Andy Mayer gives something of the flavour of the Lib Dem manifesto conference:
An auditorium speaker repeated the mantra that people don't want choice they want a good local school and hospital. Half the audience cheered. Tom Papworth highlighted that, while that's right, the point is how you get those good schools and hospitals. Choice helps drive up standards faster than just voting out incumbent Councillors every four years. The other half of the audience cheered.Meanwhile, Jo Anglezarke is inspired by Nick Clegg's talk of Free Schools:
One school you should read about as truly Liberal, and one I am tempted to send my future children to is Summerhill School. It's a totally free school, where lessons are given, but only to children who have chosen to go to them. I have A.S. Neil's autobiography in my bookcase and have read it with fascination.I am delighted to see a Liberal Democrat supporting innovation and diversity in education. And there is certainly a role for schools like Summerhill.
It's a model school which gives children both choice and confidence.
But I wonder if this is the kind of establishment that inner-city parents from ethnic minorities, who are the people most likely to benefit from Free Schools, will have in mind.