Fair access?

It seems that Vince has triumphed over Dave over the appointment of the egregious Prof. Ebdon to head up the ‘Office of Fair Access’ (to universities).

This office was part of the New Labour flock of quangoes set up to provide jobs for its clients and cronies and any government serious about promoting academic standards and freedom and real ‘social mobility’ should have scrapped it and all its works and pomps within nanoseconds of taking office.

That this organisation still exists raises grave questions about the real intentions of the ‘Coalition’. That Vince Cable should want to appoint the Vice-Chancellor (sic) of the University of Bedfordshire to this post shouldn’t surprise anyone, given Vince’s heavily left- socialist leanings. That the ‘Prof’ is a known advocate of the sort of courses I used to advise my own students to avoid like the plague and thus not principally interested in serious scholarship is probably his best qualification in Vince’s eyes.

But the Prime Minister should surely be able to overrule his Cabinet member on this issue, even if he is a Liberal Democrat. This is especially so when the relevant House of Commons committee has refused to endorse the appointment, having interviewed the ‘Prof’ at great length. Yet Downing Street says that DC is powerless! Powerless to stop this man trying to impose his failed social engineering experiments on some of the foremost academic institutions in the world.

DC should watch out, lest people begin to believe either that he really IS powerless, or that he actually supports the continuation of Labour’s failed social engineering, as approved by some but not all Liberal Democrats. Neither of these perceptions will help him become leader of a majority government.


About pauljohnston

Elected as Conservative councillor in Surbiton Hill, Kingston upon Thames in 1998. Re-elected 2002 and 2006. Former parliamentary candidate in Lancashire and Birmingham. Ceased to be a Councillor (temporarily?) in 2010. Active among Residents' Associations in Surbiton Hill and among residents in social housing generally. Former teacher of History at St. Brendan's College Bristol and Head of History and Politics at the London Oratory School. Worked with Sutton Trust running summer schools for sixth formers at Oxford University from 1997-2000 aiming to improve uptake of places from pupils from state schools which sent very few applicants to Oxbridge.
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