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    (Original post by blinkbelle)
    They need to sort out the National Curriculum first.
    They need to get rid of the NC entirely - or radically reduce its scope.
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    (Original post by Howard)
    He's not proposing tax cuts is he? Or boosting NHS spending?

    But even if he were, surely he'd only be taking lessons from that master conjurer himself - Gordon Brown - he's had no problems pulling off tricks like this for the last decade. Probably why the country is 1.5 trillion in debt!
    He's promised a couple of tax cuts - he wants to raise the inheritance tax threshold to £1million, allow married couples to move their personal allowance across, conditionally freeze council tax and cut corporation tax. The IHT and marriage plans are trivial changes as they won't affect many people, only the very richest. The cut in corporation tax is quite a biggie though.

    He's made an absolute promise to keep NHS spending at current real-term levels and has stated that he expects real-term spending on the NHS to be increased.

    I agree with you about the Gordon Brown point, to an extent. Politics has become increasingly dishonest and unprincipled, but I think Cameron's plans are far more slimy and dishonest than anything New Labour could come up with.
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    (Original post by jacketpotato)
    He's promised a couple of tax cuts - he wants to raise the inheritance tax threshold to £1million, allow married couples to move their personal allowance across, conditionally freeze council tax and cut corporation tax. The IHT and marriage plans are trivial changes as they won't affect many people, only the very richest. The cut in corporation tax is quite a biggie though.

    He's made an absolute promise to keep NHS spending at current real-term levels and has stated that he expects real-term spending on the NHS to be increased.

    I agree with you about the Gordon Brown point, to an extent. Politics has become increasingly dishonest and unprincipled, but I think Cameron's plans are far more slimy and dishonest than anything New Labour could come up with.
    Fair enough but he's also making cuts in spending elsewhere:

    (1) A public sector pay freeze, except for the lowest paid.

    (2) Cutting the cost of Whitehall and quangos by at least a third

    (3) Capping public sector pensions at £50,000 per year.

    (4) Stopping Child Trust Funds, except for the poorest families and disabled children.

    (5) Stopping tax credits to high earners.

    Without a detailed look at the math who can say whether, like GB, he intends to continue spending more than he's earning.
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    There's one flat-cost solution to fixing education: Give schools the ability to fire bad teachers.
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    (Original post by Howard)
    Fair enough but he's also making cuts in spending elsewhere:

    (1) A public sector pay freeze, except for the lowest paid.

    (2) Cutting the cost of Whitehall and quangos by at least a third

    (3) Capping public sector pensions at £50,000 per year.

    (4) Stopping Child Trust Funds, except for the poorest families and disabled children.

    (5) Stopping tax credits to high earners.

    Without a detailed look at the math who can say whether, like GB, he intends to continue spending more than he's earning.
    That lot might just about balance NHS increases and the corporation tax change. But it goes nowhere near the "radical action" to cut the deficit that Cameron keeps telling us we need - I don't think you need to do the Maths to see that. Tax credits to high earners and Child Trust Funds are trivial changes - I think an awful lot more is going to be needed if Cameron's claims of "radical action" or "rolling back the state" are going to have any credibility.

    n.b. A bit off-topic, but how do you people think Cameron plans to reduce spending on quangos? You've guessed it - another quango :yep:
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    this is a quality idea..
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    (Original post by jacketpotato)
    That lot might just about balance NHS increases and the corporation tax change. But it goes nowhere near the "radical action" to cut the deficit that Cameron keeps telling us we need - I don't think you need to do the Maths to see that. Tax credits to high earners and Child Trust Funds are trivial changes - I think an awful lot more is going to be needed if Cameron's claims of "radical action" or "rolling back the state" are going to have any credibility.

    n.b. A bit off-topic, but how do you people think Cameron plans to reduce spending on quangos? You've guessed it - another quango :yep:
    Yes - I can see it now. "The Commission for Quango Oversight and Accountability" LOL!

    I'd shut down all these Quangos tbh. They are not needed. The Civil Service used to do all this stuff.
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    (Original post by Ham22)
    David Cameron is a jack ass. i really hope he doesn't get elected.
    given the alternative is five more 'glorious' years under comrade Broon and liarbore
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    Anything is better than the socialist mess we have now. Labour lost the middle class vote a long time ago, especially among the upper middle.

    It's okay for labour lovers though! Labour will be back as soon as all the intelligent British nationals have left the country and the only people left voting are the benefit fraudsters and immigrants who have gained so much from the current "regime".

    Oh and on the article - I agree with the premise, but tempting professionals into teaching sounds both difficult and unnecessary.
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    It's all well and good saying teaching can become elitist but why would really well educated people want to work in schools? I've sat in classes and we've given the teachers pure hell, some quit their jobs one even went into therapy. To teach in Secondary schools you'd need some bottle as there are no real repercussions for kids, untill they change that, they won't get 'good' teachers. Although I do agree with the essence of the message, some of the least academic people I know are doing primary school teaching which is worrying.
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    (Original post by Howard)
    I'd shut down all these Quangos tbh. They are not needed. The Civil Service used to do all this stuff.
    Obviously some Quangos need their existence reviewing, but the virtue of being a Quango doesn't, despite Cameron's insistence, make an organisation a waste of money. NICE, for instance, is a quango and simultaneously one of the most cost effective public sector bodies.
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    (Original post by Howard)
    Do you have any real arguments against Cameron's proposals to improve teaching or not?
    Ssssh. Be quiet, you tedious creature you.

