Saturday, January 28, 2006
Will Blair go for broke over Education?
My feelings are that-while he does indeed seem to be drawn to reckless projects- this will not be the political route he will follow over this hugely imnportant issue. The unspoken threat of a reshuffle reported by Philip Webster in today's Times, suggests he is closely in charge of the fight to win through with his plans for a new breed of 'trust schools', independent of local government control. In the same article we learn that Brown is working very constructively with Blair over this reform and that the report of the Education Select Committee which has recommended alternative approaches might offer opportunities for skilfully calibrated concessions. To rely on Conservative votes to win through would be a disaster, summoning up Labour folk memories of the hated Ramsay MacDonald, and rendering him politically impotent during a concluding period of his premiership during which he hopes to achieve so much of what so far has not been achieved. Blair is going to play the traditional political game and not go for broke. If he needs to compromise, he will.