Wednesday, 24 November 2010

If you think education is expensive ... try ignorance

One picture is worth ten thousand words ...

and given Nick Clegg (and the Liberal Democrats) pledged before the election not to raise tuition fees, but on entering power is overseeing the process of tripling them ... it is no surprise he regrets such actions, but which ones ... pledging not to raise them ... or for tripling them ...?

This one decision, by yet another rich millionaire (made from banking/property just like David Cameron), could result in the demise of the Liberal Democrats, and casts further doubt that anyone in the corridors of Power really has the future of this country, and hard-working people's best interests, at heart ... 

Students wanted to protest outside Liberal Democrat headquarters today but were stopped from doing so ... and why was this ... what has happened to free speech?

Ignoromics (Type 1 is Ignorance, Type 2 is Apathy) is what allows Poweromics to flourish ... and denies a better future for everyone ... which IMHO makes the placard held by the student above so poignant ... 

to be continued ...

Monday, 22 November 2010

'Crash Gordon' handing keys to 'Etonian Cameron'

One picture is worth ten thousand words ... but IMHO the one below is priceless!

and will Cameron be the man to successfully turn things around (with the help of all his wealthy and privileged friends) ... ? 

to be continued ...

Thursday, 11 November 2010

A nation ... held back by vested interests?

Here's just one fundamental reason for introducing land value tax ... "In a world of internationally mobile capital and people it is counterproductive to tax personal income and corporate profit to uncompetitive levels ... but a progressive alternative is to shift the tax base to property and land which cannot run away and represent, in Britain, an extreme concentration of wealth" (Vince Cable, Business Secretary, 22nd September 2010).

But there is one fundamental reason why they will not do it ... and that's the self-interest/greed of a very small minority, who own the vast majority of land, and wealth, in the UK.  Over 69 per cent of the UK is owned by 0.6 per cent of the population, or more pertinently 

  • 158,000 families own 41 million acres of land, whilst
  • 24 million families live on the four million acres of the urban plot. 
    No other country in Europe, apart from Spain, has such an unequal concentration of land ownership. The single wealthiest landowner is the Duke of Westminster, who owns hundreds of acres of prime real estate and land in Belgravia and Mayfair ... and the "cousinhood", a secretive network of 6,000 aristocratic families and their relatives who, through intermarriage, continue to own much of the land of the British Isles, still exert influence and control through the political parties, the House of Lords, Oxford and Cambridge, the Crown and the armed forces.

    And, contrary to popular belief, there is no shortage of available and uncultivated land in Britain - the landowners' estates are vast and, in areas such as the Cotswolds and parts of Scotland, say, omnipresent. What Britain suffers from, especially in the south-east of England, is a shortage of land on which houses are allowed to be built (e.g. the "green belt" around London massively inflates the prices of property in London ... which the Duke of Westminster has profited very well from). 

    As a result, the urban plot becomes ever more congested, land values and property prices continue to grow - because scarcity of land attracts a premium value - and our young people, many of them debt-burdened from their university years or struggling to find work in a recession, cannot afford to buy a flat, let alone a house. This forces them into the twilight world of short-term rents and disreputable landlords.

    Given that there is a direct correlation between land scarcity and high house prices, why isn't land reform more urgently debated today? Why are our political and media elites so reluctant to investigate new ways of taxing unearned income, especially at this time of extreme austerity, when Britain already has the fourth-highest marginal tax rates?

    Because those same people, who sit in the shadows (but quietly wield their power) also exert   influence and control over most politicians and those in mainstream media too ... n.b. it is also massively inflated house prices that allow bankers to profiteer from driving young people and families heavily into debt, whilst allowing 'speculation' to continue (at taxpayers expense) from money 'created' out of thin air too (resulting in the 'growth' of 'financial services' using 'fractional reserve banking') ... so not so hard to answer really ... however, they do not control the internet (although they a trying to do so)!

