Daily archives: November 4, 2010

Tuition Fees Madness

I set out a comprehensive attack on the withdrawal of public funding from university teaching (for it is no less than that) here:


Now the actual figures have been released – £6,000 fees and up to £9,000 if you can prove you condescended to admit a few plebs – I do hope some Lib Dem Ministers will be shamed into rediscovering their integrity. But I doubt it.

If the object of this “reform” is to ensure that the Camerons, Cleggs and Osbornes of this world can go through life without ever meeting a member of the hoipolloi who is not serving them, it will succeed. If it has any other aim it will not.

The British government will spend less in total and less per student on higher education than any other developed country. It already spends less government money per student than the United States. This is a national disgrace much more fundamental than all the

macho nonsense about sharing aircraft carriers.

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This wracked body is battling to keep going, with problems still arising from whatever it was that nearly killed me in Tahskent in 2003 (if that sounds mysterious, it is – read Murder in Samarkand). I have spent most of the last week acting as a pincushion for the local hospital.

All of which thoughts of mortality remind me that I need to travel to Afghanistan in January to finish my research for my biography of Alexander Burnes. This is fair notice to anyone in Afghanistan who might want to kill me – which is a pretty broad range.

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