Blair survives

Deadmanwalking

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Well, after winning the commoms vote on tuition fees by only 5 votes he then supposedly gets off scot free from the hutton report.

There is a reported leak and it has been said that the report clears number 10 from all wrong doing and instead focuses on the BBC and it's numerous fuck ups.



Lucky bastard.
 

Tilda

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I think it was more the MoD who fucked up with releasing Kellys name, and the student fees... <shrug>
:D
 

dysfunction

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Its not luck if you ask me.

I have always thought they didnt do anything wrong iro Iraq or Kelly.
 

Shovel

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The interested parties in the tuition fees only have themselves to blame, certainly the supposed "Student Line" from the NUS. They stooped the same level of dishonesty, spin and darnright lies normally reserved for the politicians themselves.

I get the NUS newsletter every so often, more recently it's been full of their student minded propoganda, but you'd have thought lying to your members wouldn't really be the best course of action?
Essentially, the brandishing of the word "debt" was irresponsible: One of the main benefits of the tuition fees reforms is that it removes commerical debts - replacing them with a long term repayment scheme with interest equal only to inflation, therefore removing students from at least some of the perils of taking out additional commericial loans to pay their fees. However, the NUS skipped over this, and really seemed to just to rant on about a supposed "debt", in a manner that tries to associate your "Norton Finance" sort of images, frankly trying to scare students into supporting their stand. Utter bollocks, and frankly made me happy that UMIST are not affiliates of the NUS.

As for Blair: He's not doing as bad for himself as people would like you to believe. He wont get away with a repeat of tonights vote necesarilly, and he's reached the stage of his leadership where he needs his friends close, but the pitiful excuse for opposition provided by the Tories continues to let him get away with murder (if he were so inclined). While Howard increases the levels of blind confrontation, I've not seen nor heard him provide anything remotely constructive toward an opposing policy. It's one thing to say "we haven't got one yet, but we know this is wrong, though", but instead just to rant on. His depressing response to Blairs challange of "So, what would you do instead" was something along the lines of "It's not my job to come up with suggestions of what to do. It's my just to hold this government to account (read: criticise everything you do)". Which, for me at the moment, sums up the whole problem with the public politics in this country. Until the macho so called 'leadership' ceases and everyone agrees that maybe acting in a constructive manner would have everyone better off, then big, public legislation like tonights vote will continue to go nowhere, and help noone.
 

xane

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the Hutton report will probably give the BBC a bad time too, but because of the "gentleman's club" that is the media, you wont hear much about it.
 

Shovel

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Indeed - The BBC will say enough to give them impression that they've been criticised, but they wont join in.

... though I guess that is what they're supposed to do. Having said that, I could see Andrew Marr the political editor being up for a rant in the name of neutrality, but that might just be the impression I get of him generally.
 

Skyler

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I long for the parrallel universe where Portillo won the leadership election instead of Hague... I believe he'd have been a great leader for the Tories and may have got them to power now...

I don't know what Howard is doing, I thought they booted IDS out so that Howard can come in and 'get things moving'. I don't see anything moving apart from in a circle... get some key policies down Howard and get your hands around Blairs throat...

The largest problem with Politics is that everyone is so damn 'in the middle' on everything and none of the top 3 parties have a blanket set of great policies that people want... they have a few things people want and a few things people dont want.. I like a lot of Lib Dem policies but some of their policies are also very retarded... I can't be bothered to vote myself because I don't feel my one vote is gonna make any difference at all anyway.. and even if I knew it would who the hell do I vote for cause no one party is really very good for me... Maybe one of the tiny little parties would be good for me, but they will never ever get in.. so why bother?
 

SawTooTH

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I hope Gilligan does the honourable thing. Takes a walk with his trusty penknife.
 

Loxleyhood

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Foundation hospitals were the beginning of the end for Blair. He no longer has the authority he once did.
 

