My friend Neil Harrap was inspired to write the following letter to Hipkins, which I endorse:
"Dear MP Hipkins,
"You're proving to be a disappointment in trying to stop charter schools. Had charter schools been around when I was a kid I'd have been a candidate.
"My experience of state schools was how mediocre they can be in many cases. Career teachers waiting for retirement were the norm in my school.
"Fortunately I have succeeded beyond my dreams, thanks to parental guidance, a strong will to succeed and some good luck. Leaving school at fifteen isn't the best way but if school is that much of a waste of time then one is better out of it.
"You can google me and find that I've succeeded in many fields, become wealthy and helped many people in their lives. This is not because of public education but in spite of it.
"You should be ashamed of yourself trying to stop diversity in education. It shows the narrowness of your mind and your political beliefs."
Amen to all that. Of course the idea of charter schools challenges the Labour Party's cherished dogma that only the state can do things properly and that people are too stupid to be trusted to exercise freedom of choice. Besides, charter schools potentially undermine the power of the teacher unions to which many Labour MPs previously belonged.
I understand, incidentally, that Hipkins has never bothered to visit one of these schools that he's so keen to ban. Perhaps he's scared he'll see something that might cause him to question his comfortable left-wing convictions.