Thursday, 16 December 2010

BIG SOCIETY Vs little society

What is becoming apparent is that, as promised, The Big Society is terribly fair.

And the Emperor Coalition has now pretty much guaranteed us a terribly fair approach to higher education. After all their bleeting and foot stamping, anyone who has looked at the proposal cannot but agree it is terribly fair. You pay for your education when you can afford it. How reasonable.

The problem with the little society is that they don’t think Big. I’ve been into the poorest schools in Devon and Dorset doing widening participation work and this is the main issue. In the Big Society a university education costing the individual £50,000-£60,000 is an investment; a transaction. The figures are comprehensible, the pay-off is a known commodity (from their own experience), and there is a safety net of savings, salaries, and contacts to fall back upon.

If only the little society could see beyond the size of the figures and the pressure of debt, they could man-up and break into that terribly fair Big Society.

Still, even for The Big Society, it’s hard times when you’re down to your last five million and isn’t everyone feeling the squeeze?

It’s only money anyway.

And it's all terribly fair.

What’s particularly fair about this education policy though is that it’s based upon a perfectly measurable equation: education=earning potential. Because higher education is not a right, it is not a good to be pursued for its own sake and it doesn’t necessarily benefit society itself (this is not the Good society! Lol). Education is something that improves the earning potential of the education-client (EC). The EC makes an investment and thereby sees returns for which the EC will pay later. Given the significance of these returns it is natural that the EC should pay upfront. It is a little gamble upon the EC’s ability to get ahead. The Big Society is a marvellous melee of confident competitive individuals and the fittest will flourish. The runts will stay runts forever! Ha. That’s just the law of nature.

The other fair thing about the fee rise is that it allows all universities the chance to better themselves and for this to be transparent. So Oxbridge will naturally as top dogs immediately raise fees to the max. The Russell group will all be in the +£6000 bracket and will play off in friendly competition the bargain vs. prestige of having lower or higher fees than one another. It will be like a marketplace of education! How exciting. And the genius is that even if the public school children go to the most expensive university, it’s still cheaper than their school fees.


And for the rest it's about time there was a bit more teaching on debt management. This system ensures a life-time's training on the job. Wooooooo!!!

Of course there will be closures - but only of the little society universities. And there were too many of these quasi-universities anyway.

The Big Society is about playing with The Big Boys. Like King Cameron and Sir Cleggalot.

And it all echoes delightfully with that blueprint for society, found in the Gospel:

“To those who have, more will be given, and to those who have not, even what they have will be taken from them.”

The Lord’s prayer, on the other hand is of no use to our terribly fair Big Society:

“Forgive us our debts as we forgive those who are indebted to us.”

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Admittedly, they strip, but it's witty, like a quip...

I was very excited to see so much female empowerment on display at the X Factor Final.

Screw the Daily Mail! Burlesque is totally ironic.

It's confusing though. I can't decide whether to be liberated by wearing no trousers, or by being as self-deprecatingly shy as Rebecca "Don't look at me" Ferguson. The two options seem to be mutually exclusive.

How to get into the final: don't be as gobby as Cher Lloyd.

Anyway, congratulations must go to Matt Cardle, who won the competition, and, it seems, a cat.

Or possibly many cats? I can't quite seem to lipread exactly what Harry from One Direction is saying to him here.

Remember Matt, no matter how famous your Christmas no.2 makes you, a pussy is for life, not just the festive season.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Must be... Bob Dylan!

Early morning. Must be to serve cava to a bunch of friends. I hope the party doesn't turn out like this....*

Who's got a big red cherry nose?

Hooray for Christmas! (and Advent, but I totally don't want to get in that argument).

And yes, La Maison Roaring definitely has columns too. Men with wigs, come to my party!

*I'm very sorry, but Bob in his wisdom has decided I can't embed the video. Which puts me in a bad mood. I'd better watch it again.
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