Adonis is not a model adviser

14th November 2003 at 00:00
Your correspondent Max Morris would appear to have a rather simplistic perception of how our political party leaders receive advice on education policy (TES, October 24). The process is far more complex than just one individual advising either the Labour or Conservative party leaders.

His belief that Andrew Adonis (Labour) is talking-up a policy (school vouchers) which transcends the political party divide is good journalistic speculation (and entertaining) but unsubstantiated by historical scholarship.

I would like to remind him that the issue of school vouchers in England was first channelled into education debate via Edward West's book Education and the State and, later, by Arthur Seldon's The Riddle of the Voucher (1986).

And Mr Morris should note that Arthur Seldon is a liberal neo-classical economist very much in support of free-market forces operating in our national institutions (schools, social welfare services and health providers).

Dr Adonis is a conservative constitutional historian (by academic training) wholly unqualified in educational history and systems of thought related to the contemporary educational policy-making debate.

Dr Christopher Knight

Member

The Conservative political advisoryacademic liaison committee (The Carlton Club)

90 Crescent Drive

Orpington, Kent

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