Lib Dems sound thirty years out of date

25th May 2001 at 01:00
The Spectator

Listening to education questions in the Commons, the full force of the Liberal Democrats' commitment to the producer rather than the consumer interest has been brought home to me. They have sounded like the parliamentary wing of the National Union of Teachers. Their vehemence aganst the idea that teachers' pay should be performance-related is startling; I am still not sure that the party has been won over to the idea of national tests or league tables. It sometimes sounds as though almost the whole of the 1980s and 1990s have passed them by.

Matthew Parris

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today