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Showing posts with label English students at Scottish Universities. Show all posts
Showing posts with label English students at Scottish Universities. Show all posts

Friday, 10 April 2015

Tuition fees – extract from 2010 blog

This 2010 extract is still mainly relevant, I feel, and it may help some YES campaigners with the ‘fairness’ questions sometimes thrown at them.

1. It is Scotland’s responsibility to offer free education to Scottish students and students permanently living in Scotland.

2. It is not in Scotland’s economic interest to offer free education to students from Europe or the rest of the UK, however, present EU legislation compels us to offer free higher education to EU students – the Umbria/Cumbria rule. It does not, however compel us to offer free education to students from the rest of the UK, since the UK is regarded as the state by the EU.

3. It is in Scotland’s interest to attract paying students from the rest of the world, and ideally we would also like EU students to pay.

4. The demands from the UK that Scotland should offer free education to Students from England in the interests of ‘fairness’ is nonsense – it would negate the whole purpose of devolved government’s freedom to decide how its money should be spent in areas of expenditure over which it has discretion. If English students didn’t pay, some other area of Scotland’s expenditure would suffer, and in the light of the draconian fees (up to £9000 per annum) that the ConLib UK government is imposing, there would be a flood of English students to Scottish universities at the expenses of places for Scottish students.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Kenny Gibson nails Unionists to the wall on The Daily Politics. We need more of this …

I miss The Daily Politics with Andrew Neil every Thursday because I am watching FMQs from Holyrood. But I missed a good one on Thursday, however, thanks to it being brought to my attention and the BBC iPlayer, I managed to see it, and it was a satisfying and rewarding experience.

Kenneth Gibson MSP gave a barnstorming performance, firing at will on the shaky positions of Andrew Neil and his two hapless guests. If ever the flaky arguments of the UK were exposed in all their sordid reality, this was it, and on the topic of the moment – the Scottish  position on tuition fees…

Andrew Neil had a Tory MP, Peter Bone, and Rachel Johnson, Editor of The Lady. Interesting choices …

Peter Bone, after unsuccessful attempts at a Welsh Parliamentary seat and the European Parliament, was chosen as the Tory candidate for Pudsey in 1997, after the retirement of its long-serving Tory MP. In spite of a national swing to Labour of only 10%, he managed to lose the seat to Labour on a swing of 13.2%.

In 2001, he fought the marginal Labour seat of Wellingborough (majority 187) during an election when there was a national swing to the Tories of 1.75%. But he failed to take the seat – in fact, there was a swing to Labour of 2.1%. But he managed to take it in 2005, with a swing of 2.9%at the peak of Tony Blair’s Iraq unpopularity with a national swing to the Tories of 3.1%.

Bone is a very active asker-of-questions in the House, but the They Work for You site referred to him as one of three new MPs who inflated their internet ratings by “saying very little, very often …” Other exciting comments from him include saying that the NHS would not have been out of place in Stalin’s Russia. He is a cricketer and is described as bowling left arm around the wicket with varying degrees of success, which perhaps explains his performance on the programme.

Rachel Johnson’s claim to fame - and presumably her place on a heavyweight political programme - is that she is Boris Johnson’s sister, and the new editor of The Lady magazine – judge it for yourselves. (For an idea of what she has been up to, read Zoe Williams – Guardian on her editorial style.)

And this odd duo of diehard unionists were invited to comment on the Scottish Government’s position on the topic that is rending the capital city of the Union apart with riots and attacks on the Heir to the Throne and the Duchess of Cornwall in their roller. The programme could have been a big yawn …

But Andrew Neil is a mischievous bugger, and a journalist first and foremost, and being a Thatcherite Tory and Unionist come second to this allegiance, to his credit. So he invited Kenneth Gibson, Scottish National Party MSP to enliven what  otherwise would have been a leaden mix, and oor Kenny did us proud …

I won’t spoil your fun by analysing what followed in this blog (maybe tomorrow) – suffice it to say that more evidence was provided of the widening fault lines in the Union and that the UK is on its last legs, even though, like all rotten structures concealed by a hefty coat of paint, it may stand for a long time yet.

Watch and enjoy!