Francis Beckett

A socialist supporting Tory government public sector cuts?  Sounds against nature. But if the rumours that George Osborne intends to take on the Training and Development Agency for Schools are true, I'll happily hold his coat and cheer him on.

An old friend who knows what he's talking about warns me against sympathising with David Triesman.

I ask this question because, years ago when he was a trade union official, I had a pleasant lunch with Triesman.  Pleasant, that is, except that he would go on about how close he was to Labour's new leader, Tony Blair.

That night I had a drink with a mutual friend, a woman, and asked if if Triesman really was that close to the next Prime Minister.  She said: "I love David very much, but he has a very rich fantasy life."

And that's that.  Except for one thing.

I've known David Triesman, on and off, for thirty years or more.  He's personable and likeable in public, and indiscreet in private.

It seems clear that Education Secretary Michael Gove has beaten the Liberal Democrats hands down.  Whatever else the Tories don't get, they are on course to get a massive expansion of privatised schools. 

Those of us who think we ought to elect the people who run our schools should be signing up straight away to Fiona Millar's campaign for accountable schools.

It always troubles me when I catch myself agreeing with former Daily Telegraph editor Charles Moore. 

Watching Adam Boulton’s scrap with Alastair Campbell, I remembered my extraordinary visit to London Broadcasting a few weeks back, to be interviewed by a young woman called Petrie Hosken, who beats even Adam Boulton for self-regarding pomposity.

I heard about Gordon Brown’s resignation on my way to a Russian-organised concert at the Albert Hall to mark the 65th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe. 

Tory education spokesman Michael Gove is a class act.  He is fluent, clever, humourous, and I enjoy our email banter enormously.

But Michael Gove as educations secretary will be poison to state schools.

So the Anti-Academies Alliance has today pleaded with Nick Clegg not to allow it to happen.

Gordon Brown is a strange man. Everyone says so.  Blairites say it with rolling eyes, significantly tapping the sides of their elegantly coiffured heads.  Brownites say it with the sort of admiration that often comes close to despair. 

The despair comes from the strangest thing about him: that the charismatic radical he can be – the man I interviewed for my Brown biography early in 2007, a month before he became Prime Minister - is a man whom, most of the time, he feels he has to hide.