Lib Dems sound thirty years out of date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


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