• Why the Tories need to review the teaching of History

    July 09, 2010 1:02 PM

    Anyone would have thought that Mr Gove was the first Secretary of State to have taken an axe to school building programmes. In the great devaluation crisis that played out during the final months of 1967 and early 1968, school building was savaged just as now, along with the raising of the school leaving age from 15 to 16. Here is what Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, said to the House of Commons on the 16th January 1968:
    31. Education. Next education, one of the biggest and most rapid

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  • Richard Grayson on the Liberal Democrat Journey

    July 09, 2010 12:55 PM

    Former Chair of the Social Liberal Forum Richard Grayson writes:
    Check out an e-pamphlet I have written called The Liberal Democrat Journey to a Lib-Con Coalition - and Where Next? which is published today by Compass. A shorter version of it is published in the New Statesman available from newstands in London today and everywhere else in the UK from tomorrow.
    The full pamphlet can be found on the

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  • How should Simon Hughes amend the budget?

    June 24, 2010 3:46 PM

    Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats Simon Hughes has announced an intention to amend the budget to promote fairness. He told the Guardian today that:
    When it comes to the Budget next week, we will vote for the budget. But if there are measures in the Finance Bill where we could improve fairness and make for a fairer Britain, then we will come forward with amendments to do that, because th

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  • Did the budget meet my tests?

    June 24, 2010 12:49 AM

    A brief note, reflecting on the criteria by which I proposed we should judge the budget, now it has sunk in:
    • What is the timescale? 5 years, so this is a clear Conservative victory. I am deeply concerned about this, possibly more than anything else, because I think it will damage growth over the next half decade (possibly plunging us back into recession) and thus prolong, not minimise, the pain.
    • What is the proportion of cuts to tax rises? I

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  • How should we evaluate the budget?

    June 22, 2010 12:26 AM

    Regardless of what Liberal Democrats might like the budget to be tomorrow, we always knew it was going to be a compromise between the Lib Dems and Conservatives in government. The Parliamentary arithmetic always meant that the Lib Dems' game plan in coalition was restraining the Tories rather than getting them to abandon their policies altogether. So the issue with the rumours and hints that have been flying around over the past few days is not that the party isn't winning the argument, but th

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  • Intergenerational equity and the perils of groupthink

    June 20, 2010 7:53 PM

    Crossposted from Quaequam Blog! As the implications of what it appears that the coalition is about to do in the upcoming budget sinks in, I have to admit to growing increasingly concerned. No-one - outside of the Labour leadership contest anyway - denies that the structural deficit needs to be tackled or that we don't face some unpleasant spending cuts over the next

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  • Gove a 'romantic idealist'?

    June 20, 2010 6:11 PM

    Plans for so-called ‘free schools’ announced by the Secretary of State recognise the need to improve the education for all pupils; harnessing the enthusiasm of new groups offers the chance to widen community involvement in education. But, like a 1960s child of the flower power revolution, Mr Gove seems more intent on letting a 1,000 flowers bloom than on ensuring a school system fit for purpose and offering value for money in a time of austerity. Schools in England have always been run by a di

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  • Autumn Conference motions 2 - feedback from comments so far

    June 19, 2010 1:07 PM

    Wordles aren't always as useful as they could be, but this summary of comments over the last few days about what topics the Social Liberal Forum should propose motions on at autumn conference seems quite clear: Wordle: SLF Autumn Confer

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  • What motions should we table to autumn conference?

    June 16, 2010 11:15 AM

    Crossposted from the Social Liberal Forum social network. The deadline for autumn conference motions is looming (30 June to be precise), so we don't have much time.  But what should the Social Liberal Forum be championing to get onto the agenda?  Here are some ideas:
    • Secondary education - academies and free schools in particular - appears to be a simmering

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