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Focusing on internships and interviews will not halt the decline in social mobility

The Lib Dems just can’t help themselves. As soon as they see something which they view as ‘unfair’, their first and immediate instinct is to legislate against that perceived ‘injustice’. So, when Nick Clegg notices that the privileged and privately educated offspring of wealthy parents (people like him, as it happens) bag most of the top internships, he immediately rushes out to condemn “the sharp-elbowed and the well-connected” who, apparently, have somehow conspired to destroy the aspirations of the less well-off in society. This, for those of you who tend to change the channel whenever our Deputy Prime Minister hoves into view, is what Mr Clegg had to say about internships: Continue reading

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Sweden: No gender in the classroom

In February this year the Swedish Minister for Integration and Gender Equality, Nyamko Sabuni, made a brilliantly nuanced speech at the UN Commission on the Status of Women. During her speech, she proposed, “Good quality education is essential in the promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment”. However, for one pre-school in Sweden, it seems gender “neutrality” is the key to progress.

In an attempt to tackle “gender bias”, the Egalia pre-school of Stockholm has decided that pronouns may have a hand in jeopardizing gender equality. Consequentially, students will not be subjected to the use of “him” and “her”, and shall be addressed merely as “friends”. Continue reading

A Foreign Aid Superpower?

Britain is to become, in the words of International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell, a “foreign aid superpower”. The Department for International Development’s (DfID) budget of £7.9 billion is one of a few select areas of government spending being ring-fenced from the coalition’s cuts programme, and David Cameron recently committed to increasing the budget still further.

It is known that a lot of DfID money is misspent, often given to despots without any real oversight (or serving to worsen the situation the aid is trying to repair, as occurred in the case of Ethiopia). However, this cannot and should not obscure the fact that some of it is spent well and, in those instances, it saves lives. Continue reading

A Very British Greek Tragedy

Cry “Havoc! And let slip the PIGS and Greece” as Shakespeare would have written had he been around. The travails in Greece certainly have all the hallmarks of a tragedy in the artistic sense but beyond that all sense pretty much disappears.

Hubris, pride, incompetence, bathos, comeuppance, despair but enough of Ed Milliband’s leadership election, all these wonderful traits can be discerned from afar with great satisfaction by the average Brit who has always thought that there was something deeply flawed by the European currency project. Continue reading

Burying The Pratchett: We Must Not Legalise Euthanasia

So, the iconoclastic Left redoubles its attack on the greatest injunction of them all: Do not murder. Predictably, the “impartial” BBC is at hand to coax and cheer for a change in the law to make assisted suicide legal. This was evidenced by the deeply partial documentary Choosing to Die originally broadcast on BBC2 at 21:00 on Monday the 13th of June.  The bien pensant who fronted the BBC’s propagandist documentary was Sir Terry Pratchett, the novelist and Alzheimer’s disease sufferer.

I was aware of Pratchett’s novels; I was aware he dressed entirely in black as if to contrast himself with the strikingly garish covers of his books; I was aware of his campaigning for the legalisation of euthanasia.

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