Saturday, October 06, 2007

Dramatic news!

There won't be an election this Autumn. Other things that will not be happening - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad caught snacking on a pork pie; the SWP denouncing itself; the second coming. Exciting isn't it?


Donald said...

No of course not because the great Gordon (may Allah be praised) does not know what on earth he is doing and what day it is; he would have been better off staying next door, where he belonged, poring over his books and figures.

In the meantime as you pointed out so wisely, this government intends to do incredible damage to the lifelong learning sector, making it the jobcentre of education, ie you can do any course you like if you have an equivalent level qualification providing its woodwork or teamaking. Otherwise we will price you out of the market.

I think the electorate were about to make up its mind on GB; thats why he bottled it. Never mind, I am sure he can do more damage the longer he stays in. With any luck we will have no education sector at all comder next year.

Political networking said...

Agreed, and perhaps another link to our group protesting about these cuts.

Please, please, come and join us, add your voice to this facebook group.

You can find copious amounts of information there, and a link to the Downing Street petition.

Your country needs you, your children need you.

OK, ok, I'm going now but this is so important, I can't stress it enough.

The Plump said...

Actually this wasn't a comment on Gordon Brown's decision but on the vacuity of the media in getting excited about - nothing.

Don't forget too that the new philistinism in education was started by the Tories. It is based on an elite consensus. Under the Tories it would probably be even worse; they are opposed to widening participation in HE, to which I remain committed.

Donald said...

Hello Sir,

Well I think we can truly say that the Denham edict has put paid to any ideas of widening participation or lifelong learning. That may have been the policy but stripping out �100m worth of expenditure which was used for that purpose is not going to achieve that purpose.

The government has said that the �100m will be used to encourage people into higher education for the first time. That is all absolutely laudable, except that the birth rate is extremely sluggish and that will mean that the number of 18/19 year olds going into higher education will not be at a rate which will permit them all to go into HE, just at the time the government would want them to do so.

So there is a series of logic errors in the government's calculations. No doubt that will not stop them doing the wrong thing; since when has logic been commensurate with politics.

Larkers said...

Naturally, I hate to be spoil sport but I heard it very differently.

Brown never said he was thinking about a poll. That came from backstairs gossip and the media-political village. Note: Elections are where many aspiring jornalists make a name for themselves. Hence the excitement in the village.

During the week I heard some intelligent comment to the effect that Brown has never been a spontaeous or reckless personality. His patience may wear thin but not out. He waited to enter Parliament at the right time; he waited for the top job to come to him (cf: D. Healey, T. Benn, K. Clark, M. Hesteltine et al). Brown will not gamble and is a foreigner to the grand gesture.

The persuasive analogy put into play was apparently that between Brown and Callaghan who failed to go in autumn 1978 when he 'might have won' (or lost). Callaghan had a majority of nil and was brought down by Jerry Fitt SDP. Brown has a substantial majority and a lot of support. By waiting he can extricate the last British forces from Iraq, a lasting liability until it ends. The excitement over the Tory taxation plans is fluff and will unravel. In the short term Brown might have had to work harder to demonstrate this; by next Spring it will no longer be the killer punch. The Tories will be stuck with Cameron for longer and his recently sharp turn to the right will become apparent and contradict his recent Conservative policy modernisation initatives.

The media however, were lining up with a deadlier instrument than even the opportunist death stealth tax crusade: Why is Brown going now? What does he know that we do not? This was aired a few times last week. The fact it contradicts the general media overview should not confuse anyone.

I once observed Ms Kirsty Wark hangue some poor soul for five minutes for doing something she, Wark, thought ought to have not been done; when it was demonstrated the action had been in fact never been taken, Wark spent the next five minutes harguing poor soul for not having done what Wark had said should not have been done five minutes earlier. There are other examples.

Is Britain is governable in this age of rolling news?

Since roughly the time of John Major's 'bastards in the Cabinet', we have been living more and more in a media led political agenda. It is doubtful now if any government can decide on the direction of policy or control events. Many say 'good' to this without thinking through to the conclusion. If the relected government cannot determine the direction of policy, then who will? Someone else.

In this context to introduce the recent 'mishandling' of the public interaction with broadcasters might seem trivial – game show scams, and the editing of clips to suggest events which either did not happen or not in the sequence as presented. But my mind goes back to the late Dr. David Kelly affair, the way that sequence was subsequently presented by the BBC and the disecernable resentment which the Corporation exhibits in its dealings with Labour.

Larkers said...

I must learn to type "harangue" correctly.

I must learn to type "harangue" correctly.

I must learn to type "harangue" correctly.

The Plump said...

O/T I know, but to Donald. I think that we have to fight clever on this. It is not so much the precise measure, removing funding for ELQs, that is the problem in terms of widening participation - though it will deprive many people (I do an evening class in Modern Greek for example). What matters is the knock on effect of the withdrawal of funded numbers, the reduction in eligible students and the impact on the viability of courses and departments that deliver WP. This means that those without ELQs will lose significantly too.

The second case to be made forcibly is that the impact of educational disadvantage cannot be eradicated at normal age of entry. This is the importance of Adult Education to WP. Engagement with parents and even grandparents is as important than working with school kids.

All this whilst acknowledging we are firmly on the same side :-)

Donald said...

This is absolutely excellent stuff and what we are working on in our campaign, that it is a measure which will affect all our futures. I have pointed that out in all my letters to student unions, the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Education. In addition I will do a blog on it myself. You are most kind, Sir.

My blog is

Cheryl said...

Hi Peter,
Contrary to popular opinion, the second coming already happened.
I've been talking to janine and I love you too!!!
See you soon