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.

All his talk about giving parents the right to set up schools is a smokescreen. The power will go, not to parents, but to a few big companies.

I listened the other day to him singing the praises of Knowledge Is Power, which runs schools are in the USA.

You can tell how good KIP is, he told us, from the hours children work in their schools. It’s 7.30 in the morning until five at night, Monday to Friday, and four hours on Saturday.

Teachers are on call 24/7 and all pupils have all teachers’ mobile numbers. Children must wear uniforms, and the uniform code is strict. (It's strange how neo-liberals are terribly keen on forcing children into uniforms.)

Part of the agenda of privatised schooling is a miserable, gradgrind regime for our children, designed to ensure they are turned into well-trained and well-disciplined worker-bees. Education is being taken back to the 1950s at breakneck speed.

So the Anti Academies Alliance has called on Nick Clegg and all Liberal Democrats to use their pivotal position in coalition negotiations to halt the Labour government's academies programme, to bring existing academies back under democratically accountable local authority control and to block Tory plans to privatise and deregulate our schools.

The Lib Dems did, at their Spring Conference in 2009, pass a motion which stated they would "restore strategic Local Authority oversight and commissioning" of academies.

If Nick Clegg reneges on this, his Party will decline swiftly and inexorably as people wake up to just what it all means.