Scottish Labour to join Tories in seeking end to free education

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By a Newsnet reporter
 
Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont has signalled her party are to ditch plans for free education for Scottish students.
 
The fears follow reports of a speech given by Ms Lamont at the Scottish Fabian Society where she claimed that the SNP’s policy on free education was holding back some of Scotland’s most talented youngsters.

According to reports in the Telegraph newspaper, the leader of the Labour party in Scotland claims the Scottish Government’s policy on free education has not been properly worked through and is actually preventing students from poorer areas from attending college or university.

In reports of her speech she says: “We have a government that boasts about free education.  Those of us who have scratched below the surface know it is costing us by denying opportunities for others to attend college or university

“When universities are forced to recruit more and more from outwith Scotland just to balance the books, it is inevitable that doors are being slammed shut on some of our brightest talent.”

In the speech, the Scottish Labour leader described the SNP’s University funding policy as an “affront” and accused the party of refusing to engage in an honest debate.

Ms Lamont’s attack comes despite her party’s pre-election pledge, when she was deputy leader, not to introduce tuition fees if elected in 2011.

Speaking just before the Holyrood elections, Ms Lamont’s then leader Iain Gray said:

“If I am First Minister, a Labour government will not introduce any upfront fees or graduate contribution for access to higher education in the lifetime of the next Parliament.  There will be no price tag on education,”

Scottish Labour subsequently sent out 100,000 letters to Scotland’s students boasting of the pledge, which was described by the National Union of Students as “great news”.

The SNP responded to reports of the speech by the Scottish Labour leader by claiming it proved that only the SNP could be trusted with Scotland’s free education.

Commenting Joe Fitzpatrick, SNP MSP for Dundee City West, said Labour voters would be aghast that the party appeared to be abandoning progressive politics and again hitching themselves to Tories.

Mr Fitzpatrick said:

“This is Johann Lamont’s Nick Clegg moment.  Labour are reverting to type on charging the young people of Scotland for their education.  It was the Labour-Liberal coalition that introduced back-door tuition fees in Scotland – which were then abolished by the SNP – and Labour which brought in tuition fees south of the border.

“The SNP will never price Scottish young people out of an education.  We are the only Party never to have voted for tuition fees, and as Alex Salmond has promised, the rocks will melt with the sun before we do so.”

The situation followed the introduction of tuition fees in England where students are charged up to £9000 in fees.  Under the Scottish Government’s policy, students living in Scotland have their University fees paid for by the government whilst students living outwith Scotland are charged.  The Scottish government put the estimated average annual fee for non-Scottish residents at £6,841 – which is less than the £8,509 average figure students are charged in England.

EU rules allow for EU residents to have their fees paid for by the Scottish Government. 

Mr Fitzpatrick added:

“As the map produced by the European Students’ Union shows, the Scottish Government is one of only three countries to have delivered increased funding for the sector.

“The SNP Government is committed to maintaining free education, as well protecting places for Scottish students in Further and Higher Education.

“Johann Lamont needs to explain how this Tory policy fits in with her apparent left-wing credentials.”

The European Students Union surveyed the views of students on the impact of the global financial crisis on investment in higher education institutions as part of their Bologna with Student Eyes 2012 publication.  The map shows Scotland is one of only three countries where students believe more investment has been made. 

It is available here: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150737523444334&set=a.10150635218254334.408364.5633999333&type=1&theater

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106 COMMENTS

  1. Per-election pledges aren’t relevant here, unfortunately. (IMO)

    New leader, lost the election…previous pledges are gone and the new leader/party make new pledges. We all know that Labour would introduce fees under the guise of affordability so perhaps contacting Lamont and her office to see if she agrees with tuition fees (not you personally NNS!) but, come any debate I’d quite like to see her asked for a simple yes or no answer on the subject!

  2. Per-election pledges aren’t relevant here, unfortunately. (IMO)

    New leader, lost the election…previous pledges are gone and the new leader/party make new pledges. We all know that Labour would introduce fees under the guise of affordability so perhaps contacting Lamont and her office to see if she agrees with tuition fees (not you personally NNS!) but, come any debate I’d quite like to see her asked for a simple yes or no answer on the subject!

  3. Exactly the same neo-conservative bilge that the Coalition come out with. This gives lie to the posturing of Milliband regarding the Coalition proposals regarding education, health policing etc., Vote for any of these parties and you will get the same failed policies.

    Thankfully Lamont will not get anywhere near the tiller of power in Scotland.

  4. Exactly the same neo-conservative bilge that the Coalition come out with. This gives lie to the posturing of Milliband regarding the Coalition proposals regarding education, health policing etc., Vote for any of these parties and you will get the same failed policies.

    Thankfully Lamont will not get anywhere near the tiller of power in Scotland.

