Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Labour short of capable English MPs?

One wonders why Labour had to wheel out Geraint Davies (Swansea West) and Fiona MacTaggart (a Scottish member) yesterday to ask questions of Michael Gove about his statement on education policy, which applied only to England. Gove's replies to other members were consistently courteous and ecumenical, but, no doubt recognising political opportunism when he saw it, treated Davies rather differently:

Geraint Davies (Swansea West) (Lab/Co-op): Does the Secretary of State agree that his education policy-along with what will happen on Wednesday-consists of cutting overall resources for state education by between a quarter and a third and redirecting what is left away from disadvantaged areas and failing schools towards leafy suburbs and extra schools in middle-class areas? How can that possibly be construed as fair?
Michael Gove: The short answer to the hon. Gentleman's question is no. The slightly longer answer is that he could not be more wrong. The figures that he quotes and the dynamic that he invokes are utterly wrong. We will not be cutting in the way that he mentions; we will be increasing spending on schools. More than that, we will be targeting spending more effectively on the very poorest. I know that it is difficult for him to cope with, but the Government whom he supported from the Back Benches, before he lost his seat and came back representing somewhere else, presided over a growth in inequality and a freezing of social mobility. If he is committed to advancing the education of the very poorest, he should make another journey, like the one he made from Croydon to Swansea, from the Opposition Benches to the Government Benches on the side of social justice.

No comments: