This is a bad moment for the Conservatives to be without a leader. The 25% of Labour MPs who will rebel on health and education matters are not Conservative allies on anything but civil liberty issues. However, on those issues, the odious Bliar is.
Britain's society is in crisis, with teenagers stabbing each other in school and thugs roaming the streets, precisely because of the education system that the Labour rebels defend. It is easier for a Labour government to reform education than the Conservatives, because the latter are vulnerable to accusations (particularly if led by Etonians) that they don't care about the State system. In the dying moments of the Blair administration, there is the chance for the man who has done so much harm to do some good. If he wants to reintroduce selection and head teacher discretion on disciplinary matters, the Conservatives should back him.
Similar arguments apply to health. The NHS is not the envy of the world. Young lawyers from Eastern Europe seconded by my firm to London have been disgusted by the NHS. It is our national shame. It is the second largest organisation on Earth after the Chinese Peoples' Liberation Army, and is about as effective in delivering healthcare. It is Labour's sick baby and Labour can cure it. The Conservatives should help them.
Telegraph | News | One in four Labour MPs out to cripple Tony Blair