Spend, spend, spend on education

Christian Weaver, President of Nottingham Trent University's Politics Society

Christian Weaver, President of Nottingham Trent University’s Politics Society

Get a group of people to discuss public spending and you can guarantee that within a few minutes a debate will ensue about how and where tax payers’ money should be prioritised. One conclusion that can be drawn is that the government cannot please everybody.

My opinion? I think education should be at the top of the priority list. But make no mistake; simply throwing more money at our education system will not solve anything. Our education spending should not only be designed to improve educational attainment and outcomes, but should also recognise its role in addressing economic and social needs. Continue reading

Tough calls on the National Health Service

520943253The future of the NHS will clearly be a key issue for the 2015 General Election. Any institution that costs the country so much, and touches so many people’s lives, cannot avoid being a topic for political debate. However, this institution is peculiarly ill-suited to the short-term nature of much British politics. Successive governments have focused on being seen to do something, and on generating favourable media coverage across the electoral cycle. This has resulted in a series of reorganizations and patches since the 1980s. In the policy community, the consequences are widely regarded as chaotic, demoralizing and wasteful. Unfortunately, unless the election has a clear-cut result, this seems likely to continue as coalition partners bargain for baubles or a minority government offers pork-barrel deals to win support from minor parties on specific votes. Continue reading