Both parties in the coalition claim to be committed to devolution of power: in fact a lively level of local participation in government is one of the longest standing traditions of the Liberals/Liberal Democrats. So how can we condone Michael Gove's decision to remove what powers remain for local authorities to distribute funding to schools, and impose a rigid formula from on high? This is yet another broken promise and a reversion to the "Whitehall knows best" syndrome for which we have so rightly criticised labour.
The Conservatives' breaking of their explicit promise not to impose yet another reorganisation of the NHS has passed almost without comment compared with the present furore surrounding Liberal Democrat MPs' promise not to vote for a raising of tuition fees. The riposte that it was Tony Blair's New Labour who first introduced tuition fees, having promised not to do so, then tripled them, is yet another reminder of a broken promise. Is it any wonder that the electorate is so cynical about politicians and the political process?
One of the most disheartening responses to enthusiastic and idealistic canvassers is the weary accusation: "You're all alike." The coalition seems to be going out of its way to confirm this.
We were promised a new, more honest, politics: the schools funding edict is yet another example of "more of the same."