    I don't like arguing, especialy about politicts. So go take you're arguments somewhere esle, i know you can't wait for a good argument. ><
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    (Original post by Captain Crash)
    Obviously some Quangos need their existence reviewing, but the virtue of being a Quango doesn't, despite Cameron's insistence, make an organisation a waste of money. NICE, for instance, is a quango and simultaneously one of the most cost effective public sector bodies.
    Ah, NICE......that Stalinist health rationing body which pays its chief executive over a quarter of a million a year and employs 200 people at a cost of over 12 million while at the same time denying people badly needed treatement.

    NICE work if you can get it.

    The UK spends 60 billion a year on its 1200 quangos. Almost all of this work was done in the past by the Civil Service a lot more cheaply.
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    (Original post by Howard)
    Ah, NICE......that Stalinist health rationing body which pays its chief executive over a quarter of a million a year and employs 200 people at a cost of over 12 million while at the same time denying people badly needed treatement.

    NICE work if you can get it.
    NICE gets a very bad press. For every herceptin and AChE inhibitor it rejects - almost every drug it rejects makes the news - there's hundreds of drugs that have been negotiated down in price and guarenteed for use by the NHS that don't make the press (there's no news like bad news eh?). Also they do cost-effectiveness analysis on pretty much every aspect of medicine. Ever wonder why, despite allegations of inefficiency, the health system in this country has managed to keep a lid on rising health care costs? NICE has a lot to do with it.

    The 12 million we spend on every is made back many many times over in savings on drugs and unneccesary procedures. It's not perfect - I don't particularly agree with it's analysis on, say, AChE inhibitors for alzhiemers but it's a damn sight better than, say, the American way of dealing with drugs costs.
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    (Original post by jacketpotato)
    That lot might just about balance NHS increases and the corporation tax change. But it goes nowhere near the "radical action" to cut the deficit that Cameron keeps telling us we need - I don't think you need to do the Maths to see that. Tax credits to high earners and Child Trust Funds are trivial changes - I think an awful lot more is going to be needed if Cameron's claims of "radical action" or "rolling back the state" are going to have any credibility.

    n.b. A bit off-topic, but how do you people think Cameron plans to reduce spending on quangos? You've guessed it - another quango :yep:
    What I don't really understand is why he wants to get rid of universal child benefit (which we both agree is a good thing) but want to put in place a universal 'marriage' benefit system to replace it so it doesn't save any money at all.

    When I was at the Fabian conference on saturday they all went on about how universal child benefit has to be retained as it makes people 'buy' into the concept of a universal welfare state and is therefore good for society, despite the wasted money. Surely, if marriage is proven to do the same thing as an institution they should implement that as well?

    I don't want either, and I can only hope Clarke can come back and get rid of it all over again. (Or convince them of another way of reforming the tax system to encourage families to stay together which doesn't involve marriage.)

    How much sway do you thing the left wing moralists like IDS have over the party?
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    seems like a good idea to me. Most new teachers seem as ***** as hell, thankfully i was lucky enough to get all the oldies for Alevel =]
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    (Original post by PoliceStory)
    What I don't really understand is why he wants to get rid of universal child benefit (which we both agree is a good thing) but want to put in place a universal 'marriage' benefit system to replace it so it doesn't save any money at all.

    When I was at the Fabian conference on saturday they all went on about how universal child benefit has to be retained as it makes people 'buy' into the concept of a universal welfare state and is therefore good for society, despite the wasted money. Surely, if marriage is proven to do the same thing as an institution they should implement that as well?

    I don't want either, and I can only hope Clarke can come back and get rid of it all over again. (Or convince them of another way of reforming the tax system to encourage families to stay together which doesn't involve marriage.)
    Awesome to hear that you were are the conference, hope you enjoyed it :yep:

    I think you have to take the Fabian support for universal benefits with a pinch of salt. I suspect its something that some senior Fabians support for implicit institutional reasons rather than because they actually believe that its the right policy. Its been a very consistent theme in the handful of (mostly excellent) Fabian books/pamphlets that I have read, they tend to repeat the same arguments and terminology in favour of universal benefits verbatim.

    I think the risk with handing people money just for being married is that it is more obviously unfair than handing people money to help them look after their children. The Fabian argument for universal benefits runs along the lines of "if you keep the middle-classes and rich attached to the benefit system, so they think that benefits are more fair rather than just for lazy people, so they'll support it, so welfare spending rises in the long-run". I don't think marriage hand-outs could ever operate to retain that kind of support because they break at the fair-chain of the argument because they operate inversely to need: I think everybody accepts that the more likely you are to be married, the less likely you are to need the hand-out.

