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July 26, 2009


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If my kid wants to be a doctor, or anything else that needs a lot of post-grad, I'm going to have to be sacked from my job so I don't have to pay for it. I wish I was joking.

Kay Tie

"Certainly no-one should be debarred from higher education because of low family income."

I agree with you, but we can't have this principle at the same time as the "all shall have prizes" equality principle (i.e. all shall have degrees). If everyone shall have degrees, there isn't the money to make it free, and what money there is can only ever support those from the very lowest incomes. Another brick in the wall of the poverty trap.

Paul Flynn

Thanks Chris. I have always voted against students fees. I benefited enormously from free education. Without it I would not have been able to go to university. I am very sympathetic to the points that you raise. So I believe is every Labour MP. Certainly no-one should be debarred from higher education because of low family income. that is still the ideal. The Assembly is responsible for education in Wales.

Grant T

"The Tories' remedy may be the route to a bloodbath of our brave soldiers."

It was the Labour Government who took us into Afghanistan, and who have caused this bloodbath.

Nice advert Mr Flynn, I think its a good idea to drop the Labour Party bit.

Kay Tie

Just to reiterate the data on the recession, not emotion or sentiment:


That link points to a graph that shows change in GDP from the peak fir the '30s, '80s, '90s and current recessions. Our one follows the the '30s more closely but that's not my point. My point is: look at the time in months from the peak to the bottom. The '90s recession bottomed out first and got back to the GDP starting point first.

There is no way that this recession is going to bottom out by next year: full-blown recessions just don't do that. It's not a question of optimism or pessimism, just the nature of the beast. But I don't expect all people to recognise this yet: the anatomy of any bubble contains shifting sentiment, human nature being what it is. This graph of a generic bubble shows how sentiment changes:


For the economy and the housing market we are in the "return to normal" phase. The timeline can be matched against the earlier graph to show when the dust will settle.

I am not pessimistic or optimistic: I expect things will follow the patterns that have been before. If you disagree with these things then it's really up to you to justify why it's different this time (an infamous phrase in investment circles).

Kay Tie

My realism is based on data. My views on swine flu are similarly based on data. I do not subscribe to media sentiment on either topic.

It's a pity that we don't have ready access to newspapers from the '30s because we'd see the day-by-day process of history repeating. But I'm quite content with the Labour Party stance: painful though it is to live through the self-destruction of a government, the result increases the chances of the destruction of the party too. A party that has consistently wrecked the economy when given power: every Labour government in history has left office with unemployment higher than than when it entered.

Paul Flynn

The fearmongers on flu are elbowing out the fearmongers on the economy. There is a self-feeding frenzy of pessimism on the recession which fades when another issue dominates the news.
The latest scare story is of a "W"recession. That, at least, concedes that we are coming up from the first 'V" of the 'W'.
I'm happy with my optimism KayTie, you are welcome to your pessimism

Kay Tie

If you think the economy is going to get better by the spring, you're kidding yourself. These things take years to work through. It won't bottom out until we're all in despair - and that's not happened yet. The real pain hasn't begun to be felt yet.

The only consolation for Labour is that this greatest pain will be felt under the next government. But delaying the election merely gives more time for more people to discover how bad things are getting - giving more credibility and justification to whatever the Toties choose to do.

Chris Carter

Hi there Paul, I've been reading the newspapers lately (as one should) and as a subject close to my heart at the moment I've begun to notice signs of a worrying nature.
That is of course the class divides in professions.

There are suggestions for 7,000 pounds a year in tuition fees for university students wanting to go to high achieving universities. Yet originally tuition fees were set as they were, so people from poorer backgrounds could reach new heights.

Now if i'm not getting too far ahead of myself here, but there are signs that if tuition fees rise, so will class divides in university places, in future professions and perhaps ultimately a more divided society. This situation must be addressed now.


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