Free for all?

The pressure on the Conservatives has been to present a clear vision of themselves to the electorate. George Osborne has done his bit with a brave speech on public spending that he reckons “will make him the most unpopular man in the country”.

But not all the Shadow Cabinet has been as clear. In a well-received speech, Michael Gove has promised greater freedom to all schools. He also promised to change legislation to make it easier for new schools to be created.

But his free-market vision was conflicted. As Gary Eason has pointed out, Gove made it clear that he would be telling schools what they must teach. He promised that the curriculum would include what he called “the proper narrative of British history”.

So the obvious question is: how serious is Gove about local freedom?