    Tuesday, 2 November 2010

    Turning the economy around ... by REDUCING untapped talent!

    The CIPD has today highlighted how the private sector will be hit harder by the cuts than the public sector.  Their research suggests that government's spending cuts and the rise in VAT to 20% in January will result in more than 1.6 million job losses across the public and private sectors by 2016 ...  

    Spending cuts     725,000 public sector job losses
    Spending cuts     650,000 private sector job losses 
    VAT rise            250,000 private sector job losses
    Total              1,625,000 jobs

    The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development said the impact of the Spending Review had been "understated".  John Philpott, chief economic adviser to the CIPD, said the number of public sector job losses cited in the Spending Review looked like "an underestimate, given what most public sector managers are telling us".

    Some business groups, such as the CBI, have said that job creation in the private sector will be able to compensate for losses in the public sector.  Yet the CIPD said that the private sector would be hit harder than the public sector.  Can both be right ...?

    If a concerted effort is made to apply 21st century management practices in both the private sector and public sector then the economy will create a tidal wave of innovation and successfully turn itself around ... if this does not happen then all the honest, hard-working people of this country will have been betrayed by their 'leaders' ... and should never be forgiven.

    ... and do we currently have the progressive, forward-looking 'leaders' applying 21st century management practices in charge of our largest Corporations now ...  well I'm afraid the answer to this question unfortunately in the vast majority of cases is 'no' ... as currently many only understand 19th Century practices and 'Poweromics', e.g. reducing staff and rewarding themselves with big pay rises (e.g. a phenomenal 55% increase last year)!

    21st Century management practice is about trust, honor and respect for people, and releasing all their untapped talent/creativity to create growth ... whilst 19th Century practice drives self interest and head-count reduction to create short-term profit ... 

    ... and our economy will fail to recover in any sustainable way if levels of untapped opportunity and talent continue to be systematically wasted as much as they are now (90%+), and it'll rapidly collapse if these become even worse!

    Monday, 1 November 2010

    Scrap the targets ... says Exams Chief

    Following on from demands to scrap SATS tests (e.g. by the 'Cambridge Primary Review') ... and the need to remove the target driven culture ... more leaders appear to be speaking out ...

    For example the head of England's exams watchdog OfQual, Isabel Nisbet, has said that Official targets on the number of good GCSEs teenagers should be scrapped, and that the current league tables are too "simplistic".

    Schools are currently measured on the proportion of pupils who achieve five GCSEs at grade C or higher, including maths and English. The new government has said it wants to overhaul the league tables and Education Secretary Michael Gove thinks parents should be given more information.

    Asked what she would do if she were education secretary for a day, Ms Nisbet said: "I would get rid of the targets related to the number of passes at grade C at GCSE."

    At the Cambridge Assessment conference last week she also questioned the format of league tables: "The question is, is it simplistic to measure a very small number of indicators, sometimes drawing false conclusions? I think the answer is it probably is."

    Ms Nisbet, who is leaving Ofqual next year, said parents should be given more information about schools, and that most people understood there were different schools serving different communities (nb one could hypothesize why such comments have not been forthcoming sooner).

    Mr Gove has said he would like to see an "English Baccalaureate" - where pupils would study five GCSEs including English, maths, a science, a language and a humanity such as geography, history, art or music.

    Let's see whether a little common sense (and 21st century management practice) will prevail, with the target systems being scrapped and league tables being replaced ... and let's see whether measurement systems are instead used to support front line staff more ... to help them identify and continuously improve our children's education ... by systematically removing the 'real' barriers to learning and student development.

    The dismantling of the fundamentally flawed and outdated (19th century) practices, put in place by the last Government (nb mainly Gordon Brown - hence the picture), will take a little time and the UK is suffering badly as a result of such mistakes (e.g. the cost of failure in terms of wasted investment, opportunity and  talent) ... and will the current Government turn things around or make things worse ... well we're about to find out ...!