Tory benefits campaign: ideology as a bridge of lies

The Conservative Party has launched a campaign which seeks to distinguish between hard-working families and scroungers, through a poster depicting an unshaven person lounging  on a sofa in contrast to a modest 2.4 children family who emphasise the virtues of diligent work.  It is all of a piece with George Osborne’s rhetoric about those who […]

So just which are those drifting schools?

David Cameron takes a pop at what he describes as failing middle class schools in a piece in today’s Daily Telegraph.  As ever with Cameron, it’s short on evidence, long on prejudice – has there ever been a Government which is less concerned about backing its assertions with hard facts? – and it’s always amusing […]

Corrupting the academy

David Willetts – the man they mystifyingly call “two brains” – has come up with yet another of his wheezes. He suggests that teenagers from the wealthiest families should be able to secure places at elite universities if they can pay the full fees up front. These extra students would not be eligible for student […]

Posh and posher–how Andrew Neil missed the point

Andrew Neil’s BBC film about how politics in Britain has increasingly become a preserve of privately-educated privileged examined a real and important phenomenon.  He argued that for a brief period front-line Westminster politics, and hence government, had been opened up to a meritocracy drawing on a much wider range of social backgrounds, but now the […]

It’s not about fees, it’s about democracy

Now that things are settling down after this week’s massive student demonstration in London – and the events at the Conservative HQ building that followed it, it’s worth reflecting a little on what was really happened, and what it tells us about the temper of Con Dem Britain. The media reactions have been predictable. It’s […]

Two brains or no brains?

Universities Minister David Willetts – a man whose intellectual achievements (in the context of the Tory Party, anyway)has led to him being known as “two brains” has given an interview to the Guardian in which he claims that the current system of student funding means that students are “a burden on the taxpayer”.  The context […]