[David Cameron's] plan to create a new wave of comprehensives, existing outside local authority control, was attacked.Schools minister Jim Knight called it an "unregulated free-for-all." (BBC)Yes! That's the whole point! It is a free-for-all. Celebrate it! Set parents and schools free to educate their children properly!The Schools Minister, typically for a politician in general and a Labour one in particular, is a control freak. He needs to have everything under his thumb, run from Whitehall . David Cameron is proposing that this monopoly of provision be broken up and fresh blood be brought in to run Britain's schools, all the while maintaining funding from the state. In fact, he is also proposing a pupil premium for children from disadvantaged backgrounds , to help and encourage schools with those children and to fund the kind of special help that they often need.Now, I strongly prefer the Liberal Democrat approach, where national policy is to devolve education down to local councils, and then the desire is that local policy should be to devolve power down to headteachers and parents, and to allow outside institutions to found new, independently-run and state-funded schools . However, the Tories are simply more likely to get elected, and so we take our breaks where we can get them. Education is one area where the Conservatives are more nearly right than Labour, and Jim Knight ably demonstrates why the Government just does not get it. Freedom is scary for government ministers, who think that they can solve the world's problems, but it is exciting for the rest of us. Bring it on. Yes, Minister fans will note that those two objects are mutually exclusive.
 Originally a Liberal Democrat policy, folks. This is why, even if they never get into government, they are a good force to have around: they can produce innovative policy proposals which eventually get picked up by one of the main parties.
 On which, watch this speech by David Laws at last year's LibDem party conference.