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  1. Politics
18 May 2007

Don’t you love the Tories?

Brady's bunch of fives and other matters...

By Ben Davies

Well ok maybe not but they can be quite entertaining when they’re not in power. This week I heard David ‘Two Brains’ Willetts on the radio carrying on about how he didn’t like grammar schools.

“We just have to recognise that there is overwhelming evidence that such academic selection entrenches advantage, it does not spread it,” he said.

Now the nation may have marvelled at this penetrating analysis but, frankly, it left me puzzled. After all, isn’t the whole point of the Tory Party to entrench privilege (and protect the empire)? It’s what makes them get out of bed in the morning.

Anyway I rang up Graham Brady. He’s a Conservative frontbencher who got involved in politics because he passionately supports Grammar Schools.

What did he think of Clever Dave’s comments? Well obviously he wasn’t going to slag off an esteemed colleague but he did offer to write me a piece.

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In it he stated: “Those who argue that grammar schools are somehow irrelevant to the debate would do well to come and examine the way selection works for all pupils, across the board, in Trafford.”

You can just imagine Lexus Dave and his fellow Mod Cons heading north to have a look…

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Anyway a lot of fun was had with this article elsewhere in the media with big pick-up in the nationals, Brady on the Today programme the next day and so on. Strange moment for Cameron’s lot to pick fight with their rather traditional membership…

Pushing on, this week we also invited John McDonnell to set out why he and not Gordon Brown should run dear old Blighty. As we all now know his bid for power was doomed to failure – he couldn’t get the nominations to get his leadership bid underway.

I was quite amused by one of the comments under the article which read: ‘I want to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony but, a bit like John McDonnell, I haven’t costed my plan so no-one takes it seriously!’