Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Shall we have the bun fight in the Autumn or the Spring?
To scrap or not to scrap that is the question ..........whether it is nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous activists, or to take arms against a rebellious party and by opposing......hmmmm who knows?
That frankly was the dilemma facing FPC last night. To go to conference with a proposal to change our popular no tuition fees policy, or to delay the potential bun fight until the Spring. The almost overwhelming decision was to defer until Spring, when of course we are also anticipating another bun fight when we debate our schools policy. Well, let's get all our bun fights over together, why not? Deferring also gives some more time to try and find a compromise that the whole party can support.
Of course FPC protocol and the delights of the Chatham House Rule, sadly prevents me from reporting back on what at times became a very heated debate. Suffice to say, despite my feelings of being in drawbridge mode, having benefited from a free education myself and in a professional capacity having serious concerns about the debt culture we are contributing to, I come down on the side of the argument that we do need to review the situation. We need to treat part time and FE students more equitably and we have to look at where scarce resources are most effectively used. Or, we need to get back to the tax debate. Also, it is something I bang on about all the time but I despair at how little cost benefit analysis is done in regard to public spending of any kind.
Of course all this could have been avoided. We could have continued with our no tuition fees policy, doubled the grant, raised the threshold for repayment and kept the motion on the agenda for Autumn......how? Er...........revisiting our Trident policy, which as luck has it, if the FCC see sense, we may have an opportunity to do!
As for the bun fight......those intending to participate, please bring Krispy Kremes:-)