Every time I hear a top private school head teacher banging on about the superior ethos of a public school education, the lyric of Only Fools and Horses about "No VAT" comes to mind.
Private school exemption from VAT for school fees is an unjust tax benefit arising from their charitable status.
Lord Hutton's recent report on pensions found that 1,421 private schools got state handouts and the Times Educational Supplement reported him as saying it was "undesirable" for this subsidy to continue.
When state spending on education is in real-terms decline, Labour must go into the next election with a clear pledge to end these unjust subsidies.
Things are so bad in the ward I represent that 9 per cent of primary pupils have to travel two miles or more past full schools to get to theirs.
For some parents this means travelling for over four hours a day getting three buses. Children travel for free but the parent has to pay - a large amount of money for those on modest incomes.
A clear manifesto commitment to introduce VAT on school fees, beginning with reception classes at a special rate of 1 per cent rising year by year to cover all pupils and reach 20 per cent, would be fair and a vote-winner.
Activists have had some success gathering outside Starbucks over fair taxes. Perhaps socialists should follow their lead and protest outside private schools to persuade them to pay their fair share towards supporting state education.