Honeyball’s Weekly Round-Up

The Labour Party must be bold not cautious…this was the gist of Andrew Rawnsley’s article in today’s Observer in which he critiques the first year in office not of David Cameron (or his side kick Nick Clegg) but Ed Miliband. ‘The task is big and urgent’ he exclaimed!

Miliband is capable of being bold, and Rawnsley agreed. Let us not forget it was only a couple of months ago he led a controversial march through London to challenge the government over its excessive cuts. He was advised against this but ‘boldly’ pressed on regardless.

So long as Miliband continues making bold statements in this same way then voters will believe that he is capable of being the next Prime Minister.

Rawnsley’s argument can be read in full here.

David Willetts caused something of a stir last week when he announced proposals to create extra places on degree courses that would not be publically funded. He hadn’t considered, clearly, the serious blow this would cause to social mobility as critics were quick to point out. The plan would be to charge some British students who take on the extra places, the same fees as overseas students.

Buying advantage should never be an option. Nevertheless the Government attempted a vague defence by insisteing that off-quota students would still have to meet entry requirements for their course and there is no question of the rich being able to “buy their way” into university.

Willetts says an overall expansion of places would increase social mobility by freeing up more spaces for students from poorer homes. You can read more on the controversial plans here.

This year at Cannes we are celebrating the fact that four women are competing for the main prize at the festival. Why we are excited about this pitiful number I’ve no idea.

Still it’s an improvement on last year when not a single female entered the competition for the Palme d’Or.

I don’t understand the domination of male directors, especially when women are clearly in evidence in other parts of the film industry particularly as producers and funders. In Britain, Film4 is run by Tessa Ross, and BBC Films by Christine Langan. The major public funding body, the BFI, is run by Amanda Nevill, with Tanya Seghatchian head of its film fund. You can read a full investigation here.

We should be proud of our thriving film industry, especially at a time when the coalition government has reduced funding and scrapped the likes of the UK Film Council (merging it with the British Film Institute).

In spite of the cuts the industry is working, but we definitely need to see more women at the forefront.

1 Comment

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One response to “Honeyball’s Weekly Round-Up

  1. Daniel Oxley

    The Labour Party can’t keep on forever pleading that this or that project or spending area should be spared from the cuts. Everyone knows that cuts must be made and just to say that they should be made more slowly is not good enough.

    The issue of cuts is clouded by different meanings given to the word by different people. To the political class it means one thing and to others it means something else. Politicians think that something is a cut if a rate of increase is reduced even though their cut still leaves an increase.

    If a non-politician had been increasing their weekly intake of doughnuts by two extra doughnuts per week they might, when their intake reached twenty doughnuts per week think about reducing their intake. If this hypothetical non-politician followed the week of twenty doughnuts with a week with nineteen of them, he would consider that his intake had been reduced or cut.

    For the politician this would be more than a cut, he could follow his week of twenty doughnuts with a week with twenty-one doughnuts and he would still claim to have cut his intake. His logic would be that with his normal rate of increase, he would have had twenty-two doughnuts but as he was only having twenty-one, he had cut down.

    This is what is happening with the economy at the moment. The Tories are only tinkering with the problem. If they were serious about reducing our debt, they would leave the EU. Savings just on our annual membership fee would have an impact on the budget deficit and the saving the 4% of GDP from EU regulation would wipe out the deficit and make a start on paying back the National Debt of £4.8 trillion (including future pension obligations).

    Dumping the EU would not solve all our problems but it would free us from a very substantial part of our crippling debt interest payments, enabling us to have well-funded libraries, etc.