On the naughty step - Conduct that deserves a ticking off

25th January 2013 at 00:00

This week: Stephen Twigg

Now would seem to be a brilliant time to be the shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg. After all, the man with the actual job, Michael Gove, appears to be more unpopular with teachers than any minister in staffroom memory.

Meanwhile, polls indicate that the public has greater confidence in Labour's handling of education than they do in that of the Conservatives or Lib Dems. And Labour remains ahead in the opinion polls. Throw in the fact that Mr Twigg was a popular schools minister and you would expect him to have the education establishment eating out of his hand. All he needs to do is announce a policy that sets him apart from Mr Gove. But instead his new plan is - drum roll, please - more cadet forces in schools.

Seriously? That ancient chestnut? We've heard it umpteen times before: from Mr Gove, from Gordon Brown and from countless politicians over the decades. Why, TES was yawning at it when the Countess of Selborne suggested it in 1916. Aren't there more topical things the shadow minister could be recommending?

Mr Gove has been on the naughty step before, so it is with no political partiality that we instruct Mr Twigg to quick march his way there now. Lance Corporal Twigg, time to polish your boots - and your ideas.

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