Perhaps the Bilderberg conference has had a lasting effect on Parliament, after all. Today we saw what can only be a conspiracy between the Labour left and Michael Gove’s band of reforming right-wingers. As the Education Secretary unveiled his plans to reform GCSEs, he was accosted by Diane Abbott, rarely knowingly in agreement with much of what the Coalition is doing. But the Labour MP didn’t want to tell Gove he was wrong. She wanted to say he was right. She asked Gove whether he agreed that ‘an emphasis on rigorous qualifications and an emphasis on attaining core academic subjects is not, as is sometimes argued, contrary to the interests of working-class children, and black minority ethnic children?’
‘On the contrary, precisely if you are the first in your family to stay on past school leaving age, precisely because you don’t have parents to put in a word for you in a difficult job market, you need the assurance of rigorous qualifications, and, if at all possible, core academic qualifications.’
Abbott wasn’t the only one experiencing a strange conversion. ‘Mr Speaker, I’m in love!’ replied Gove, adding that he would have supported Abbott for leader of the Labour party if only he had been a member.
Anyone wanting a quick and easy bet could do worse than to put some money on CCHQ producing a line-to-take on this for Tory MPs as a sign that even Diane Abbott thinks Gove is right.
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