Wednesday, December 31, 2008

In with the New

The New Year is usually a time for introspection. What are we hoping for? What are we going to do? Same for all of us. And there are several fronts on which this self-examination takes place. This post considers the political 'front' as we move into what I believe will be a General Election year. Tim Montgomerie on Conservativehome tells us that he's going to do his political introspection by drafting 'A Statement of Conservatism'. One of what he calls the components of this 'Statement' will be "Government should be as small as possible, but as large as necessary". This principle is one of the fundamentals of my personal view of what constitutes Conservatism.

So how does David Cameron's New Year Message measure up. Simon Heffer in today's Telegraph seems to be checking up on David as well - and offering advice in his own inimitable way. His article focuses on the issue of 'the size of the state' rather well. The line that caught my eye was

"It is inequitable, outrageous and economically suicidal for all of the burdens to be borne by the private and productive sector when the public and unproductive one is coming through the worst economic crisis for 70 years with just the odd bruise"

Anyway, back to the 'Message'. Here's an extract;

"...the modern Conservative vision is of responsible government and responsible business helping to build a responsible 21st century Britain - where social reform and decentralisation strengthen our society, where a stronger society reduces demands on the taxpayer, and where lower taxes, a less interfering bureaucratic state and green growth combine to produce a sustainable economy".

and another

"Where is morality in asking our children to pay off our debts ?.........Where is morality in encouraging people who have borrowed too much, to borrow a little more?"

I know its only a New Year's Message', but that presses all my buttons. I hope I won't be mocked as slavishly sycophantic, but I see the foundations of a winning, 'responsibility manifesto' taking shape before our eyes.


Dr. Christopher Wood said...

I'm aiming low, but even so I wonder if my low expectations are set too high.

I just want to see the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) come up with sensible policies that speak to harnessing the intellectual property output for Welsh universities. But its not IP unless it is protected.

I am now watching where politicians go - if they go to country X I will research what country X is doing about protecting its IP verses the WAG 'approach' or lack thereof.

Results of analysis to be published, 'weather permitting', in the national newspaper for Wales.

Everyone agrees that the universities in Wales produce world class research - but this flies in the face of the low GVA economy 'enjoyed' by Wales. There's something up here. Some false premise at work; bit like that 'trickle down Thatcher theory'. I want to dig the false premise out like that black-box was dug out from the surface of the moon as depicted in Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece: 2001 Space Odyssey movie.

The IP false premise is costing Wales a huge number of high paying jobs in the private sector which is compounding the low GVA problem, because those with brains either leave Wales or are obliged to work in the public sector. Yes, a public sector is important, but it should not stiffle or crush the private sector in Wales.

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

The worm just turned 2009 here, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

Unixman said...

Nothing to do with this but seen this by George Moonbat?

Alys from Arddleen said...

Its all well and good Tim Montgomerie blathering on and telling Tory readers what they want to hear but isnt the reality something VERY different?

After all that's happened to the UK over the last 10 years, the Tories are still not in a position where by they will win the next General Election. They are nowhere near having the lead Labour had back in 1997.

Do you ever wake up in the middle night and think to yourself that all is not going to plan Glyn?

Put aside the party political hype, the natural bias, the spin for one day. Do you agree that the Tories should be streets ahead and frankly you are not?

Think back to the postings on this blog about how you and your party believe this country is going down the pan, yet the real people out there - the voters - simply dont agree with you. You have failed to convince them you would do a better job.

If you lose the next GE, the Tories are finished - probably for good - its that serious.

So, just between you and me - Cameron is a bit of a dud isnt he? The dog that didnt bark?

Oh yes - Happy New Year to you!

Anonymous said...

I see that Dr Wood is continuing his single issue rant in 2009 in the same way as he maintained his single issue rant in 2008.

I hardly feel that the Universities in Wales deserve the praise that Dr Wood bestows upon them. There has been something of a decrease in popularity of the Sciences and Engineering in Universities in general, the increase in student numbers have been mainly for the Arts, with a noticeable increase in those doing nursing degrees and social work degrees since the abolition of nurse training and the DipSW qualification.

Our teacher training colleges actively seeks out non-scientists and non-engineers to train as Science Teachers, I have recently heard that a number of music graduates have ended up training as Mathematics teachers. What does this say about the Science and Engineering Departments at our Universities in Wales?

My personal experience of the Physics Department at one of our Welsh universities had a lot to be desired, specifically around being asked to “go teaching” just three weeks before the final exams. Obviously, the teacher training colleges were looking for “bums on seats” so they had to fill these last few places with students from their least favourite Physics Department.

I have recently tried to get into a teacher training college, but my Physics Degree, Age, and Sixteen years industrial experience goes against me.

Dr Wood is right in his comments about having to leave Wales to get a decent job, well, let’s face facts; you aren’t going to get a job in Wales with the current economic climate. I’m looking to get into the public sector, just to get a wage coming into the household, I now don’t mention my physics degree, my counselling certificate or my six A levels on application forms, I find I get more interviews when I leave these out.

prasit said...

"I just want to see the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) come up with sensible policies that speak to harnessing the intellectual property output for Welsh universities. But its not IP unless it is protected. "


Dr. Christopher Wood said...

To the extent I am focused on this single issue, it is an issue that needs urgent attention and it is a pity that it falls on a Welshman living some 3,500 miles away to draw attention to it. But anyway, I am planning to return to Wales where I will focus on this issue some more!

Glyn Davies said...

Help. This was a serious post which I hoped would stimulate some discussion. But my blog is being taken over by Christopher!

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

Sorry Glyn, as per email, I will tone it down.

Anonymous said...

Would Chris Wood care to comment specifically on Anons comments on Thu Jan 01, 04:32:00 PM?