Anyone would think that there’s an election or two in the offing by the way Nick Clegg and his pathetic cohorts are ‘positioning’ themselves.
After several attempts to persuade voters that ‘we’re part of the government, but we’re not the Tory party’ they seem to have finally found themselves an issue that might have some legs in it in the person of Michael Gove.
Now let me say straight away that I don’t consider Mr Gove to be one of my favourite cabinet ministers. Somehow whenever I think of him, he conjures up some kind of caricatured cartoon image in my head. He just doesn’t look right. A bit like William Hague in that famous baseball cap picture. But Mr Gove seems to be the Clegg target of choice at the moment.
The Lib Dems and Tories have previously clashed over the employment of classroom staff without formal teaching qualifications and Mr Gove’s decision not to re-appoint Labour peer Sally Morgan to watchdog Ofsted.
Now Mr Gove has been accused by Clegg of diverting millions of pounds away from creating school places in state schools to his favourite ‘pet project’ of free schools. He claims this will mean the loss of 30,000 local authority places.
This, of course, brings us to the thing that Lib Dems seems to be rather good at: plucking figures out of the air. This worked well for them when they were in opposition because they never had any chance of being in government and could say what they liked. Trouble is, they found themselves in power. Oh dear!
Clegg said Mr Gove was “ideologically obsessed” about backing free schools. Tory education sources called the Lib Dems “pathetic”, saying more school places were being created overall. And that’s the nub of it. The places will still be created. They’ll just be in a different system.
Basically, all this has nothing to do with the Lib Dem integrity about education. After all, who could forget their pledge not to introduce tuition fees? What is has to with is distancing themselves from the Tory party in the run up to elections.
Let’s face it, they’re facing consignment to the dustbin of political history which, in my humble opinion, is long overdue…