Visit to Maiden Erlegh 6th Form


            This morning I spoke to the Maiden Erlegh Sixth Form as part of their General Studies. I was assured that Labour and Lib Dem representatives have been invited in to speak at later dates to provide balance.

            I spoke to them about the changing landscape of work, where more jobs will have to come from self employment and small companies, as the total number of  new jobs available in the public sector and UK based large companies declines. I talked of the huge opportunities the internet and other new technology offers, where a student in his bedsit in Harvard University can set up a business which makes him a multi billionaire in his twenties. I reminded them as an example that the pharmaceutical industry, traditionally a big employer of UK scientists, is now wanting the early research work to be carried out by small sub contracting companies.

            There were two main sets of questions. The first were criticisms of Dr Cable’s tuition fee and loan scheme, and the second were questions hostile to Middle Eastern wars.

             I explained the government approach to universities. The aim of the government  scheme is ensure anyone can afford to go to a university, and n o-one has to repay any of the money borrowed unless they have a job with a reasonable salary. It is still a good idea for students keen to use the university experience for their betterment to go, borrowing the money on these sensible terms to do so. The repayment terms have been made easier for people on lower incomes.

            I agreed with the general thrust of the criticisms of too much western military intervention in the Middle East, and explained that I have been arguing for early exit from Afghanistan and no military action in Iran.


  1. John
    February 3, 2012

    Really? That’s what they asked questions about?

    How sad.

    And how limited their perspective and imagination.

  2. Rebecca Hanson
    February 3, 2012

    I’m against the sanctions on Iran too. We can’t stop them getting nuclear weapons if they want them so why are were pursuing the strategy which led to mass death in Iraq?

    It’s clear driving terrorist and anti-British sentiment.

    We have no moral grounds for taking such action against Iran when we are taking no action against Israel for its nuclear proliferation, it’s (alleged-ed)constant violations of UN mandates and its gross abuses of human rights.

    It’s good to see you getting out and talking to students just as you talk to us John. I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks your work in this area is important.

  3. badgerbill
    February 3, 2012

    In the Daily Mail this morning it states that Iran will have missiles that can reach the USA and the UK.

    There is greater proof that Iran will have a nuclear weapon and that they will use it. On less proof we went to war with Iraq!

    Will it take many losses before action is taken?

  4. JimF
    February 4, 2012

    The great thing is that if they become self employed they will have more control over the terms under which they have to repay these tuition fees….

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