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The Browne Review report
chap
nmg

Too depressing for words. If I can muster the energy, I'll write a longer commentary later this week. For the time being, let me echo the words of Sally Hunt: "Lord Browne's recommendations, if enacted, represent the final nail in the coffin for affordable higher education."



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What is the answer ooi? I've read the stuff now and to my (uninvolved) view it seems like a not unreasonable way of going about things, although obviously with some risks. I can't see poor students fancying prestige degrees for example.

But I would be interested to know what you guys would like to see happen to fix things?

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...like, for instance, a system that costs millions of pounds and hasn't been used once.

Honestly, I think we should demand some value for money from the bomb. Either they kill someone with it, or scrap the sodding thing.

It's explicitly advertised as a deterrent.

Your line of thinking demands we also abandon preparedness training for types of incident which haven't happened. This would also save money, until it does happen, and then we'd wring our hands.

The effectiveness of deterrents depends on how rational and well-informed your targets are. Shoplifting? Not so good. Corporate fraud? Better. Nuclear first launch? Pretty damn good. Remember when you read that Iran has announced something crazy that they're speaking to the home crowd. The Soviet Union did that too. "We will smite the oppressors", everybody cheers, and then you go back to planning peaceful accommodation. So this is a case (unlike say, "bring back the death penalty for kiddy fiddlers") where a deterrent can make sense.

It's explicitly advertised as a deterrent.

Good point. I'll assume it was good value for money, and that I just hallucinated all the wars we've been in since we got the bomb.

Your line of thinking demands we also abandon preparedness training for types of incident which haven't happened. This would also save money, until it does happen, and then we'd wring our hands.

Well, I would say my line of thinking demands we abandon ridiculously expensive preparations for types of incident which are vanishingly unlikely to happen. I would vote against building a lightning-proof bunker in case the great and terrible Zeus should decide to smite me, for instance.

Honestly, I don't disagree that it might work as a deterrent, but we don't actually have a lot of evidence to prove that it does. After all, we attack countries that we think have nuclear weapons pretty much with impunity. I just think that money might better be spent preparing for something we know will happen (i.e. millions of teenagers go to university in september) instead of preparing for something we know almost certainly won't.


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