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Frock coats and fracas

It doesn't take a historian of recent education policy to conclude that up until now the Labour Party's stance towards the reforms of England's education secretary Michael Gove has been characterised by a failure of imagination, energy and nerve. Tristram Hunt's appointment as shadow education secretary offers a major opportunity for Labour at last to begin to challenge Govian orthodoxy ("Celebrity historian and lecturer takes on toughest gig yet", 11 October).

Those of us who are opposed to the dismantling and semi-privatisation of the English education system and its headlong descent into the mid-20th century need to rally round and provide him with arguments from progressive politics.

Who knows? His next award-winning book might be an autobiography: The Frock-coated Socialist: the subversive life of Tristram Hunt.

Colin Richards, Spark Bridge, Cumbria.

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