ECA

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In the labour election manifesto for this term didn't they promise not to do this?

Lying fucks.

He should have resigned over Iraq and doubly so over this.
 

Deadmanwalking

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ECA said:
In the labour election manifesto for this term didn't they promise not to do this?

Lying fucks.

He should have resigned over Iraq and doubly so over this.
Go go gadget short sighted ECA! :-]

:=]

:--]=
 

ECA

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If you promise something as part of a statement to get elected, you shouldn't renege on it.
 

Deadmanwalking

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It's politics for a start. And noone is stupid enough to promise something for sure. They always attach conditions and whatever else they can to get out of it later on.

What you may read in the sun is nothing close to what was actually said. We rarely get told the full story behind it and so are led to believe that they are lieing to us.
 

ECA

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Well I don't read the sun, and anyone who gives a flying fuck about such raggy newspapers is an eejit ( hello lots of people ).
 

tRoG

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As some smart lil' girl said on the BBC News, that vote was no longer about the students, or universities. It was about seeing whether or not Blaire would stay in power - and that's a very bad thing.
 

Krazeh

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The whole tuition fee's debate has been a load of nonsense from start to finish, it could've been solved quite simply by not stretching university resources by the stupid policy of trying to send 50% of school leavers to uni.
It's no wonder university's require extra funds with that many people going through them, the number of people going to uni should be radically cut imo which would free up a lot of money that is currently getting giving to people who really shouldn't be at uni in the first place.
 

Milkshake

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Amen Krazeh, my course has gone from 180 in Year 1 Term 1, to around 45 in Year 2 Term 2.

It's a fucking joke, alot of people do not belong at Uni. I understand giving everyone a chance and all, but there must be a far easier and cheaper way of doing it.

As for Mr Blair, I've stood behind him on most things. I agreed with his Tuition Fees thing, living in Scotland we have almost the same scheme - pay when you get out - and it helps alot of the poorer families (including mine I may add).

I look forward to watching PMQ's this afternoon to see what the Tory's have to say about it all. They've been trying to antagonise the reds long before the report came out. Be nice to see what they say now they have some evidence.

Oh, and yes, the Torys are still a fucking shambles, they always have. I can't ever remember hearing a Tory policy from a Tory. I dunno what they stand for, I dunno why they are even trying. They just seem to be happy hurling shots at Blair, who isn't gonna take any of it.
 

SilverHood

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While I agree that the fee system needs revamping, charging students £3k per year after they have graduated isn't exaclty the best way to go about it.
When I leave uni, after a 4 year degree, I'll be £9k in debt, minimum, plus my savings gone. (Have one years paid work experience, so will be able to get atleast some money back). This is from my student loans alone, never mind tution fees. (which are some £3000 overall, 2/3 paid for by my savings, last paid by my parrents)

People doing medicine, or other degrees that require 5+ years are gonna be totally hammered by this new system. £15k debt for tution fees once they leave - as well as £3000 to £5000 per year for living costs, depending on where you study. I wouldn't honestly want to be one of those people.

Good thing I'll be almost through the system by the time the new fees are introduced... Hate to think what my brothers University debts are going to be like.
 

Deadmanwalking

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SilverHood said:
While I agree that the fee system needs revamping, charging students £3k per year after they have graduated isn't exaclty the best way to go about it.
It's not when they have graduated. It is based on how much they are earning. And you pay nothing until you are earning at least 20k i think it is now.

Obviously if you are earning 70k+ then you get charged bigger repayments compared to someone on 20k.
 

Milkshake

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Your gonna have to pay those debts anyway, no matter what scheme were going with.
 

dysfunction

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The key points of the Hutton's report: (From Sky News)


:: Andrew Gilligan's BBC radio report was a "grave allegation which attacked the integrity of the Government".

:: Any intelligence contained in the Government's controversial Iraq dossier "is a separate issue" to the Hutton Report.

