Friday 11th April: In the aftermath of Maria Miller's resignation as culture secretary, the focus switched to the gender balance in the cabinet. But, suggests Sheila Lawlor, Politeia's Director, if Britain is to flourish, politicians and their critics need to focus on the bigger picture, not its segments.
This week the pressure groups had a field day, bemoaning the paucity of women in big political jobs, or complaining about those few who are given them. Maria Miller's resignation cut the proportion in the cabinet by a quarter. Her job as culture secretary and equalities minister went to the treasury minister, Sajid Javid, her brief as women's minister to another treasury minister, Nicky Morgan, who also moved up the treasury ladder to Javid's vacant job.
Friday 28th March: Ministers may be tempted by a recent report to interfere further with university admissions, but says Professor John Marenbon, that would be to miss the point of both the report and universities themselves.
This week it was reported that universities have been given the ‘go ahead to favour state school pupils’ after ‘a major study showed they gained better degrees than peers educated in the private sector.’ The report, by HEFCE, the government’s university funding agency, announces among its conclusions that ‘state school students tend to do better in their degree studies than students from independent schools with the same prior educational attainment.’
The statistic therefore implies that independent school candidates look better on paper than they really are. For instance, the odds are 3:2 that a state school pupil who gains BCC at A-level will get a good degree, whereas the odds for an independent school alumnus with the same grades are less than evens. And so the argument appears to go, if admissions tutors want to be fair and also to select the best candidates – they need to engage in more positive discrimination against those from the independent sector.
Friday 21st March: The Chancellor had a good budget. But life is far from rosy for everyone, says Dr Gerard Lyons.
In the wake of the Budget, the question on many lips is: will pensioners-when they receive their future pension pots- be short-term in their thinking? Welcome to the British economy! Freed from the need to buy annuities,they may in the future decide to buy houses instead, another feature of Britain's recovery.
Friday 7th March: As the Lib Dems claim the EU is good for jobs, Professor Tim Congdon takes a cool look at the figures which show Lib Dem claims are baloney. If anything, the EU has been bad for jobs and competitiveness at home and abroad.
The unexpected rise of the UK Independence Party’s popularity over the last 18 months has come as a shock to the threeolder parties, particularly to the Liberal Democratic Party. The LibDems are now regularly behind UKIP in both opinion polls and local government elections. Earlier this week a LibDem memo on the threat from UKIP was leaked, with suggestions about how best to counter criticism of Britain’s membership of the European Union. One point came out clearly in this document, that the LibDems’ core argument is that ‘EU membership is good for jobs’. The Lib Dems intend to push the slogan, ‘In Europe, in Work’.