So the spin the tamely briefed regurgitated didn’t matter. Nor did the more-than-slightly rickety select committee vote. And of course what the Prime Minister assured the self-doping didn’t amount to anything either: Les Ebdon’s to get his hands on middle class kids. No doubt the vicious, one-sided bile ‘friends of Michael’ are pouring on Vince Cable will distractingly continue, but let’s not let it obscure the reality of the situation – this is what coalition means. The Lib Dems get to get what’s theirs. Being in office, and in power, gives them the quota of plums they’re entitled to. If that’s foisting Ebdon and his ilk on world class British universities, struggling to make good the detritus of our secondary state education system, “so what?” is the unvoiced shrug of the honest ‘Roon. What do they care that Ebdon is odds on still to be in place long after this miserable government has faded away? Their kids, their well-educated kids will always have, oh, Columbia if there’s a problem here in 15 or 20 years’ time (and what ho, they’ll doubtless be able to afford US private university fees too – such luck).
Tories whining about the unfairness – real, foolish, profoundly damaging, needless and now set to be long lasting – that an Ebdon can inflict on our education system are obviously right. Where they’re so very wrong is if they’re also those Tories who supported the creation of the Coalition, and continue to support its maintenance today. The price we pay for the enhancements Dave, George and Michael are currently making to the CVs they will subsequently present to the Carlyle Group, UBS and Halliburton becomes ever steeper.