:: But Lord Hutton said Mr Gilligan's allegation that the Government probably knew the 45-minute claim was not true before it included it in its dossier, was "unfounded".

:: The meaning of the term "sexed up" lacks clarity and could have meant one of two things.

:: "Sexed up" could mean the Government's dossier was embellished with false intelligence.

:: Or, "sexed up" could mean that information already in the dossier was presented in such a way that would make the case against Saddam Hussein as strong as the intelligence would allow.

:: The BBC "failed to make an examination of Mr Gilligan's notes to see if they supported the allegations".

:: When BBC bosses did look at the notes, they "failed to appreciate the note failed to support the most serious allegation".

:: Dr Kelly accepted he had breached the rules by meeting with reporter Mr Gilligan at the Charing Cross hotel in London.

:: He then appreciated that his name would become public knowledge.

:: Lord Hutton is "satisfied that no one realised or should have realised" that Dr Kelly was feeling certain "pressures and strains".

:: Those involved could not have foreseen, nor are at fault for not foreseeing, that he would take his own life.

:: When he admitted to his wife, Janice Kelly, that he was the source of the BBC story, her reaction was one of "dismay".

:: Dr Kelly died of a haemorrhage caused by cuts to his wrist, hitherto "silent" heart trouble and Co-proxamol tablets.

:: He was "not suffering from any significant mental illness".
 

Whipped

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Krazeh said:
the number of people going to uni should be radically cut imo which would free up a lot of money that is currently getting giving to people who really shouldn't be at uni in the first place.
Universities will not like the idea of less students and besides, less and less students are going to uni nowadays..
Universities get money for every student they enroll. We missed our targets this year by a fair whack. This was either due to less students or non-returning students. Due to this we have lost a good 80 staff and we are not the only uni going through this.

It's all going to Hell in a hand basket and if it carries on like this then a lot of Universities will close and we'll be back to, only the rich can go to uni, or the people that are willing to spend a lot of years paying off 16 odd grand of debt.
 

xane

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Whipped said:
... less and less students are going to uni nowadays ...
One reason is there are less and less students overall. The main reasons why education gets less money is that there are fewer students to educate. One of the aspects of declining population.

Universities should just accept this, unless they feel this country needs to continue educating the rest of the world (which is growing in population), in which case I don't see why I should be paying for that.
 

Tom

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The thing about this whole 'debt' situation, for me, is this:

If you go to University, you do so to better yourself, and better society. Therefore, the skills you learn should earn you a higher wage. These skills should not necessarily be academic - the problem as I see it, is that the country demands practical skills, and not enough people are learning these.

If people are choosing not to go into further education because of the debt, then they can't have a very high estimation of their prospects when they leave. 16 grand of debt is nothing, when compared to the cost of ownership of a car, let alone a house.

I think too many people place too much emphasis on media courses, psychology, academia, etc. A good plumber can earn as much as £35k a year, and yet, have you ever tried to book a plumber for work, and have him arrive within a week? Its nigh-on impossible. I don't see many people phoning up media students and asking for their advice on what newspaper they should read.

I went to college for a few years, it taught me lots of technical background knowledge on how audio/video equipment actually works, but no practical skills whatsoever. When it came to the exams, I had work experience at a local company, and I ditched the course in favour of that work. Guess how many people demand to see my qualifications now?

What we need in this country is the option for 14-15 years old students to drop out from school, and take up an apprenticeship in whatever they feel is best at that point in their life. Many of my friends knew exactly what they wanted, to be engineers, car mechanics, etc. The dropouts would still be taught maths, english, etc, but the rest of the time would be spent learning a trade.

After all, what do you learn in your final years at school? Fuck all IMO.
 

Daf

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Im currently in my third year of a computer science degree, and im currently having to pay my fee's up front, as are all the other students atm (although my LEA pays mine, but thats beside the point). So the new way seems fair to me, not having to pay anything until you are actually earning.

