I HAVE not put pen to paper for some time now, probably 25 years.

In that time things have not improved.

Thinking about this and how to change the country’ direction I pondered the number of your readers who actually remember what a socialist government looks like, much less does.

I might remind people that a socialist Labour government started a building programme the like of which we have not seen in the past, nor in these interim 40 years. They created the National Health Service and gave the people the ability to have their teeth seen by qualified dentists.

They built the welfare state which gave the entire country a greater form of security than had ever existed or certainly exists today.

But, in my humble opinion, their greatest feat was to educate the entire population. It is this I wish to address today. As funding to universities rises so the standard falls.

This seems odd to me as I remember my friends who went to university being much better educated before they went to university than those leaving it today. For my part I was educated at a trade and went on to join the Royal Air Force to learn another.

Both the apprenticeship and the RAF trade training no longer exists in the form they did.

But education is vital to any country determined to be a part of the human world today.

Our country deserves the best education system available. Our children deserve a diverse and locally inspired curriculum, not one handed down from someone who rarely ventures out of the M25 ring.

Roderick Oates