Is it possible there has been a benefit attained from the Government increasing tuition fees? Was this Nick Clegg’s secret intention all along? Alas, if only there were such a reason, it would explain why Clegg ignored the majority of left-leaning Lib Dems, betrayed the students and condemned his party to political exile.
The increase in tuition fees was a ridiculous and unnecessary move. Public spending on higher education in 2011 was £14.09 bn out of a total spend of £691.67 bn. Hardly the most pressing cut when we spent £39.46 bn on a military that only the USA uses. The only threat to our borders will be if Sarkozy tries to get another popularity boost in time for the Presidential election and invades Portsmouth. Yet something positive has come out of the cuts to higher education. It will mean that, providing they follow trends in other subjects, there will be many fewer people who decide to take up “Alternative medicine”. This includes, but is not limited to, Homeopathy, Natropathy and Acupuncture. That these degrees exist at all is troublesome, but they are being taught at several vaguely prestigious institutions, such as Westminster. Apparently it is possible to get a Masters in some of them. Read the rest of this entry
With the Chancellor, George Osborne set to announce the Autumn Statement this week, which will include government plans to guarantee bank loans to small and medium businesses at a cost of £20bn, I find myself asking where did this extra money come from and what happened to the austerity measures set out by the Coalition Government? Many political and economic commentators have made the point that the Coalition Government is now borrowing an extra £46bn and that their current plan differs from that of the Labour Party by only 0.7%. With this in mind I am again left wondering how we got to a place where the economic policies of HM Government and HM Opposition differ by only a whisker when during the election campaigns we were told that the policies of the main political parties were extremely different. Click here to keep reading
The Occupy Wall Street movement rolls on. Now into its fourth week, it is slowly dawning on the US mainstream media that there is a genuine, sustained desire from these protestors to have their voices heard. This is a bit of the problem for the conservative media since the protestors wish for a change in the culture of greed that is so ubiquitous in Wall Street doesn’t quite tally up with their defence of the status quo. The answer to such a quandary? An all-out attack on the methods and aims of the protestors, casting them as anti-American, anti-Capitalist and anti-freedom, and some analysts at Fox were even kind enough to inform us of the striking parallels between these protests and those that occurred around the time of the Russian revolution and Hitler’s rise to power in the 30’s. Read the rest of this entry
It was a bit disjointed in places. It contained the odd dig at Nick Clegg that added nothing to the overall theme and the pronouncement that he was not Tony Blair was surely not designed to instigate wild cheers amongst some delegates. Yet even a five minute blackout caused by a power cut couldn’t prevent Ed Miliband from offering up a bold, comprehensive evaluation of how the vested interests of big business, political elites and media barons have left us in a fragmented and deeply unequal society, and a slightly sketchier vision of how we might escape to a more prosperous and principled one. Read the rest of this entry
Keen to prove that an idea or two has been jotted down on their infamous blank piece of paper, the Labour party heads into conference with a new announcement on their approach to tuition fees. Gone is the commitment to a graduate tax and in its place is a pledge to cap fees at £6,000 with top earners paying a higher rate of interest on their loans. Not wishing to be penned in on the issue though, the party refused to rule out a further change in their stance come the next election, although what the nature of such change might entail is not made clear. Read the rest of this entry