Go Back   Matt-Hughes.com Official Forums > General Discussions > Politics

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-04-2012, 11:42 AM
Tyburn's Avatar
Tyburn Tyburn is offline
Angry @ Injustice!
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: England
Posts: 16,923
Default Yesterday in Parliament (from the best news journalist in England)

Quentin Letts deserves a Knighthood for his coverage of a daily artical on the events of the past day in Westminster Palace...He is VERY funny indeed. He's been a favourite of mine for years...but when he mentioned Tyburn in one of his little articals...well...I just had to create a thread for his musing

You can see why ‘hypocrisy’ is an unparliamentary term. Were it allowed in Commons debates, the word would become as worn as the bowlers’ run-ups at the Edgbaston nets.

Yesterday morning Speaker Bercow permitted an Urgent Question into the matter of a senior student loans official being employed on a tax-efficient, non-staff basis. Would that be the same Speaker Bercow who used to employ a c.£90,000 a year spin doctor on a ‘contract for services’, paid per diem? It certainly would be, folks.

MPs of all stripes moaned – zut! eheu! scandale! – that this loans official was not on a PAYE deal. Labour’s spokesman, an obscure effort called Mahmood, parked her chin on the despatch box (she is not tall) and wailed that ‘everyone should pay their fair share of tax’. She demanded that ‘Haitch Em Ar Sea’ (the Inland Revenue as we used to call it) intervene. Haitch. Ugh.

Could this be the same Labour party previously led by busy user-of-accountants Tony Blair? The same Labour whose leader in exile, David Miliband, has become an enthusiast of tax efficiency since he started earning big wonga on the corporate circuit? The same Labour party whose chief fundraiser used to be a tax exile? Yes it could be. What a small world!

The posturing around this Urgent Question – which made carrot-top Treasury minister Danny Alexander blush – was hypershift of hypocritical. But British politics is going through a visceral phase. The Commons has developed an almost Max Mosley fetish for punishment. It becomes more like Tyburn by the day.

Sometimes they could go in harder, though. A few minutes later the select committee on Business, Innovation & Skills gathered for a meeting. This was a confirmation hearing for Prof Les Ebdon, proposed new head of the Office For Fair Access (OFFA).

Prof Ebdon is a leading ‘access’ bore, having long bleated on about how universities should take fewer undergraduates from the best schools. He opposes much of the Government’s education policy.

A functionary from some minor university, he is the sort of grey-minded, platitude-spouting, pro-tokenism trundler the Conservatives would normally avoid. Yet he has been put forward for this most meddlesome of quangos by Lib Dem Business Secretary Vince Cable.

A menace, Ebdon. He believes in coercing colleges into placing ‘social mobility’ above demonstrable academic merit. He belongs to the sort of world which has been rubbished by the Education Secretary, Michael Gove. Ebdonian nostra betray a multi-cultural, affirmative-action Weltanschauung which is now as out of date as furry dice. Yet Mr Nyet Cable wants his chum in there, causing bog-comp’ beggaration with our universities.

MPs Nadhim Zahawi (Stratford-on-Avon), Brian Binley (Northampton S) and Margot James (Stourbridge) were unimpressed. Mr Binley, normally most amiable of nuncles, savaged the Prof, telling him that he lacked ‘the spark’ required. Mr Binley torpedoed him for his claim that ‘every university drop-out is a tragedy’. No it wasn’t, said Binley. Business executives often did much better for not having a degree.

Miss James listened in silence to the professor and then suggested he might do better to force weak state schools to demand more of their pupils academically rather than making a nuisance of himself over university admissions.

Prof Ebdon, who spoke just like his ally Cable, spoke of his disapproval of the ‘baronial halls’ of smart universities, saying they could deter applicants from a poor background. What patronising tommyrot. Why should they not be inspired by great architecture, like the rest of us?

He seemed entirely untroubled when he spoke of first-year degree courses now teaching elementary things once covered at O Level. He said that ‘universities have to deal with the world as it is, rather than the world they want’.

The world as it is? That would be a world in which the East, which still makes high demands of its youngsters, is fast overtaking the West. If we run our university system to the code of Ebdon, we’re as doomed as a submarine with an open porthole. I do hope the committee declines to confirm him in this influential post.
__________________
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 06:46 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.