relaxing break, sitting on a beach, wrapped up in a blanket, under a tent, and having to cook every day in a tiny cottage that costs three times as much to rent as a palace in Italy would. But the children loved it…

The area is very beautiful, with a long, sandy, dune- backed beach facing across the Camel Estuary to another long, sandy, dune-backed beach. This makes it very popular with people called Tig-Tig and Nogsy, whose husbands wear casual rugby shirts and romp around the beach with chocolate labradors and flaxen-haired children.

People like…Arabella.

My ideal holiday with the children is one that I have every May, with my sister, three girlfriends, their children, my mother and two other grandmothers. We stay in the only five flats on a beach south of Nijar in Andalusia…

I remember going into an incredibly swishy restaurant in Rome, when Isabella was four months old, and these two gorgeous men in Armani suits were falling over themselves to look after her, while I enjoyed my lunch…

My parents split up when I was about nine, and I went to live with my dad, who was a diplomat, in Bahrain. Because he was effectively a single parent, he had to take me with him on his missions. We had some wonderful trips to places such as Beirut, Oman and Istanbul. There was one occasion when we travelled to the compound of Sheikh Zaid, in the desert in Abu Dhabi, and had a feast with all his sons, relatives and henchmen.

This is Weir who:

At one point with Isabella approaching her second birthday and Weir’s second child, Archie, just five months old, she had two nannies, one looking after Isabella in London, the other on tour with herself and her baby son.

In 2010, Katie Price:

Peter Andre is not at all happy with his ex-wife Katie Price after he found out she left their kids with nannies whilst she jetted off for a photoshoot.

Arabella Weir is the diplomat’s daughter who boasted about sending her children to hang with the poorer kids in North London and invited the kids’ godfather David ‘Dr Who’ Tennant to open a fun day.

Weir, like Price, does not have to scrimp and save to send their children to independent schools so that they can maybe meet the rich and famous and get a job that pays enough to fund expensive holidays and expensive homes. For them, State school is a zoo, a glimpse of life outside the elite’s Tardis…



Posted: 26th, February 2012 | In: Celebrities Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink