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  1. #1
    Senior Member wyrdsister's Avatar
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    Default BLAIR.... goodbye me old mucker.

    So Tony is almost gone.. soon to be on tour in the good ole US of A for mega bucks... but.. has he done any good, or is it all bad?

    Thoughts plz.
    Wyrd is a concept in Anglo-Saxon and Nordic culture roughly corresponding to fate. It is ancestral to Modern English weird, which has acquired a very different meaning.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Langrenus's Avatar
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    Clearly the non-Brits are not rushing to this thread

    He's done some good things in office (well, the Government have, but it's all tied together)

    - introduced a minimum wage, despite the desperate wails of business ("oh, this will kill us"). Moreover the MW has continued to increase, often above inflation, and whilst it isn't perfect it's a lot better than the token effort made in many countries
    - reduced the national debt (for a while...I believe it's rocketing ahead nicely again now)
    - seemed to have a semi-genuine interest in humanitarian intervention in corners of the world we like to ignore most of the time
    - invested in education and health
    - did a surprisingly good of avoiding implementing facist legislation (such as the completely unaptly named 'Patriot Act') after the 7th July bombings
    - got the Tories out

    Not so good
    - Iraq. Fatally flawed from the start, since there was no actual plan for what was to happen after the conflict. Enough said
    - Was the core of the British centralist politics of the past 10 years...the lack of ideological distinction between the major parties is now arguably a major contributing factor to voter apathy
    - Point-blank refused to accept that a widening gap between rich and poor was anything to be remotely alarmed at
    - Invested billions but failed to ensure a return
    - Introduced tuition fees and top-up fees, along with the disastrous 50% quota for university attendance
    - Got me in to debt on said fees
    - Like all long-term leaders, seems to have become at least mildly involved in corruption
    - Has probably let the Tories back in

  3. #3

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    Tuition fees are fair. You pay if you benefit. University has to be paid for somehow.
    dead man talking

  4. #4
    The Unwieldy Clawed One Falcarius's Avatar
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    Mr Blair's greatest achievement is the Good Friday Agreement.

    His biggest failure is the mismanagement of the NHS. The NHS Primary Care Trust where I live had to make £50 million worth of cuts to balance it's books, including sacking over 500 doctors, cut to cancer treatment, and mental health treatment. While at the same time spending millions building super doctors surgeries.

    Quote Originally Posted by Langrenus View Post
    - did a surprisingly good of avoiding implementing facist legislation.
    If that's true, I must be part of the radical intelligentsia within The Labour Party, that The Guardian talks about.
    Quote Originally Posted by Thalassa View Post
    Oh our 3rd person reference to ourselves denotes nothing more than we realize we are epic characters on the forum.

    Narcissism, plain and simple.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Langrenus's Avatar
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    Who says education should be about economic benefit? Tuition fees increase the economic divide between the haves and the haves-not. Top-up fees are the beginning of the slippery slope towards larger and larger debts; they might also reduce the inclination to donate charitably to the university in later years (in much the same way as payments made for blood donations act as a disinclination to many people - I'd post a link if I could find one).

    Quote Originally Posted by Falcarius View Post
    If that's true, I must be part of the radical intelligentsia within The Labour Party, that The Guardian talks about.
    I'm not saying they haven't implemented (or attempted to implement) legislation that curtails individual liberties - however, most of these were well on the way in long before the bombings.

    Not really a good point the more I reflect on it...
    January has April's showers
    And 2 and 2 always makes a 5

  6. #6

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    Who says education should be about economic benefit? Tuition fees increase the economic divide between the haves and the haves-not
    How so? It's designed so that you only pay if you can afford to.
    dead man talking

  7. #7
    Senior Member Langrenus's Avatar
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    Not really.

    Tuition fees:

    £1000 or so paid up front. A student loan of around £3000 a year. Leaving you £2000 to live off (plus any savings generated from work).

    The poorest don't pay them. The richest don't pay them (parents do). Everyone in between does. That was a massive disincentive to a number of people I went to school with, people who's family income was not low enough to get them out of paying but wasn't high enough to help them through.

    So instead they're replaced with top-up fees. Paid after graduation, great. But at three times the cost of the original tuition fees, and with universities already clamoring for another £1000 increase here, another £2000 increase there. I fundamentally disagree with the idea that higher education should be a commodity to be purchased in this way, as I disagree with setting a quota for the number of people who should be entering higher education
    January has April's showers
    And 2 and 2 always makes a 5

  8. #8

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    I fundamentally disagree with the idea that higher education should be a commodity to be purchased in this way
    Someone has to pay for it, universities don't fund themselves. It's not a commodity, it's an investment, and a pretty good investment as it's interest free and you only have to pay it back if it helps you achieve a certain amount of success.

    as I disagree with setting a quota for the number of people who should be entering higher education
    agreed
    dead man talking

  9. #9
    Senior Member Langrenus's Avatar
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    You have to pay back when you earn more than £15,000. This is below the average wage, which suggests that the repayment system is not really based on any measure of success...I think it roughly works out at being paid about £6.60 an hour.

    Calling it an investment (in this context, which suggests it's an economic investment) implies that the purpose of higher education should be to improve earning potential. This is not why many people enter university, and nor do I think it should be.

    I don't think we're going to agree on this
    January has April's showers
    And 2 and 2 always makes a 5

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