Quite a day for the government

 

Some will claim it's an attempt to bury bad news. Others will say that Downing Street is, rather, shovelling all its bad news out at once in the hope that the Jubilee Weekend will soon give voters something else to think about.

Either way it's been quite a day for the government - quite a day too for George Osborne.

It was the chancellor, we learnt today, who told the Culture Secretary that he, Jeremy Hunt, was "the solution" to the mess the government had got itself into when handling the News Corp's £8 billion bid for BSkyB.

That solution involved sidelining Vince Cable - who'd been exposed as being biased against the Murdochs - and replacing him with Mr Hunt who, we now know, was up to that point at least, as biased in their favour. Jeremy Hunt had just sent a text message to James Murdoch congratulating him on the progress of his bid.

Whilst this and other details made for many uncomfortable moments for Mr Hunt he looked much more at ease when defending the way he handled the BSkyB bid - insisting his decision had angered rather than pleased the Murdochs - and that he had acted in an impartial way when given the job.

Nothing emerged to shake the prime minister's determination to stand by his culture secretary - this evening he has said his culture secretary did not break the ministerial code - but today's evidence and the latest in a series of Budget U-turns have shone a harsh light on the judgements made by the prime minister and his closest ally and adviser, the chancellor.

 
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  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 430.

    'your selective attempts to correct one of the issues, whilst ignoring other highly relevant factors' - SP 423

    **

    And just to drill this last point, I'm not 'ignoring' the other factors: as per 414 we take 'due measures where practical' to address, e.g. consider extra resource for schools in deprived areas, this type of thing.

    Objective? To get closer to good and equal schooling for all.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 429.

    321. nautonier
    The irony being that Labour sucked up to the Digger even more than the Tories.
    Brown tried to, but couldn’t get the hang of it, now he's bitter.
    If they were still in power the chances are they would be gunning for the deal to go through to keep Murdoch & Co sweet.
    If Labour doesn’t get some fallout from this enquiry as well, I want my Tax money back.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 428.

    "13 years waiting for a crack at power and then what a hash of it!" - PD @ 422

    ** **

    :- )

    Forgotten how to do it, poor things.

    We can all sympathise, I'm sure. Well, some of us.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 427.

    JB 425

    False analogy. Schools being 100% state sector is compatible with a parent's right to engage tutors outside of that if they wish.

    Bet the child wouldn't be too keen though. Gets back from a long hard one and it's a case of 'Oi violin lesson first, then you can watch Glee.'

    Still, tough, they'll thank you for it one day.

    (Why do you feel private schools are beyond debate, btw?)

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 426.

    SP 423

    Fine for you to put it like that. That if a goal can't be 100% reached it isn't worth working towards. A bit binary for my taste but, sure, it's a view.

    Main thing for my peace of mind is you hopefully do now see that if one takes the view (as I do) that it IS worth working towards then this is a compromise not a contradiction.

    Because contradictions ... well I just don't do them.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 425.

    #415.sagamix
    "That's a cop-out, John, and a very common one. Can't defend private schools so switch to talking about the grammars"

    I don't see the need to defend private schools. If I decide to employ a private tutor to educate my daughter, who on earth are YOU to say that I shouldn't have that right? Surely the same applies to private schools?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 424.

    "Since most financial institutions are not funded by the tax-payer I don't understand your logic" - JH @ 416

    In a sense (a meaningful one too) pretty much the whole sector was kept afloat by govt money. Not honouring AIG's CDS liabilities, for example, would have brought the house down.

    ****

    "why only parental money?" - SP @ 418

    As opposed to other (e.g. government) money, do you mean?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 423.

    420 saga

    Or put another way - educational equality is a mirage, especially with your selective attempts to correct one of the issues, whilst ignoring the other highly relevant factors - unless you aim for mediocrity as your level of equality.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 422.

    Saga
    Yes, Hunt - what a twit. Or vice versa. Anyway, he'll keep his job, but one wonders how long any government can remain on the back foot without toppling over. Tories rank and file must be fuming - 13 years waiting for a crack at power and then what a hash of it!
    BTW completely agree with you vis a vis creaming off of the privates. It's scandalous.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 421.

    413 IPGABP1

    "Taxpayers do not fund the Labour Party,as far as I am aware, "
    ====
    Oh yes they do. If not, then who pays the salaries of public sector employees who are in a union ? Where else does the money come from ?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 420.

    SP @ 418

    Ok, let's try the same point but differently put:

    You and I have a goal (that something be equal) but we recognise it's not 100% achievable (we're practical men). So we take certain actions (where benefit exceeds cost) but pass on others (where we judge the opposite).

    Now, having done this, have we 'contradicted' ourselves? Or have we ... another longish C word ... 'compromised'?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 419.

    PD65

    Hello there! Same old grind on here (as you can probably tell), although this is the first outing for the 'privates' for quite some time.

    I'd venture a Yes to your question: the creaming off efffect. That's why the absorption of fee-paying into state sector should bump up the latter's performance stats if nothing else.

    Hey, can you believe that Hunt? What a very 'modern' politician.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 418.

    414 sagamix
    "There's no contradiction ... Goal is schooling of equal standard for all regardless of parental money, ok? .. Now, sure, course, we're left with some schools better than others (areas, teachers) "
    ===
    Errr, what ??? That is the contradiction.

    Also, why only "parental money" ?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 417.

    Saga @ various
    Re. education: The City of Oxford is an interesting case in point. Primary and Secondary results are consistently in the bottom 10% for the country, with no obvious socio-economic factors to explain such poor performance. What, then? It couldn't be the unusually high proportion of private schools in the area, could it?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 416.

    #413

    Since most financial institutions are not funded by the tax-payer I don't understand your logic.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 415.

    JB 391

    That's a cop-out, John, and a very common one. Can't defend private schools so switch to talking about the grammars.

    SP 412

    Ok I explain better. By 'hard-code unacceptable inequalities' I mean money buys good school which leads to high status career and money ... which buys good school etc. That cycle. Is this clearer? Most certainly NOT implying that state school spells oblivion!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 414.

    SP 410

    There's no contradiction, you just need to get acquainted with nuance and logic.

    Goal is schooling of equal standard for all regardless of parental money, ok? Ok so we must remove the fee barrier.

    Now, sure, course, we're left with some schools better than others (areas, teachers) and we take due measures if practical - so, no, not your suggestion of just closing down good schools.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 413.

    No404 Pickled,
    Taxpayers are funding the banks, the banks are funding the Tories - 'No taxation without representation' it is, therefore, reasonable to argue that all taxpayers should have a vote in all internal Tory elections.
    Taxpayers do not fund the Labour Party,as far as I am aware, although most of their individual members are likely to be taxpayers.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 412.

    saga- but going to a state school is one of your "unacceptable inequalities". Sounds serious to me. Serious enough for the drastic action you propose. You can't make the poor schools better very easily, so just close what you perceive to be the good ones - equality through mediocrity - and available to all. Much easier.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 411.

    Before he was PM I REALLY disliked DC. Once elected I was somehow warmed by his chipper nature. Now I think he may prove to be one of the worst PMs the UK has had.
    Now we see how he got Coulson to buy him into power we see the debt of gratitude he owes Murdoch's empire.
    Bring on Mensch to repalce him. Her & his indignant, arrogant demanour is really starting to show the Tory govt's true colours.

 

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