Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Morning Rant: Libdums, Hague on Schools and The BBC (Again)

Dad examines little Nick's report card
It was less than I'd hoped for but no more than I expected. The sight of wall to wall BBC coverage of the father-son Libdum, Clegg-Cable double act droning on and on about bad policies that will never be enacted (thankfully) or attacking other politicians from a position of, well, what? Total, unconvincing inexperience I would say. The sight of those two, with Clegg looking over at his dad every time he needed approval for something he said about banks or tax or bonuses or shares or whatever, was pathetic. The main point, though, is about the BBC (naturally). Why, exactly, has the BBC decided that every Libdum press conference and Q/A session has to be covered without interruption? They are the third party. What is more, this is the second day in a row our senses have been assaulted by the luminous, fried-egg colour wall and this pair of twits. For a third party, they get a heck of a lot of coverage from the Beeb. And none of the scrutiny (Paxman going easy on Clegg, for instance).

A little later, by contrast, I then had the sound of John Humphreys laying into William Hague about the Tories' excellent and intelligent, proven schools policy. Preferring the sound of his own voice to that of his guest's, especially if he's a Conservative, Humphreys repeated a phrase that I am sure I have heard Ed Ballsup, among other Labourists, use before, namely "a counsel of despair". How making it far easier for parents collectively to intervene in the education of their own children, and perhaps set up a legendary new institution for posterity as well, is quite beyond me, I'm afraid. Seems like the state grant they would receive to do it, in addition to the charitable donations and private funding, amounts to an absolute bargain. Everyone's a potential winner, most of all the children.

Yet Humphrey's pushed it for all he was worth, right up until Hague came up with his hilarious put-down that if state control of anything and everything, which is the position Humphreys appeared to have chosen to adopt - the Labour position - was such a perfect thing, then the Soviet Union would have been a spectacular success instead of the mother(land) of all trainwrecks, which clearly rattled the Humph judging by his response, which was blustery and weak.

I think this policy will resonate very widely and even excite a lot of people in this country, especially if people as good as Hague are making the philosophical case for it, but mainly because it's a damn good idea that, as Hague pointed out at the end, has a proven track record of success in the USA.

The Tories are winning the argument on education. The Libdums don't have an education policy. The BBC has just lost it.

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