Opinionomics | 30 April 2012

Must-read comment and analysis. Examinations of the problems with austerity, youth unemployment, and

1. German Unions Seeking Higher Pay Could Save the Euro (Bloomberg View)

Simon Johnson points out that the intra-Europe rebalancing that many agree must occur for normality to resume could be greatly aided by unions – normally the scourge of neoclassical economic models.

2. Wasting Our Minds (New York Times)

Paul Krugman writes on the terrible wasted potential that results from things liek high youth unemployment.

3. The impact of fiscal austerity in the eurozone (Financial Times)

Martin Wolf repeats Krugman's examination from last week, and reaches the same conclusion: austerity is negatively correlated with growth.

4. Recovery ahoy? (Market Square)

Ian Mulheirn gives his two pence on the double-dip.

5. The facts aren't going the Coalition's way, so it has resorted to spin (Independent)

David Blanchflower assesses the coalition's job creation claims.

Danny Alexander leaves Downing Street. David Blanchflower wishes he would never come back. Photograph: Getty Images

Alex Hern is a technology reporter for the Guardian. He was formerly staff writer at the New Statesman. You should follow Alex on Twitter.

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Listen: Schools Minister Nick Gibb gets SATs question for 11-year-olds wrong

Exams put too much pressure on children. And on the politicians who insist they don't put too much pressure on children.

As we know from today's news of a primary school exams boycott, or "kids' strike", it's tough being a schoolchild in Britain today. But apparently it's also tough being a Schools Minister.

Nick Gibb, Minister of State at the Department for Education, failed a SATs grammar question for 11-year-olds on the BBC's World at One today. Having spent all morning defending the primary school exams system - criticised by tens of thousands of parents for putting too much pressure on young children - he fell victim to the very test that has come under fire.

Listen here:

Martha Kearney: Let me give you this sentence, “I went to the cinema after I’d eaten my dinner”. Is the word "after" there being used as a subordinating conjunction or as a preposition?

Nick Gibb: Well, it’s a proposition. “After” - it's...

MK: [Laughing]: I don’t think it is...

NG: “After” is a preposition, it can be used in some contexts as a, as a, word that coordinates a subclause, but this isn’t about me, Martha...

MK: No, I think, in this sentence it’s being used a subordinating conjunction!

NG: Fine. This isn’t about me. This is about ensuring that future generations of children, unlike me, incidentally, who was not taught grammar at primary school...

MK: Perhaps not!

NG: ...we need to make sure that future generations are taught grammar properly.

I'm a mole, innit.