Sunday, October 30, 2005

Those education reforms

Blair is making a big song and dance about his education reforms. In the Chamber this week Education Minister Ruth Kelly received cheers from the Conservatives and glum looks from her own side as she demanded more independence, discipline, parent power etc for state schools. It all sounds too good to be true, and it probably is. The real test is this. Will Labour MPs (and Prime Ministers) who profess undying love for the state education system be prepared to start educating their own offspring at local comprehensives? I very much doubt it but I would love to be proved wrong.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

MPs were young once

Conservative leadership contender David Cameron is quite right to refuse to say whether or not he took drugs at university. If he were to answer in the affirmative it would simply lead to a further barrage of questions on the lines of “what did you take”, “how often did you take them” etc etc until the only thing the public would know about Mr Cameron was that “he was the one who took drugs.”

It may come as a surprise to some, but MPs are no different from any other cross section of the general public. Many of them, (including, perhaps, David Cameron,) will have experimented with drugs at a younger age.

Personally I will not be voting for Mr Cameron, but my decision has got nothing to do with allegations about what he may or may not have got up to nearly 20 years ago, and if he is successful I doubt very whether the electorate will care come the next general election.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Right somebody mentioned council taxes. Thank you because I am getting a bit tired of talking about gypsy travellers. I was at the debate on council taxes which actually took place on Tuesday, as a result I missed most of the Conservative Party Conference which was a shame because this year was more interesting than usual.

The Conservative position on Council tax revaluation is that we would ideally support the reversal of re-banding which, as it has not gone ahead in England would be the fairest solution. We have been independently advised that this could raise some legal problems so until that has been clarified we will settle for a freeze at the levels being charged this year.

This would mean that nobody would go up by more than one band.