Today was vintage “Today”. We had the plug for Vince Cable’s idiotic idea that we should nationalise Northern Rock, with no alternative comment or criticism. No-one has explained how taking over responsibility for all ??100 billion of the Rock’s liabilities would be better for taxpayers than merely lending them less than a third of that sum against security from their assets.
Then we had an interview with some inarticulate government Minister about forthcoming cuts in physics departments in Universities. Aggressive repititon of the same question – would the Minister cough up an extra ??80 million which someone had said they would like – wrecked any chance of the rest of us understanding the issues or the problem. His repitiatious statement that the cash available had increased did not advance our understanding much either. Neither questioner Sarah nor interviewee Minister had anything to say about where all the money that had been approved was going, and why the “cuts” all have to fall on physics teaching. It is pathetic that public debate is reduced to a slanging match or a dialogue of the deaf, with one side saying the money has gone up and the other saying it’s not enough. There is never analysis of how much is spent, how it is spent and how efficient and effective the recipient is. Politics should be about priorities, not about sandbagging the taxpayer at every available opportunity.
It was yet again a very expensive Today programme for taxpayers- after wanting to take on ??100 billion of Rock risk saving some physics for ??80 million was a bargain! Will they never give voice to those of us who want to save the taxpayers money and run puiblic services better?