From the archive - 19.09.1958

18th November 2011 at 00:00

No you didn't - Yes I did

"Five times as many schools have been built under the Conservative Government as under the Socialists, and more than twice as many school places have been provided."

This claim from the Conservative party statement Onward in Freedom illustrates why many people become disgusted with political parties and the quite unnecessary dishonesties with which they sustain their cases.

A child can see, when it comes to school building, that the Conservatives have been longer in power, and gained it when building had gathered momentum and was easier. Who would gather, moreover, when he reads "We must work to put an end ... to the all-age schools which deny a genuine secondary education" that the Conservatives were forced to slow down this very programme in 1956, causing much angry protest from local authorities?

On the whole they have a good record since 1951 - good enough not to require these unfair claims. Their initiative in the technical field has great future importance. They have enough fair arguments against Labour, as when the statement nicely says: "It would be utter folly to put all our eggs in one comprehensive basket, or to misshape education in order to reshape society."

There is no need for silly disputes about who did what when. That Labour juggles the figures in the same way is no excuse. If parties want the electorate to respect politics and politicians, they should stick to real arguments and stop faking it.

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