Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. I do like David Willetts, who is not just clever but decent and thoughtful, but what a mess he made of the announcement to allow rich kids to buy their way into university.
It was nonsense from the start, made obvious by his claim that letting the children of the wealthy pay above the already high going rate wouldn't hinder social mobility but could actually help it. How painfully inept.
Inevitably Willetts had to rush to the House to say he hadn't said what everyone thought he had said and even if he had he didn't mean it. Pull the other one, David.
There has never been a more gaff-prone government than this one. Time after time they plunge in and then realise they shouldn't have. Sometimes it is a speedy about-turn, sometimes it takes ages (remember the forests sell-off?).
The coalition is driven to make announcements in a quite ludicrous way. They are obsessed with telling the world that they are not just doing things but changing things. But we have had more than enough of their proposals, most of which are ludicrous or unworkable anyway.
The rich kids plan - which suddenly isn't that at all but generous charities and companies paying for poor kids to get into university - must have been formulated to draw attention away from the cesspit into which the 80 per cent cut in funding for higher education and consequent trebling of tuition fees has plunged the Government and particularly the Liberal Democrats. It's just stupid and is hardly the only dumb move they are making.
Which brings us to an interesting point. The Tories used to be known not only as the nasty party but the stupid party. Yet here they are in coalition with some rather bright LibDems as well as having one or two clever people of their own, none cleverer than David Willetts.
So if they still come up with such ridiculous ideas, what does that say about their collective IQ? Too low for even the wealthiest parent to get them into Oxbridge, I'd say.