This week in British Politics

This week has been extremely busy for British politics, therefore, rather than doing a number of brief blogs I have decided to save time and do one; my take on the week’s most important stories.

The main story of the week has been the publish of the Browne Review, the cross-party commissioned report into the funding of higher education. The results of which have caused quite a stir especially here at Birmingham University. I have to say that the report has completely split my opinion and I really don’t know where I stand on the matter. On the one hand there is the argument that something has to be done about funding spiralling out of control. Labour left us with such a deficit that to ignore it would be detrimental to future generations. The fact of the matter is, the Government can no longer afford to subsidise higher education as we have before without serious consequences to the quality of our universities. However, at a time when we have capped skilled immigration from outside the EU this move could be potentially very dangerous for the recovering UK economy. The UK needs highly qualified workers in order to compete in the global market, if these workers aren’t coming from immigration they need to be homegrown, something which is very unlikely if higher fees are discouraging a whole generation from university.

Wednesday marked Red-Ed’s first stab at Prime Minister’s Questions as Leader of the Opposition, all I can say, is what a disappointment. In my opinion Red-Ed completely missed this opportunity to cement his position as an effective opposition leader. He wasted all of his questions on the issue of Child Benefit, attempting to push forward the view that the poorest in society should pay for the benefits of the richest. I sound surprised but we should be use to such hypocrisy from the Labour benches.

While Labour MPs and members were feeling sorry for themselves wondering why they had chosen such a blatantly incompetent and bland leader (oh wait sorry, they didn’t choose him the Unions did) others were celebrating. The celebrations were of course due to the safe rescue of all 33 miners in Chile who had been trapped underground for 69 days. Some of which have now returned home while the others are recovering in hospital, we wish them all the best and one thing is certain, their lives will never be the same after this. However, us Conservatives had our own reasons to celebrate on Wednesday, the 85th birthday of the greatest peace time Prime Minister this country has ever had; Margaret Thatcher. Unfortunately, the Iron Lady was too ill to attend the Party at Downing Street in her honour, hopefully she will get better soon and enjoy many more birthdays. BUCF marked the day with celebrations in Selly Oak attended by BUCF veterans as well as many of our new freshers; a great event for a great woman!

Finally, I want to briefly say something about the comments which came out of the Obama administration yesterday. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she was “worried” about the effect spending cuts would have on the performance of the British Armed forces and the delivery of our international obligations. Firstly, I do believe the Obama administration should be more concerned about getting their spending under control before they start commenting on a British Government’s decision over the funding of the British Armed Forces. Secondly, Britain has never failed to delivery on our international obligations, even in a time of austerity we have protected the International Aid and Development budget and as William Hague stated yesterday, the Government will ensure Britain remains a “military power of the first rank”. Furthermore, I read on the BBC in the early hours of this morning that the Prime Minister has intervened to ensure that the spending cuts facing the MOD are less than the 10% expected to be issued by the Treasury.

All this, is of course speculation and no one will really know until next Wednesday, a difficult day for many, but a day which is necessary to secure the financial stability of Britain’s future.

Tim Hasker

BUCF Vice-President External

W.Midlands CF Deputy Regional Chairman


11 thoughts on “This week in British Politics

  1. “Wednesday marked Red-Ed’s first stab at Prime Minister’s Questions as Leader of the Opposition, all I can say, is what a disappointment.”-Even the Sun grudgingly admitted Ed won

  2. Well I would have to disagree, he wasted all his questions on one issue. The Sun also said that 83% agreed with the Government’s actions on child benefit, so I wouldnt really trust the Sun’s viewpoint.

  3. He used all his questions on one aspect of the child benefit reform, the fact that if the net income of a household is over £45k but they both individually earn less than that they can still claim the benefit unlike a family with one parent who earns just over £45k, and in the Sun the majority of people were against that aspect of the proposal.

    Also, after years of complaining that Blair and Brown failed to answer his questions (which they did) he hypocritically began to ask Ed questions of his own, “I may be new to this game, but I remember it’s my job to ask the questions.” summed up the entire “clash”. DC says he’s supposed to represent the “new” politics, from what I saw on Wednesday it feels, sounds and looks like much of the “old” from the government benches.

  4. Well maybe if Labour and Red-Ed provided an alternative on how they would deal with the economic mess they left behind. Maybe then we could have debate on how to tackle the deficit, at moment, Labour are more than happy to allow their trade union controlled Leader to simply oppose every cut without providing an argument of why and what they would do differently. So come on what’s the plan?

  5. Gideon has had over 5 months & a huge team of civil servants to draw up a detailed plan, the new shadow chancellor has had about a week with no help from civil servants. I’d be hugely surprised & rather sceptical of the plans if he’d made them already. All anyone knows yet is that it will probably be based around Darlings plan, which would’ve seen the deficit halved in 4 years & protected health, policing & education spending (the latter of which the coalition graciously changed their mind to yesterday).

  6. That’s damned weak, maxattacks. Let’s not forget that when Labour were in government they failed to undertake a comprehensive spending review.

    Darling didn’t have a plan – he had an aspiration. And Labour haven’t undertaken to ring-fence health spending – although they have failed to indicate what their health cuts would entail.

  7. Well of course labour didn’t begin upon a spending review because they were going to secure the recovery first then begin to reduce the deficit the year after. & it’s anything but weak, if Johnson was to come up with a full & detailed plan in the mere matter of about two weeks, I’d be hugely worried if I were Miliband, how would that be fully thought out?

  8. Well Labour may not have made that pledge, but neither would they try to implement the most damaging restructuring ever. No-one wants it, GPs are worried by it, the BMA think its too fast, yet the arrogant Government refuse to listen.

  9. Mark is right. The tories are obsessed with an out of date view of the health service. Unquestionably the NHS was over ‘managerised’ during the Blair reforms, mostly due to the PM’s impatience to see the reforms implemented. And its this popular view that justifies the otherwise ideologically small-state attack on yet another public service. The reality is that the Brown years led to an effective streamlining of NHS management, and further cuts will only reduce accountability and coherence.

  10. The flower gardening is the hobby of growing flower gardens for decorative purposes.

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