The Lib Dems were for many years seen as having the most sensible and well thought out policies on education. Be this pledges to cut class sizes, a commitment to reform key Stage 2 SATS, a properly thought out policy on higher education funding and, [particularly under the stewardship of the excellent Phil Willis, the brilliant former Lib Dem education spokesman who stood down from parliament in 2010, teachers felt that there was someone who understood the problems in the education system.
So what the hell has happened to this ? Where has the Lib Dem influence of education gone since May 2011 ?
We all know the debacle over tuition fees. and irrespective of whether it is fairer or not, the failure of the party to get the Tories to admit that it could be called a "hybrid graduate tax", which would have got the party of the hook with many voters, showed a total lack of influence over education policy the Lib Dems have.
Of course the party nationally like to raiser the "pupil premium" as a Lib Dem successs, ignoring the fact that this was in the Tories manifesto also, so can hardly be hailed as a policy which the Lib Dems won as a concession from the Tories.
Since May 2010 all we have really seen on education is a succession of rants from Michael Gove, almost always seeming to put down the teacher profession, make threats, and tell us that what we are doing is wrong and can only be solved by creating new academies or free schools. On top of this if you work in Key Stage 2, the government arbitrarily put up the schools targets just weeks before the SATS tests. No reason was given other than that it was to raise standards. If Gove really thinks that raising targets without allocating any new funds will raise standards then he has no idea of the real world.
Yet even today, the teaching profession is being told that if we strike on Thursday, it could "Damage teachers' reputation". No Mr Gove, you've been doing that all by yourself for the last 14 months by constantly criticising the whole profession.
I'd love to see or hear a Lib Dem MP come out and offer an alternative narrative to the one put out by Mr Gove, but sadly we seem to have no influence whatsoever.