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Eagle Eye

Vince Cable: work on a building site to pay student fees up front, Eagle Eye

Vince Cable: work on a building site to pay student fees up front

Two interim points about the coalition’s student finance proposals, which are still unclear in important respects.
One is that the structure of the graduate contribution system should be separated from the level of taxpayer funding of universities. It may be that the Government has cut too deeply, taking away 80 per cent of the teaching budget, which [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 6 November 2010 at 4:40 pm

Is Cherie Blair too wilful?, Eagle Eye

Is Cherie Blair too wilful?

Number 421 in my series of Questions to Which the Answer is No is asked by Alice Instone in a letter to today’s Independent. She painted the picture of Cherie (right) which was reported on 4 November:
Your article “Rich and ruthless: how Cherie sees herself?”* was prompted by a miniature I have painted of Cherie [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 6 November 2010 at 1:46 pm

What are universities for?, Battle of Ideas

What are universities for?

This is a pertinent question given the current cuts, the transformation over the last few years of students into consumers of higher education and, most fundamentally, the replacement of the idea of “knowledge for its own sake” with “skills” deemed beneficial to the economy.

By | Battle of Ideas, Eagle Eye | Saturday, 6 November 2010 at 6:00 am

Have councils been block-booking bed and breakfasts for housing benefit victims?, Eagle Eye

Have councils been block-booking bed and breakfasts for housing benefit victims?

Number 420 of my Questions to Which the Answer is No has been asked by Jim Pickard at the Financial Times, using research by Patrick Casey at the Full Fact blog. Casey was suspicious of the story, which was used by Ed Miliband in the Commons last week, as a curiously unsourced piece of do-gooding alarmism.

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 5 November 2010 at 3:37 pm

The toxic myth that cripples US democracy, Eagle Eye

The toxic myth that cripples US democracy

The Tea Party’s idea of liberty is that of the spoilt adolescent. They want government to keep out of their lives and not tell them what to do – until they’re in trouble and need Mom and Pop to rescue them.

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 5 November 2010 at 2:52 pm

Does Barack Obama read this blog?, Eagle Eye

Does Barack Obama read this blog?

Many thanks to Luke Bozier.

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 5 November 2010 at 1:51 pm

The Smoking Gun, Eagle Eye

The Smoking Gun

I have only just got to page 227 of Jonathan Powell’s The New Machiavelli, which seems to contain the smoking gun: the evidence that links Gordon Brown to the attempt to bring Tony Blair down by exploiting the false allegations of loans for peerages in 2006.

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 5 November 2010 at 12:11 pm

What makes a good teacher?, Battle of Ideas

What makes a good teacher?

While not yet thrown on the quango bonfire, the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA), which deals with teacher training, and the National College for Leadership of Schools and Children’s Services are clinging for life, put on detention and under review.

By | Battle of Ideas, Eagle Eye | Friday, 5 November 2010 at 6:00 am

Why does history matter?, Battle of Ideas

Why does history matter?

A conventional discussion in historiography is that of the relative significance of continuity and change in understanding historical events and movements. My first undergraduate history essay asked this question about the Norman Conquest.

By | Battle of Ideas, Eagle Eye | Thursday, 4 November 2010 at 6:00 am

What is wrong with this picture?, Eagle Eye

What is wrong with this picture?

It would be hard enough to make the case that David Cameron’s court photographer and filmmaker should be on the public pay roll as special advisers. But as civil servants?

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 3 November 2010 at 10:46 pm


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