|Dad examines little Nick's report card|
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.