18 August 2000
Across the country as I write, schoolchildren are receiving the examination results that assess their performance over the last couple of years in each of the subjects. (Well, except in Scotland, but that is a different story.) It seems an appropriate point at which to draw up a similar report card for the government. In which policy areas does the public feel it has passed, and in which has it failed? Or rather, since "value added" seems to be the preferred benchmark these days, in which policy areas has it improved its standing since it was elected, and in which has it lost out? And, for those issues where the Opposition has scored hits, has the result merely been to damage Labour credibility or also to convince the electorate that the Conservatives (or, indeed, Liberal Democrats) might do a better job?