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Education

Tony Blair gave a press conference about his proposed education plans the other day. He said:

"Whenever I look at education, I speak as a parent first and as a politician second," he said.
Clearly, he should stop holding press conferences, and go down his local school's PTA meeting and talk rubbish there instead.

Actually, this is an instance where we'd rather he spoke as a politician.

He continues:

"I know what I wanted for my own children, what I want for my own children and that is what I expect other parents to want and our job should be to help them to get it, not to stand in the way of them and say we know better than you what's good for your child."
Since not everybody can have what they want, it seems like this is a not-very-well-disguised manifesto for all sorts of ghastly and regressive things. And he is on particularly shaky ground when he talks about what he expects of other parents.

However, you can always count on reliable alternative viewpoints from the Tories. Take Boris Johnson, who managed some fine words on academic freedoms:

"My instinct would be not to go round terminating Mickey Mouse courses... I don't think it's the business of government to weigh in and start saying this or that course must be struck off."
True as this may be, I think it overlooks the fact that such courses came to exist because of a very long line of governmental interventions (deliberate or otherwise). It seems like a funny thing to defend, when there are so many more worrying things happening in academia.