  5. If anyone wanted evidence that the UK has become a one party state this is living proof, it shows just how much the Tories and Labour are joined at the hip. No wonder they dont want to include 16-17 year olds in the referendum. This will be a gift horse for the SNP
    Roll on the referendum in 2014, the sooner we are rid of this bunch the better

  6. If anyone wanted evidence that the UK has become a one party state this is living proof, it shows just how much the Tories and Labour are joined at the hip. No wonder they dont want to include 16-17 year olds in the referendum. This will be a gift horse for the SNP
    Roll on the referendum in 2014, the sooner we are rid of this bunch the better

  7. Careful here ladies and gents. Ms Lamont has an angle of attack. Looks as if she wishes to develop the point that all [b]potential[/b] Scottish need to be [b]guaranteed[/b] a place, as well as no fees. So the Uni’s need to balance the books by brining in a proportion of overseas students. Her line of attack is clear, the Uni’s cannot create new places to allow for all potential Scottish students, so the limiting factor (the easy option)is to reintroduce fees.
    I do not remember the SG guaranteeing every Scottish student a place. Am I wrong?

    • Perhaps but overseas students make up a small percentage of the intake. What she is really saying is that Universities are perhaps giving places to English students to get the £9,000 off them. However, if this is the case and I’m not sure it is, it seems to me that the answer is not to also charge Scottish students £9,000 but to ensure that the Universities are funded for the Scottish students they take in.

      Also, whatever happened to the argument that by charging English students none of them would study here?

      • Jim1320 – the SFC (Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council) provides Universities with funding for the education of Scottish students. The cost of funding places on degrees differs with Medicine and Engineering being the most expensive followed by Science with Arts the least expensive.

        Scottish Universities use Competitive Entry Standards for recruitment. If an applicant has been made an offer of a place and meets the Competitive Entry Standard, they will gain entry to university. The “brightest talent” would be expected to meet or exceed the Competitive Entry Standard. Her statement suggests that she does not understand the subject but I am glad that she made it. It demonstrates again that the Labour party is just another branch of the neo-liberal party which is in power in the UK.

        There is an alternative. Vote YES in 2014

      • Jim1320 – the SFC (Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council) provides Universities with funding for the education of Scottish students. The cost of funding places on degrees differs with Medicine and Engineering being the most expensive followed by Science with Arts the least expensive.

        Scottish Universities use Competitive Entry Standards for recruitment. If an applicant has been made an offer of a place and meets the Competitive Entry Standard, they will gain entry to university. The “brightest talent” would be expected to meet or exceed the Competitive Entry Standard. Her statement suggests that she does not understand the subject but I am glad that she made it. It demonstrates again that the Labour party is just another branch of the neo-liberal party which is in power in the UK.

        There is an alternative. Vote YES in 2014

    • Perhaps but overseas students make up a small percentage of the intake. What she is really saying is that Universities are perhaps giving places to English students to get the £9,000 off them. However, if this is the case and I’m not sure it is, it seems to me that the answer is not to also charge Scottish students £9,000 but to ensure that the Universities are funded for the Scottish students they take in.

      Also, whatever happened to the argument that by charging English students none of them would study here?

  8. Careful here ladies and gents. Ms Lamont has an angle of attack. Looks as if she wishes to develop the point that all [b]potential[/b] Scottish need to be [b]guaranteed[/b] a place, as well as no fees. So the Uni’s need to balance the books by brining in a proportion of overseas students. Her line of attack is clear, the Uni’s cannot create new places to allow for all potential Scottish students, so the limiting factor (the easy option)is to reintroduce fees.
    I do not remember the SG guaranteeing every Scottish student a place. Am I wrong?

  9. Labour positioning itself for a No vote in the referendum. It’s not just the Conservatives preparing for an attack on Scotland if the threat of independence is overcome. More to come.

  10. Labour positioning itself for a No vote in the referendum. It’s not just the Conservatives preparing for an attack on Scotland if the threat of independence is overcome. More to come.

  11. I had to put this up on the site titled “NEVER VOTED TORY NEVER WILL”
    What a laugh all those who vote Labour also vote Tory,but did they know this? I am certain they do know this,so the title of this article is bullsugar,you vote Tory because you vote Labour never thought you were all so blind or stupid,but of course you all have the slimy sneaky sleekit get out clause you are all unionists.What an excuse not a reason,Labour the Tartan Toxic Tories.

  12. I had to put this up on the site titled “NEVER VOTED TORY NEVER WILL”
    What a laugh all those who vote Labour also vote Tory,but did they know this? I am certain they do know this,so the title of this article is bullsugar,you vote Tory because you vote Labour never thought you were all so blind or stupid,but of course you all have the slimy sneaky sleekit get out clause you are all unionists.What an excuse not a reason,Labour the Tartan Toxic Tories.

  13. To me I see the end-game as envisaged by Labour as this; Tories go and rule England and Labour in Holyrood rule Scotland.But both still believe in the Empire and will attack and invade other countries when they feel like it.Just get rid of us with a conscience.

  14. To me I see the end-game as envisaged by Labour as this; Tories go and rule England and Labour in Holyrood rule Scotland.But both still believe in the Empire and will attack and invade other countries when they feel like it.Just get rid of us with a conscience.

  15. Irrelevant, primitive, negative and limited in the vision department. Why oh why do we give this non-leader any space in NNS.

    There is a majority SNP government sitting in Holyrood. It doesn’t matter what she says because she has no say in the matter.

    We have a real fight on our hands – that is the fight for the hearts and minds of the Scottish people of whatever political colours to support independence and from what I’ve seen personally there are many in the Labour rank and file who support it irregardless of the stance of their leadership.

    With all due respect to the author of this article, we need to realise that issues and opinions of the Labour leadership like this are a sideshow and at best they can on really tell us what we already know about the mindset of this bus crash of a party.

    We need to get on, NNS are a crucial part of our armoury which we should keep for making strong points supporting a yes vote in the referendum, not for negative points made against someone who has marginalised herself in the main debate.

    There are many new additions to our numbers who may not be as conversant with all the main arguments and so NNS should be a source of information and intellectual debate to get these folk up to speed as fast as possible so that they can add their voices to ours.

    • I disagree. The education of our young people, our greatest asset, is in no way irrelevant to me. Educating people to a high degree does not just benefit the young people we educate, it benefits society as a whole. We all gain from the education of our brightest members of society.
      The threat of introduction of tuition fees is something we absolutely should debate.

      Perhaps you could submit an article about something you believe to be relevant?

      • snowthistle – read my post once again. I didn’t say that education was irrelevant – I said that what she said about education was irrelevant. There’s no debate necessary because she doesn’t have the power to overturn the SG’s policy of free tuition fees.

        I haven’t the time to do an article that would be worth publishing at the moment but I have noticed that the number of submissions has fallen, perhaps we’re just in a between stage at the moment. The referendum stuff will kick off again – you wait and see.

      • snowthistle – read my post once again. I didn’t say that education was irrelevant – I said that what she said about education was irrelevant. There’s no debate necessary because she doesn’t have the power to overturn the SG’s policy of free tuition fees.

        I haven’t the time to do an article that would be worth publishing at the moment but I have noticed that the number of submissions has fallen, perhaps we’re just in a between stage at the moment. The referendum stuff will kick off again – you wait and see.

    • I disagree. The education of our young people, our greatest asset, is in no way irrelevant to me. Educating people to a high degree does not just benefit the young people we educate, it benefits society as a whole. We all gain from the education of our brightest members of society.
      The threat of introduction of tuition fees is something we absolutely should debate.

      Perhaps you could submit an article about something you believe to be relevant?

  16. Irrelevant, primitive, negative and limited in the vision department. Why oh why do we give this non-leader any space in NNS.

    There is a majority SNP government sitting in Holyrood. It doesn’t matter what she says because she has no say in the matter.

    We have a real fight on our hands – that is the fight for the hearts and minds of the Scottish people of whatever political colours to support independence and from what I’ve seen personally there are many in the Labour rank and file who support it irregardless of the stance of their leadership.

    With all due respect to the author of this article, we need to realise that issues and opinions of the Labour leadership like this are a sideshow and at best they can on really tell us what we already know about the mindset of this bus crash of a party.

    We need to get on, NNS are a crucial part of our armoury which we should keep for making strong points supporting a yes vote in the referendum, not for negative points made against someone who has marginalised herself in the main debate.

    There are many new additions to our numbers who may not be as conversant with all the main arguments and so NNS should be a source of information and intellectual debate to get these folk up to speed as fast as possible so that they can add their voices to ours.

  17. Labour flexing it’s sagging muscles in order to try and assert their current position. However, stuff like this, and their new best buddies are not what Scots voted for, they should, and will feel betrayed by being fed something they NEVER wanted. This shows how low labour have fallen, with luck it will bite them in the Ass! in 2014!

  18. Labour flexing it’s sagging muscles in order to try and assert their current position. However, stuff like this, and their new best buddies are not what Scots voted for, they should, and will feel betrayed by being fed something they NEVER wanted. This shows how low labour have fallen, with luck it will bite them in the Ass! in 2014!

    • What’s the bet that Lamont will not go on this article at FMQs next time accusing AS of sucking up to the Sun and Murdoch.

    • What’s the bet that Lamont will not go on this article at FMQs next time accusing AS of sucking up to the Sun and Murdoch.

    • Which part of Scotland is Bradford in again? Oh no, hold on…

      Ah yes George ‘Freedom for everywhere except Scotland’ Galloway.

      If George wants to save England from the Tories he needs to work on persuading people there not to vote Tory. It’s called democracy.

      • Exactly! When did it become our job to save the English working classes from themselves. Apart from the arrogance implied in such a concept it is an arrangement that more often than not ties us to a Conservative Government. If the English want to vote Conservative that is their democratic right. Trying to thwart that simply makes Scots figures of hate in the English media.

        • We have our own homegrown version of anti-democracy tactics at various councils, we don’t like it so why would we want to interfere with another country’s democracy.

          George Galloway you are an ENGLISH MP. you were rejected in Scotland, BUTT OUT.

          • George was given short shrift last May in Scotland. I think his word carries less weight here than he thinks it does. He has some valid things to say about what Labour has done but he speaks to an electorate that is quite different from the one he used to represent in Glasgow.

          • George was given short shrift last May in Scotland. I think his word carries less weight here than he thinks it does. He has some valid things to say about what Labour has done but he speaks to an electorate that is quite different from the one he used to represent in Glasgow.

        • We have our own homegrown version of anti-democracy tactics at various councils, we don’t like it so why would we want to interfere with another country’s democracy.

          George Galloway you are an ENGLISH MP. you were rejected in Scotland, BUTT OUT.

      • Exactly! When did it become our job to save the English working classes from themselves. Apart from the arrogance implied in such a concept it is an arrangement that more often than not ties us to a Conservative Government. If the English want to vote Conservative that is their democratic right. Trying to thwart that simply makes Scots figures of hate in the English media.

    • Which part of Scotland is Bradford in again? Oh no, hold on…

      Ah yes George ‘Freedom for everywhere except Scotland’ Galloway.

      If George wants to save England from the Tories he needs to work on persuading people there not to vote Tory. It’s called democracy.

  19. Leswil, what do you mean by, ”it will bite them in the Ass”? Are you an American? An ass, according to my dictionary is ‘a quadruped of the horse family’. If the word you are looking for is ‘arse’ then why didn’t you just say so?
    I don’t know what’s worse. Scotland under the U.K. or Scotland adopting American language and culture at the expense of our own.

  20. Leswil, what do you mean by, ”it will bite them in the Ass”? Are you an American? An ass, according to my dictionary is ‘a quadruped of the horse family’. If the word you are looking for is ‘arse’ then why didn’t you just say so?
    I don’t know what’s worse. Scotland under the U.K. or Scotland adopting American language and culture at the expense of our own.

  21. Brilliant!

    Keep up the good work Johann!

    The unionists can’t wait to impose westminster’s policies in Scotland =

    – Pay for your education
    – Pay for your health service (twice)
    – Pay for your care for the elderly
    – Pay for your bridges and roads
    – Pay for your prescriptions
    – Pay more for your politicians

    I for one DO NOT WANT the English Tory privatisation system. The fact that the labour party (northern branch) is prepared to impose this on Scotland tells me all I need to know about them. Traitors.

  22. Brilliant!

    Keep up the good work Johann!

    The unionists can’t wait to impose westminster’s policies in Scotland =

    – Pay for your education
    – Pay for your health service (twice)
    – Pay for your care for the elderly
    – Pay for your bridges and roads
    – Pay for your prescriptions
    – Pay more for your politicians

    I for one DO NOT WANT the English Tory privatisation system. The fact that the labour party (northern branch) is prepared to impose this on Scotland tells me all I need to know about them. Traitors.

  23. I suppose if they are wanting to keep the UK then there cant be different policies for devolved areas. This is actually quite good for us as it shows that

    1) Only the SNP (as a party able to form government, other partys take the same line ..green,SSP etc) have Scotlands best interests at heart

    2) The Union is doomed. How can all 4 countries have the same policies that hold back growth and prosperity ?

  24. I suppose if they are wanting to keep the UK then there cant be different policies for devolved areas. This is actually quite good for us as it shows that

    1) Only the SNP (as a party able to form government, other partys take the same line ..green,SSP etc) have Scotlands best interests at heart

    2) The Union is doomed. How can all 4 countries have the same policies that hold back growth and prosperity ?

  25. Incredible that this self-proclaimed “socialist” former teacher, now leader of the Northern Branch of London Labour, should align herself with the Tories on denying free education to Scottish students. How can any genuine Labour supporter now justify voting for this woman or her party?

    • proudscout.”Incredible that this self-proclaimed “socialist” former teacher, now leader of the Northern Branch of London Labour,should align herself with the Tories on denying free education to Scottish students.”
      It beggars belief,and yet some people here in Scotland still vote for the Blue Labour Party.
      I’m a student and believe/appreciate SO much in this SNP policy for the future prosperity of Scotland.
      This policy of free tuition WILL benefit Scotland in the long run—-medical research and business acumen to mention just two future money earners for Scotland.Both my examples will bring/create skilled/semi-skilled jobs and that’s what it’s all about—-the people!
      I work part time,but I don’t mind that at all.

    • proudscout.”Incredible that this self-proclaimed “socialist” former teacher, now leader of the Northern Branch of London Labour,should align herself with the Tories on denying free education to Scottish students.”
      It beggars belief,and yet some people here in Scotland still vote for the Blue Labour Party.
      I’m a student and believe/appreciate SO much in this SNP policy for the future prosperity of Scotland.
      This policy of free tuition WILL benefit Scotland in the long run—-medical research and business acumen to mention just two future money earners for Scotland.Both my examples will bring/create skilled/semi-skilled jobs and that’s what it’s all about—-the people!
      I work part time,but I don’t mind that at all.

  26. Incredible that this self-proclaimed “socialist” former teacher, now leader of the Northern Branch of London Labour, should align herself with the Tories on denying free education to Scottish students. How can any genuine Labour supporter now justify voting for this woman or her party?

  27. Ah Labour for constituent consistency.
    Labour’s political pledges are not worth the breath they are uttered on.

  28. Ah Labour for constituent consistency.
    Labour’s political pledges are not worth the breath they are uttered on.

  29. Please someone correct me if I’m wrong, but wouldn’t the situation be after independence, as both us and rump UK would be countries within Europe, that any and all English students could flock into Scotland for free education.

    • Only if there were places for them. There would be no automatic right to a place over a Scottish student and if they were not carrying a fee with them there would be no incentive to offer them a place. There could, I suppose, be a danger for English universities that Scottish universities could cherry pick many of their most able students but that would not be our problem.

      • [quote name=”Jim1320″]Only if there were places for them. There would be no automatic right to a place over a Scottish student and if they were not carrying a fee with them there would be no incentive to offer them a place. There could, I suppose, be a danger for English universities that Scottish universities could cherry pick many of their most able students but that would not be our problem.[/quote]

        I think the arrangement must be reciprocated, since there is no free tuition in England, English students cannot receive free tuition in Scotland, (since Sottish students would have to pay in England). This is why european students from countries that provide free tuition at home can receive free tuition here. It’s the English situation that is an anachronism, not the Scottish one, depite wat Forsyth and Foulkes have said.

        • I don’t think that’s quite right.

          You cannot discriminate against any other EU country. You must provide the same for their citizens as your own enjoy. So fees could be still be charged in the other EU country, but Scotland doesn’t, and therefore can’t charge fees from people from that EU country.

          Where the anomaly comes in is discrimination within your own EU country. The UK has several education systems, and this is not covered by EU dictat.

        • I don’t think that’s quite right.

          You cannot discriminate against any other EU country. You must provide the same for their citizens as your own enjoy. So fees could be still be charged in the other EU country, but Scotland doesn’t, and therefore can’t charge fees from people from that EU country.

          Where the anomaly comes in is discrimination within your own EU country. The UK has several education systems, and this is not covered by EU dictat.

      • [quote name=”Jim1320″]Only if there were places for them. There would be no automatic right to a place over a Scottish student and if they were not carrying a fee with them there would be no incentive to offer them a place. There could, I suppose, be a danger for English universities that Scottish universities could cherry pick many of their most able students but that would not be our problem.[/quote]

        I think the arrangement must be reciprocated, since there is no free tuition in England, English students cannot receive free tuition in Scotland, (since Sottish students would have to pay in England). This is why european students from countries that provide free tuition at home can receive free tuition here. It’s the English situation that is an anachronism, not the Scottish one, depite wat Forsyth and Foulkes have said.

    • Only if there were places for them. There would be no automatic right to a place over a Scottish student and if they were not carrying a fee with them there would be no incentive to offer them a place. There could, I suppose, be a danger for English universities that Scottish universities could cherry pick many of their most able students but that would not be our problem.

    • [quote name=”Moone”]Please someone correct me if I’m wrong, but wouldn’t the situation be after independence, as both us and rump UK would be countries within Europe, that any and all English students could flock into Scotland for free education.[/quote]

      correct me if i’m wrong.. but is the unionist position that scotland would be forced to apply for eu membership after independence?

    • [quote name=”Moone”]Please someone correct me if I’m wrong, but wouldn’t the situation be after independence, as both us and rump UK would be countries within Europe, that any and all English students could flock into Scotland for free education.[/quote]

      correct me if i’m wrong.. but is the unionist position that scotland would be forced to apply for eu membership after independence?

  30. Please someone correct me if I’m wrong, but wouldn’t the situation be after independence, as both us and rump UK would be countries within Europe, that any and all English students could flock into Scotland for free education.

  31. Amazing – How to commit political suicide in one easy lesson. This woman is as stupid as she looks !.

  32. Amazing – How to commit political suicide in one easy lesson. This woman is as stupid as she looks !.

  33. Galloway is a joke,the english are welcome to him,he is just another plastic scottish socialist.Freedom for everyone but yer own eh george?whit a noob.

    • Anyone proposing the status quo for the Union, given all the issues held secret from the Scots and now forceful aired via FOIs, is,-
      anti-Scots, or lamentably naive!

      Does GG think he’s fulling anyone with his pro-unionist support – anti-independence stance – yet it’s full bells for Palestine and Iraq.

      In Scotland we’re a whisker away from a propagandised media and their continuous pro-union, anti- Scots bile, it should be enough for even the likes of GG!

    • Anyone proposing the status quo for the Union, given all the issues held secret from the Scots and now forceful aired via FOIs, is,-
      anti-Scots, or lamentably naive!

      Does GG think he’s fulling anyone with his pro-unionist support – anti-independence stance – yet it’s full bells for Palestine and Iraq.

      In Scotland we’re a whisker away from a propagandised media and their continuous pro-union, anti- Scots bile, it should be enough for even the likes of GG!

  34. Galloway is a joke,the english are welcome to him,he is just another plastic scottish socialist.Freedom for everyone but yer own eh george?whit a noob.

  35. O/T

    Does NNS intend doing an article in relation to the “BBC Bias” demonstration arranged for SAT 26th May?

    • Although I agree with the sentiment of the BBC demo it must be properly managed as my concern is that it will be infiltrated with some rent a mob crew. after all this is the bastion of the UK establishment and they will be determined not to be undermined and at the same time have a headline about SNP/independence violence.
      In Catalonia they have Flash Mobs in town centres and prominent venues and disperse very quickly.

    • Although I agree with the sentiment of the BBC demo it must be properly managed as my concern is that it will be infiltrated with some rent a mob crew. after all this is the bastion of the UK establishment and they will be determined not to be undermined and at the same time have a headline about SNP/independence violence.
      In Catalonia they have Flash Mobs in town centres and prominent venues and disperse very quickly.

  36. O/T

    Does NNS intend doing an article in relation to the “BBC Bias” demonstration arranged for SAT 26th May?

  37. Election…promise of no fees from the Lib Dems…coalition ……fees introduced….Lib Dems slump.

    In Scotland…local elections…..many Labour/Tory coalitions….promises on fees broken…….?

    • I believe the original promise not to introduce student fees was given by Mr Blairs’ labour party in a manifesto …so no change from Labour there.

    • I believe the original promise not to introduce student fees was given by Mr Blairs’ labour party in a manifesto …so no change from Labour there.

  38. Election…promise of no fees from the Lib Dems…coalition ……fees introduced….Lib Dems slump.

    In Scotland…local elections…..many Labour/Tory coalitions….promises on fees broken…….?

  39. Factual point

    In the USA student debt is now greater than the ENTIRE credit card debt in the country.

    Think about that for a moment, whereas credit card debt is widely spread throughout the entire adult population, the student debt, while greater is held by a much smaller group.

    This is a real debt problem which thankfully the SNP have managed to stop coming to Scotland so far!

  40. Factual point

    In the USA student debt is now greater than the ENTIRE credit card debt in the country.

    Think about that for a moment, whereas credit card debt is widely spread throughout the entire adult population, the student debt, while greater is held by a much smaller group.

    This is a real debt problem which thankfully the SNP have managed to stop coming to Scotland so far!

  41. I wonder how the voters in Bradford are going to like their newly elected MP using his time to ‘fight’ Alex Salmond?

    George may think he is a shoo in of the referendum battle but I think the other Unionists may tell him to bugger off considering the baggage and unpredictability he brings. They will also be reminded that the Scottish electorate whole heartedly rejected him in 2011.

    Johann Lamont taking orders from Wastemonster to make sure she follows the London party line. No free education for Scottish students despite her pledge last year. Oppose SNP policy at ANY COST… including ethics, morals and principles it may seem.

  42. I wonder how the voters in Bradford are going to like their newly elected MP using his time to ‘fight’ Alex Salmond?

    George may think he is a shoo in of the referendum battle but I think the other Unionists may tell him to bugger off considering the baggage and unpredictability he brings. They will also be reminded that the Scottish electorate whole heartedly rejected him in 2011.

    Johann Lamont taking orders from Wastemonster to make sure she follows the London party line. No free education for Scottish students despite her pledge last year. Oppose SNP policy at ANY COST… including ethics, morals and principles it may seem.

  43. Johann must have had orders from London ,

    has anyone noticed the amount of media comments sites closing down ,the Press and Journal,BBC Scotland ,Johnson press all over Scotland ,even the telegraph`s “Scottish politics” section does`nt have comments but old blackbeard Cochers rants can still be commented on for the present .

    Unionist tricks?

  44. Johann must have had orders from London ,

    has anyone noticed the amount of media comments sites closing down ,the Press and Journal,BBC Scotland ,Johnson press all over Scotland ,even the telegraph`s “Scottish politics” section does`nt have comments but old blackbeard Cochers rants can still be commented on for the present .

    Unionist tricks?

  45. I had to suffer the back door tuition fees when I graduated back in 2006. I’m still paying for it as I had to take out a loan to cover it. I’ve got labour to thank for that! Thanks heavens we have a goverenment who appreciates the value of education and will not put a price tag on it. Labour cannot and should not be trusted when it comes to education. Or the NHS. Or council tax. Or the economy. Or anything come to think of it.

  46. I had to suffer the back door tuition fees when I graduated back in 2006. I’m still paying for it as I had to take out a loan to cover it. I’ve got labour to thank for that! Thanks heavens we have a goverenment who appreciates the value of education and will not put a price tag on it. Labour cannot and should not be trusted when it comes to education. Or the NHS. Or council tax. Or the economy. Or anything come to think of it.

  47. What really worries me about this whole subject of Student fees / loans and I have to say not for myself but I have 3 grandchildren in the education system and I wonder what the ‘annual fee’ for a university place will be by the time they come to think about going to University.

    My real worry is the idea, and it is supported by the LabLibCon parties in the UK, of selling the Student Loan Book …

    see here….

    http://theboar.org/money/2010/jun/23/student-budget-2010-again/

    extract…
    (The student loan book is worth just over £18.1bn and is expected to increase in value to £55bn over the next 10 years. Selling the portfolio would allow the government to sell part of the income-contingent student loans to a third-party purchaser, disclose personal information on the loans to them and make arrangements to sell the student loans.

    A programme of sales is seen as the most effective way to manage this large and growing government asset and the government expects to make around £6bn over the next three years if market conditions are right, which as shadow Treasury spokesman as he was then, Vince Cable said, remains to suffer from distressed prices.

    “What worries me about the government proposal is that they’re proposing to sell off in very depressed markets, under very depressed markets for land and for shares. “The student loan book is a slightly easier thing because it’s government backed, but they’re going to get very distressed prices. This is not a good time to sell assets.”)

    I note that the main consideration in whether to sell or not is not ‘what is best for the students’?
    Who is to say in the future what a private company would do in order to have these debts repaid and what sort of interest rates would prevail by then.

    Just another reason in my book to support the SNP on the road to Independence.

    Here is a film about tuition fees which can be watched online….

    http://exquisitelife.researchresearch.com/exquisite_life/tuition-fees/

    This is the complete unedited video of the documentary film “I melt the glass with my forehead”: a film about £9,000 tuition fees, how we got them, and what to do about it

    Directed and Produced by Joanna Callaghan and Martin McQuillan (Heraclitus Pictures, 2012)

  48. What really worries me about this whole subject of Student fees / loans and I have to say not for myself but I have 3 grandchildren in the education system and I wonder what the ‘annual fee’ for a university place will be by the time they come to think about going to University.

    My real worry is the idea, and it is supported by the LabLibCon parties in the UK, of selling the Student Loan Book …

    see here….

    http://theboar.org/money/2010/jun/23/student-budget-2010-again/

    extract…
    (The student loan book is worth just over £18.1bn and is expected to increase in value to £55bn over the next 10 years. Selling the portfolio would allow the government to sell part of the income-contingent student loans to a third-party purchaser, disclose personal information on the loans to them and make arrangements to sell the student loans.

    A programme of sales is seen as the most effective way to manage this large and growing government asset and the government expects to make around £6bn over the next three years if market conditions are right, which as shadow Treasury spokesman as he was then, Vince Cable said, remains to suffer from distressed prices.

    “What worries me about the government proposal is that they’re proposing to sell off in very depressed markets, under very depressed markets for land and for shares. “The student loan book is a slightly easier thing because it’s government backed, but they’re going to get very distressed prices. This is not a good time to sell assets.”)

    I note that the main consideration in whether to sell or not is not ‘what is best for the students’?
    Who is to say in the future what a private company would do in order to have these debts repaid and what sort of interest rates would prevail by then.

    Just another reason in my book to support the SNP on the road to Independence.

    Here is a film about tuition fees which can be watched online….

    http://exquisitelife.researchresearch.com/exquisite_life/tuition-fees/

    This is the complete unedited video of the documentary film “I melt the glass with my forehead”: a film about £9,000 tuition fees, how we got them, and what to do about it

    Directed and Produced by Joanna Callaghan and Martin McQuillan (Heraclitus Pictures, 2012)

  49. There is a genuine timing problem here. If you have a 10yr old child who is showing promising signs at school, you will need to save around £100ish a month into an investment plan now in order to afford uni fees (assuming they rise with rpi).

    There are few easy ways to do this without incurring large financial advice fees. Popping into a bank account right now is next to useless with v. Low interest rates…

    I feel do lucky to have completed a degree at heriot-watt. My family would not have been able to fund my university and my sisters law degree on the fees basis being proposed. We are both higher rate tax payers and my co pays tax and employs staff here in scotland. I like to have thought we’ve paid back many times more in the investment made in us.

  50. There is a genuine timing problem here. If you have a 10yr old child who is showing promising signs at school, you will need to save around £100ish a month into an investment plan now in order to afford uni fees (assuming they rise with rpi).

    There are few easy ways to do this without incurring large financial advice fees. Popping into a bank account right now is next to useless with v. Low interest rates…

    I feel do lucky to have completed a degree at heriot-watt. My family would not have been able to fund my university and my sisters law degree on the fees basis being proposed. We are both higher rate tax payers and my co pays tax and employs staff here in scotland. I like to have thought we’ve paid back many times more in the investment made in us.

  51. Meanwhile in the USA, economists are crapping their pants waiting for the student loan bubble there to burst. Graduates can’t get the jobs to pay it back. It is over a trillion dollars and bigger than the mortgage bad debt bubble which caused Credit Crunch I. Crunch II will be even worse.

  52. Meanwhile in the USA, economists are crapping their pants waiting for the student loan bubble there to burst. Graduates can’t get the jobs to pay it back. It is over a trillion dollars and bigger than the mortgage bad debt bubble which caused Credit Crunch I. Crunch II will be even worse.

  53. Education is not a commodity, it is a social good.

    How much did Johann pay for her education? Was it too cheap and therefore responsible for holding her back?

    Did Johann have to find part-time work while she studied in order to survive or did she receive a free education with maintenance? If students in the 1980s had taken as much as a Saturday job they’d have been sent down. That was the deal. You could have free education if you devoted your time, all of your time, to your studies. Take paid employment and the deal was off.

    Sad to see the neoliberals participating in the commodification of everything they can think of to make a penny or two in the service of the global corporate cabals under brand Labour. Or more accurately I should say, to make a cent or two.

  54. Education is not a commodity, it is a social good.

    How much did Johann pay for her education? Was it too cheap and therefore responsible for holding her back?

    Did Johann have to find part-time work while she studied in order to survive or did she receive a free education with maintenance? If students in the 1980s had taken as much as a Saturday job they’d have been sent down. That was the deal. You could have free education if you devoted your time, all of your time, to your studies. Take paid employment and the deal was off.

    Sad to see the neoliberals participating in the commodification of everything they can think of to make a penny or two in the service of the global corporate cabals under brand Labour. Or more accurately I should say, to make a cent or two.

  55. OT but has anyone seen this in the Herald,

    Megrahi survival is insult to families, says Cameron”

    Politics at its lowest depths.

  56. OT but has anyone seen this in the Herald,

    Megrahi survival is insult to families, says Cameron”

    Politics at its lowest depths.

  57. Working at a university, we wouldn’t take foreign students at the expense of Scottish students. We are allocated funding for Scottish students and have a quota for numbers which, if exceeded, causes the university to be fined. Competitive entry based on grades decides who get in. As many ‘foreign’ students as we can hanlde are allowed on top of this quota. The “doors slammed shut” comment makes no sense.

  58. Working at a university, we wouldn’t take foreign students at the expense of Scottish students. We are allocated funding for Scottish students and have a quota for numbers which, if exceeded, causes the university to be fined. Competitive entry based on grades decides who get in. As many ‘foreign’ students as we can hanlde are allowed on top of this quota. The “doors slammed shut” comment makes no sense.

  59. She must have the death wish for Scottish Labour. If it is true what has been reported she has handed our Alex a marvellous stick to beat her and her party with. This… on top of joining up with Tories in Local Government. Just what does Labour now stand for?

  60. She must have the death wish for Scottish Labour. If it is true what has been reported she has handed our Alex a marvellous stick to beat her and her party with. This… on top of joining up with Tories in Local Government. Just what does Labour now stand for?

  61. The evidence is now apparent across the country.

    1. Unionist parties shovel negativity, lies and accusations in parliament.

    2. Unionist parties seen to oppose all SNP policies at any cost.

    3. MSM reports bias ‘news’ to the general public in favour of Unionist parties.

    4. Closure of BBC Scot public forums.

    5. Do not publish positive stories in favour of Alex Salmond or SNP.

    6. Do not have SNP representation on television or radio to rebuff Unionist accusations.

    7. Misreport elections to favour Unionist parties.

    8. Unionist Parties collude to take control of local government.

    9. Closing down of public forums on national and regional newspapers.

    10. (pending) closing down of pro-independence websites and blogs such as this one by enforcing anti-terror laws or government sponsored cyber attacks.

    Welcome to the next two years of Establishment rule. George Orwell was right, he only got the year wrong.

    • A good summary Dcanmore.
      I think you should post that on every available site – no matter how tenuous the link to the topic.
      Loud and Long!

    • A good summary Dcanmore.
      I think you should post that on every available site – no matter how tenuous the link to the topic.
      Loud and Long!

  62. The evidence is now apparent across the country.

    1. Unionist parties shovel negativity, lies and accusations in parliament.

    2. Unionist parties seen to oppose all SNP policies at any cost.

    3. MSM reports bias ‘news’ to the general public in favour of Unionist parties.

    4. Closure of BBC Scot public forums.

    5. Do not publish positive stories in favour of Alex Salmond or SNP.

    6. Do not have SNP representation on television or radio to rebuff Unionist accusations.

    7. Misreport elections to favour Unionist parties.

    8. Unionist Parties collude to take control of local government.

    9. Closing down of public forums on national and regional newspapers.

    10. (pending) closing down of pro-independence websites and blogs such as this one by enforcing anti-terror laws or government sponsored cyber attacks.

    Welcome to the next two years of Establishment rule. George Orwell was right, he only got the year wrong.

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