April 12, 2010
Labour launched its manifesto today and one thing that stood out on a skim read of the education section is this:
Frontline spending on Sure Start, childcare, schools and 16-19 learning will be increased, safeguarding our priorities such as an additional 41,000 teachers and 120,000 teaching assistants. But funding will not rise as fast as in recent years, making tough choices necessary to focus resources on the front line, with £950m saved through collaboration and efficiency in back office functions and procurement and £500m from quangos and central budgets. (Chapter 3:2)
At the drop of a hat Labour will find savings of £1.45 billion from its Education budget including from quangos! Since at least 2005 when the Tories argued that a large amount of taxpayers money was being wasted in Education, Labour has replied that this was simply untrue and accused the Tories of wanting to cut frontline services – but today cutting that waste has become so important that it has found its way into Labour’s manifesto and amazingly and unsurprisingly this will be done while ‘safeguarding’ frontline services. Hypocrisy of the worst kind!
January 18, 2010
The most radical policy that will be put forward by the Conservatives at the general election relates to Schools. Michael Gove is putting together a package which if implemented correctly will radically reform the way children are educated and give their parents a genuine choice as to where they want to send their children.
The first draft of the schools section of the manifesto has been published and is here. David Cameron’s speech on schools which he gave this morning can be read here.
October 23, 2009
I was unfortunately very disappointed with last nights Question Time and especially the way David Dimbleby chaired the discussion. Everyone knows that the BNP is a racist and vile party. Nick Griffin’s views are equally well known especially those relating to race, immigration and Islam i.e BNP topics. Yet more than three quarters of the show was devoted to these issues with quotes of what Griffin has stated in the past being thrown at him from all sides. Griffin despite being hated by almost all in the audience must have been delighted to have had the chance to say that immigration had been and was still out of control and that Islam was incompatible with western democracy. His message wasn’t to the studio audience but to those living in run down council estates and other deprived areas where such messages are so well received. He had several more open goals and had he not been so nervous and overwhelmed he could have made more of this opportunity to put forward his ideology and get his message across.
The panel discussions should have focused more on current concerns of the population on matters such as the economy, housing, education etc which would have exposed the shallowness of the BNP ideology. The BNP does well when it is criticizing others, highlighting or exposing populist concerns and being entirely negative and blaming a particular group for all society’s ills. Yet it doesn’t do well or win when it has to put forward policies to tackle these concerns or explain them in any detail.
Griffin would have looked even more out of his depth on discussions on education or crime or managing the economy out of the recession. In the end the BBC got its ratings and we didn’t learn anymore than we already knew about the BNP and Nick Griffin, who could have made much more of the oppurtunity afforded to him by the BBC to get his message out but failed to do so.
February 20, 2009
Primary school education is deficient according to an independent review led by Cambridge University. As I haven’t read the detaile report yet, it would be premature to comment on this at this stage except to say that its not a ringing endorsement of the Government’s attempts to reform education after being in charge for 12 years. More hopefully later.
February 11, 2009
The UK Government has decided that it will respond to potential terrorists with an ad on Pakistan TV with the following key aims:
‘to ensure Pakistanis realise the west is not “anti-Islamic”, that British society is not “anti-Islam”, to demonstrate the extent to which Muslims are integrated into British society and to stimulate and facilitate “constructive debate” on the compatibility of liberal and Muslim values.
It is recruiting prominent British Muslims to say that there is no contradiction in being a Muslim and British. Al Qaeda and his allies will be quaking in their boots as the Government spends £400,000 broadcasting these adverts.
These daft schemes come about when the Government listens to people with self interest in becoming ‘leaders’ in the Muslim communities in the UK. Do Pakistanis not know that there are millions of Muslims living in the UK and in the West who have all rights to practice their religion and that British society is not anti-Islam – do we need to spend £400,000 for that message?
A would be terrorist is not going to do a u-turn after he has watched these adverts. It is an ideology that terrorists follow which allows the killing of citizens of any country they believe is not governed by Islamic Law according to them regardless of how many Muslims reside there. They are not concerned with a country being anti-Islam – their goal is to govern every country based on their interpretation of Islam.
All the Government needs to do is look at why the terrorists have carried out bombings in Pakistan to realise this instead of playing silly beggars with gimmicks on issues such as terrorism. Why are Pakistani nationals carrying out bombings in Pakistan, a country founded on Islam and killing innocent Muslims? If the Government works this out, it won’t end up wasting resources on daft schemes designed to massage egos instead of dealing with terrorists.
January 14, 2009
Despite billions of pounds having been pumped into the health and education systems during the past 12 years by the Labour Government, the quality of service in both areas remains unsatisfactory. Two stories which show the wastefulness of the Labour era have been highlighted this week. The first is the failure of 340 000 children to attain 5 GCSE grades A-C including English and maths with one in seven schools, a total of 440 failing to ensure that at least 30% of their pupils got five A*-C GCSEs. The education education education mantra has been assigned to the dustbin as far too many children continue to receive an inadequate education.
The second is the news that Britain has fewer hospital beds per head of population than almost any other European country, with half as many as Lithuania and Hungary. This is a terrible indictment on Labour’s wasteful spending. Most people didn’t need to see official statistics to know that hospitals are always short of beds – their personal experience will have confirmed this. But it is a deeply worrying and depressing statistic that shows how reckless this Government has been in dealing with the health service.
Value for money isn’t something this Government has understood. It has spent like an addict without ensuring the appropriate increases in the delivery of services. Bureaucracy has been bloated and we are now left with so much Government debt that it will take this and the next generation to pay it off without having the high quality services that the borrowed money should have delivered.