Backdown No 1 is the 5 year moratorium on school reviews.
Mallard insisted they are necessary to maintain educational standards so why stop them and why for five years.
Answer No 1 is because Labour polling has told them they now are at risk of not just losing party vote to National but a huge swathe of electorates such as Invercargill and Aoraki.
Answer No 2 is because it puts them out not just beyond the 2005 election but also the 2008 one so they can say if re-elected they won’t do any reviews next term.
It is amusing how Mallard doesn’t even pretend there is a shred of principle involved in this decision – the lobbying by National, other parties, and parents paid off!