However, the thing i disagree with is the governements insistance on this crazy figure of 50% of people going to uni. TBH i think education is getting easier as it is anyway, and by imposing this figure of 50%, the only effect it will have IMO will be to do devalue degrees further.
Also, i think there are far too many 'arts' and 'useless' courses which universities run, so maybe if you reduce the number of students doing these the universities already have a smaller expenditure. I think universities should be mainly for engineering, science, medicine etc. and longer degrees like medicine which we're desparately short of should be government subsidised.

As Tom says there seems to be too much emphasis on qualifications rather than actual skills.
 

Whipped

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Agreed. I see it every year here. More and more students signing up for media, psychology and Sports Science. The main problem, as Tom pointed out, is that there is not a lot of practical application in University courses anymore. I know a lot of media students that quit becuase they just became fed up with learning about what Stanley Kubrick was trying to say when he made 2001!! All they wanted to do was play with things and learn how to use them.
Psychology is a growing trend, but I won't bash them too much for two reasons. 1) The world is going mad and we may need them and 2) The women that enrol on Psychology courses are always of the highest caliber. Yum Yum.

Basicaly the above is just rambling. I agree with what Tom said.
 

xane

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I've been in IT for about 20 years now, solid programming in both development and support environments.

Around 1990 I did notice a massive influx of degree students within programming, what was surprizing was how many were not even IT related degrees, some even not "technology" ones, because of the high demand for IT jobs, most of which were highly paid, the degree system was being used as a simple filter by employers.

Admittedly, it doesn't take a lot to know how to program, but to program well and accurately is a specific skill, most of the "non-techie" programmers either pushed up into management where they'd never see a line of code again, or would meander around as contractors hopping between companies and avoiding any speculation as to their real ability.

I knew a director of my company when he first joined as a lowly Database Admin, he'd studied physics, chemistry, etc and ended up in a university research lab, he told me that one day whilst weighing out rat turds he decided there must be something better to do with his life, and get paid well for it too !

I was lucky as I got into IT before any of this came about (from an IT college too), and despite lacking a degree I had plenty of hands on experience to see me through, but I've had to work with some right dorks in my time, all of which were supposed to be smarter by their "qualifications".

I feel the wrong aspect is still being portrayed, students want to wear the "I have a degree" badge without necessarily knowing or caring what the actual subject matter is, and to be honest most employers don't care either. It doesn't surprize me that students go for the "fun" factor, I've heard the "psychology course = fit women" that whipped mentioned before.

What concerns me is that the subjects that really matter, medicine for example, is being hit hard because it is a long course and low paid afterwards.
 

Milkshake

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Wouldn't fucking get me near medicine, only for the fact that the UK is filled with retards who like to attack medical staff in a hospital.

Assholes the lot of them. Make those fuckers pay by not letting them use the NHS. How dare they attack the people who suffer shitty hours and pay just to help a person in pain, how dare they.

Bring back capital/corporal punishment.
 

Big G

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There was a case study of a student on the BBC website where he stated some of his monthly outgoings as:

£40 a week going out
Money for car & petrol.


EDIT: £40 a week out on the piss is about £2k a year - there is the fucking fees paid for straight away.

He said that his total debt after 4 years would be £11000

Excuse -fucking- me one second, but £40 a week going out? I know some people who work full time who can't afford £40 a month to go out. And a fucking car?! as a student?! How about do without the going out and do without the bloody car. Again, I know a few people who can barely keep their car on the road who bring in a full time wage.

General tax payer (i.e me) sub these kids to go living it up at uni and keep them in a lifestyle that allows them to go out twice a week? Fuck right off (pardon me, this really gets under my skin).

In my years at uni, I struggled to afford a mobile phone (had to get rid of it in the end), struggled to go out at all for a single pint, couldn't even dream of having a car. But alas, I managed to get through it with little debt because I had to.

And yes, I had to pay fees too.

G
 

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