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He floats the idea of basing school classes on ability rather than age,

That's how they do it at Eton is it ?

JUst how does he think that will be implemented ? He may not realise it but we have PFI Academies and Beacon Schools and Catchment areas.............. this plan cannot work without busing and stripping off Sixth Forms.

Glib phrases do not get implemented.....and during 18 years in Govt the Tories did little but centralise power in Education for Labour

"Has some core Conservative beliefs..."

That's something to celebrate, I suppose.

All very interesting. One thing which could be a problem is

'Wants to establish a commission to investigate corruption in football.'

This could be an absolute pandoras box. If it goes like one one in italy and top clubs get relegated, there will be a lot of football fans upset with Dave. Never set up an enquiry unless you know the result in advance.

Tom Tom, I think Cameron's idea for school class setting could be very successful. You are too cynical and negative. Are you a Tory?

You know, some of the statements above put me in mind of something a great man once said to the House of Commons when faced with similar rancour:

"I am not one - and I should be the last - unduly to resent unfair criticism, or even fair criticism which is so much more searching. But there is a kind of criticism which is a little irritating.

It is like that of a bystander who, when he sees a team of horses dragging a heavy wagon painfully up a hill, cuts a switch from the fence and belabours them lustily."

I wish we had a bit less of that sort of criticism from fellow Conservatives on this forum.

Perdix, DC's idea is to have streaming (not setting, which is different).
Even better would be to bring back grant maintained schools - a conservative idea that really worked well for the c1100 schools that had opted to do so by the time the tories were ousted; that helped raise standards.
More grammar schools and easier access to them would also raise standards. Also there should be more interaction between state and private schools - particularly from comprehensives to independents at sixth form level, if the comprehensive hasn't got a strong sixth form.
Only able students should get into university; at the moment too many able pupils are being failed by the state and the universities are told to make allowances for them in the selection process. The educational system should be good enough not to make that necessary.

And comment of the day goes to, Andrew Kennedy.

I have a better idea than Cameron regarding education - give schools and other educational institutions full autonomy and let them decide how they want to run themselves. Then parents, pupils and students can choose what they think is best for them.

"They voted for change, I want to lead on my terms"

Does this sentence betray an inner authoritarian streak?!

It is not a good enough answer.

What is more ineresting to me than the content is the spin on the article from the sunday Times. As the editor points out the article was generally positve if, as one wuld expect of a sunday article, somewhat vaceous. But the headline and closing line were not, indeed were openly cynical.

Is this perhaps linked t earlier comments on Murdoch "not thinking much" of Cameron.

What deal has Murdoch stuck, or is in process of working out, with Brown?

"I have a better idea than Cameron regarding education - give schools and other educational institutions full autonomy and let them decide how they want to run themselves. Then parents, pupils and students can choose what they think is best for them."

You're stuck in the mud, rooted in the past, you need to move on and embrace change, *be* the change, etc etc.

It doesn't matter if your idea would work, it's just too *old*.

Tom Tom, I think Cameron's idea for school class setting could be very successful. You are too cynical and negative. Are you a Tory?

Posted by: Perdix | July 23, 2006 at 17:04

Ah...to "be a Tory" meaning unalloyed belief in half-baked ideas.............was it a condition of your membership Perdix ?

The idea is certainly half-baked and reflects someone unfamiliar with State education.......which is not something Conservative Front-Benchers have any experience of is it ?

Now Perdix - explain why you think this idea is a) practicable b) possible.

The teaching unions will prevent it and the fact that schools in certain catchment areas would not have a critical mass to stream..............you make it sound as if these schools are all drawing a homogenous product input................in some schools such streaming could be a death warrant for children who will be abused, beaten up, bullied, or knifed

Dave Cameron is now in Afghanistan. Does that not say that he is putting his money (and the risk of being shot at) where his mouth is?

If Cameron wanted full autonomy for schools he wouldnt have said "no more grammar schools". Demanding that something be implemented in full then contradicting it by adding a condition is not asking for it to be implemeneted in full. Similarly with the EPP...

Those in Kent who caught the Kent on Sunday would have seen the article about Francis Maude. Roger Gale is absolutely right and its about time somebody spoke up. Maude should go as he has no credibility anymore and his attempt to destroy Party democracy was a disgrace.

On the article here, I dispute the comment about his opposition. We helped get the ID Cards Bill through, we have given amendments to the Company Reform Bill (a record 1,200 amendments I understand...why bother going for amendments? Just oppose it) and the LLRB (which is the most poorly written pieces of legislation I have ever come across). In education we helped the Bill go through which now threatens our grammar schools... We dont want a fight on the economy, something Labour is ruining because Cameron is chicken and doesnt want to alienate anyone.

This is not opposition. Lets pick a fight with Labour and bring this bloody administration down. Stop treating Labour with kid gloves.

The article in the Sunday Times was amusing and well-written. I have to say that I thought Dave came over rather well (and I am a self-confessed Davis man). The only downsisde is that it absolutelt reinforces the fact the Conservative Party is in the hands of the true heir to Blair and real Conservatives can no longer call it home.

"Does your move to the centre imply you, not Gordon Brown, are the heir to Blair? "I find that impossible to answer", and later: "I will never be as good at attacking Blair as Brown is"."

Great substance. Sounds like one of those pointless soundbites that made up the majority of his response to the budget. A lot of those points were about Cameron having substance as well as style, but it never quite tells us what this substance IS exactly.

This part of the article made me laugh, when Cameron said:

"We have been marking off the non-electoral milestones on the march to power: Boris Johnson turning up on time, or that banker Russell Chambers that Tony Blair hangs around with asking me to lunch. But I have defined the ‘moment’ as Tina Brown telling George Osborne she would like to organise a dinner for me in New York.”

I'm sure all Tory members can rest easy at this thought. Think David has been reading a little bit to much of Philip Gould's 'Unfinished Revoultion'.

"The main points of Jasper Gerard's Sunday Times report on his time helicoptering around the country with David Cameron."

I find this particularly disappointing. After doing so much good work to promote green issues, why can't David Cameron lead by example instead of leaving himself open to accusations that his concern for the environment is little more than empty rhetoric?

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