Back to Francis Maude on communities. I’m taking him as I have to as representing Tory opinion.
There’s the irony at the core of Maude’s argument that the one area where local government has a key role, education, the Tories want to take away and vest in parents and parent-launched new schools. I’ve argued before against the absurdities of parent-launched schools, reflecting as they will they views of small groups who will require huge amounts of central government time, and be beholden to central government, so what we have is a centrally-driven not a local scheme. Local government, if well run, is at the right level for education policy, local but not too local, centralising but not too much so. The focus should be on improving local government, a big and not an easy task, but we hear nothing of this. It would not be fashionable.