    The whole political approach is the wrong way round to me: politicians have decided that they want to look like they support marriage, so are scrabbling around for increasingly stupid ways to do this. They need to find a vaguely sensible way to promote a certain type of family unit in the tax system before the principle even gets considered. I really can't see any sensible way to do it except for through the inheritance regime (which is already chock-full of benefits for married couples) or council taxed discounts.

    How much sway do you thing the left wing moralists like IDS have over the party?
    Personally, looking at the shadow cabinet I don't think the Tory left-wingers like IDS have much sway. Its very hard to know what the Tories stand for at the moment, but I get the impression that the Cameron project is much more about gaining the support of the right of the party and encouraging it to budge a bit than it is about appealing to the left, if you get what I mean. The rhetoric in his speeches is very Thatcher heavy, and whilst I've heard him refer to Michael Howard's leadership quite a few times I haven't heard him refer to IDS's leadership. I suspect that he does this because appealing directly to the left of the party would make Cameron appear very similar to New Labour, something he desperately needs to avoid. IDS wasn't taken seriously as leader and I don't think too much has changed.
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    (Original post by Captain Crash)
    NICE gets a very bad press. For every herceptin and AChE inhibitor it rejects - almost every drug it rejects makes the news - there's hundreds of drugs that have been negotiated down in price and guarenteed for use by the NHS that don't make the press (there's no news like bad news eh?). Also they do cost-effectiveness analysis on pretty much every aspect of medicine. Ever wonder why, despite allegations of inefficiency, the health system in this country has managed to keep a lid on rising health care costs? NICE has a lot to do with it.

    The 12 million we spend on every is made back many many times over in savings on drugs and unneccesary procedures. It's not perfect - I don't particularly agree with it's analysis on, say, AChE inhibitors for alzhiemers but it's a damn sight better than, say, the American way of dealing with drugs costs.
    Well, fair enough but being better at the Americans at dealing with drug costs isn't difficult to achieve.
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    (Original post by jacketpotato)
    Awesome to hear that you were are the conference, hope you enjoyed it :yep:

    I think you have to take the Fabian support for universal benefits with a pinch of salt. I suspect its something that some senior Fabians support for implicit institutional reasons rather than because they actually believe that its the right policy. Its been a very consistent theme in the handful of (mostly excellent) Fabian books/pamphlets that I have read, they tend to repeat the same arguments and terminology in favour of universal benefits verbatim.

    I think the risk with handing people money just for being married is that it is more obviously unfair than handing people money to help them look after their children. The Fabian argument for universal benefits runs along the lines of "if you keep the middle-classes and rich attached to the benefit system, so they think that benefits are more fair rather than just for lazy people, so they'll support it, so welfare spending rises in the long-run". I don't think marriage hand-outs could ever operate to retain that kind of support because they break at the fair-chain of the argument because they operate inversely to need: I think everybody accepts that the more likely you are to be married, the less likely you are to need the hand-out.

    The whole political approach is the wrong way round to me: politicians have decided that they want to look like they support marriage, so are scrabbling around for increasingly stupid ways to do this. They need to find a vaguely sensible way to promote a certain type of family unit in the tax system before the principle even gets considered. I really can't see any sensible way to do it except for through the inheritance regime (which is already chock-full of benefits for married couples) or council taxed discounts.


    Personally, looking at the shadow cabinet I don't think the Tory left-wingers like IDS have much sway. Its very hard to know what the Tories stand for at the moment, but I get the impression that the Cameron project is much more about gaining the support of the right of the party and encouraging it to budge a bit than it is about appealing to the left, if you get what I mean. The rhetoric in his speeches is very Thatcher heavy, and whilst I've heard him refer to Michael Howard's leadership quite a few times I haven't heard him refer to IDS's leadership. I suspect that he does this because appealing directly to the left of the party would make Cameron appear very similar to New Labour, something he desperately needs to avoid. IDS wasn't taken seriously as leader and I don't think too much has changed.
    I have to say I spent quite a bit of time with bloggers and the 'twitter folk' I have to say. :o: Although I found most of the Fabians to be a bit snobby personally. Very obsessed with Keynes, and 'lookin after the plebs' if not in those words.

    The Vince Cable event was the most interesting one, and he seems to have the right idea of not having either of the benefits and cutting back on public spending. (I don't really approve of the 'mansion tax' though.) The Telegraph writer and him agreed a lot. Strangely...

    I had a 2nd row seat for Brown's speech as well, I'm not sure whether to be :awesome: or very sad indeed.

    I know what you mean about Cameron trying to shift the right of the party, you often find that they reject anyone that isn't 'pure' which is why there's been a lot of hostility to Cameron, and some silly policies like leaving the EPP, which has worked out quite well in the end, or clinging onto policies like the IHT cut while scrapping the pledge to reduce the tax on which poor people save.
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    To contribute to the thread though, here's a times article on the experiences in Finnish schools.

    http://bit.ly/557HrJ
 
 
 
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