The priorities


Tony Blair listed his three priorities as "education, education, education," and achieved none of them. There will be a great deal of pressure on the incoming Cameron government and many claims on its urgent attention. Given the limits of parliamentary time and attention, the four which should count are "education, liberty, education, liberty" (in no particular order). If they do nothing else, they should reverse the erosion of our liberties by setting up a one-year judicial commission to review the state of our liberties and make recommendations accordingly. I set out in the Telegraphhow this can be done.

No less important is the permanent change that can be made to our schooling by empowering parents with a choice of school backed by the funding their taxes have paid for. Provided this is backed by measures which enable a proliferation of new schools, public and private, there is no single measure which can alter the political landscape so much, or with such lasting effect.

No doubt we will be told that times are hard, money is tight, and time is short. Maybe this will be true to some extent. We do not expect miracles. But we do expect the tide which has flowed against our liberties to be turned back, and lost ground regained. And we do expect that education will finally be reformed so that every child, regardless of their background, will gain the chance to succeed.

This is not an ambition or a distant hope, it is a minimum. Without these two, any new government will go down as a failure which turned its back on the untrodden heights and lost the goodwill that might have sustained it.

Check out Dr Madsen Pirie's new book, "101 Great Philosophers."