Tuesday, 6 November 2007

The Queen's Speech

So the new education idea is to keep kids in education until 18. Some how this doesn't seem to be addressing the major problems in educcation nor does it seem to have taken any advice from those who work at the chalk-face. Where are the smaller class sizes, greater pay and training for staff, more discipline, money for resources and security, offers of vocational training for those less academically gifted? Forcing kids to stay on is not the same as taking 16 year olds with few qualifications and giving them a trade or skills by which they can earn money and consequently contribute tax.

Of course we need new housing, but it needs to be specifically for first time buyers and essential services. We need council houses to replace the stock sold off in the 80s. We need to restrict buy to let and penalise second home ownership. We also need to address the rising population. We need to learn how to educate and motivate our current citizens to fill the jobs available not discard those current citizens who then become disillusioned and potentially criminal by allowing cheap foreign labour to flood the market or reliance on skilled workers to fill positions when we have so many graduates who cannot find work.

Health, yet more regulation. We need to get rid of managers and replace them with practitioners. We need to fund capacity not units, afterall, nobody has suggested we need to pull the army out of Iraq because we've run out of money.

Climate change require an holistic approach not a piecemeal one. Let's put more funding into renewable and clean energies. Subsidise solar panels, increase recycling by offering incentives as well as by taxing. This requires a concerted and cross party effort drawing on expertise that lies in industry and academe, not just a few nice words.

So we are going to hold people without charge from 28 to 56 days. Why? If you can't find any evidence after 28 days what makes you think you'll find it after 56. Why can't the suspect simple be put under house arrest? Or re-arrested? If someone really is identified to the point where they need to be arrested then surely any security force worth its salt has the evidence already.

And the rest?

Little change, so more of the same. The Blair/Brown machine rumbles on with the Conservatives complaining that Labour are stealing all their ideas, reinforcing the notion that Labour and Conservative are now simple shades of the same colour.

What the country needs is change, but one where each step is spelt out in terms of the specific benefit it will bring. It also needs some coherency. It also needs to be more inclusive. What's wrong with asking teachers how they think education could be improved, or nurses the healthservice, or police officers law?

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