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The Browne Report

Please check back periodically – this piece will be regularly updated as long as the issue continues.

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating; the lengthy production process (hindered this time by the SU deciding to act out) makes fools of us all. This was supposed to be web content dissecting the social repercussions of Browne’s recommendations – the effect of forcing a ‘free market’* when one wasn’t asked for, or even honestly debated.

Yet a piece written before the Browne Report came out still holds.  The government insists that education cuts are inevitable, while the NUS huffs, puffs and – according to the anticuts groups and students I’ve talked to – blew its credibility.  Instead, groups like Counterfire and the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts have taken its place and that’s when students simply don’t organise themselves through social media.

NUS President Aaron Porter has reneged on promises to support occupiers with legal advice and the NUS NEC has voted against supporting today’s protests

What did surprise was the reaction to the plans.

The NUS chose to target the Lib Dems.  Yes they are the most obvious target, having told students they would fight against fee increases while secretly deciding the opposite, but the NUS is close to Labour – a New Labour which introduced, then increased tuition fees.  New Labour also set off the Browne review, which has brought us to this point.

In some ways the Conservatives have been the most honest because they didn’t make any promises and many people clearly didn’t have high expectation of competency, or the Conservatives would have scored a decent majority.


*Why the scare quotes?  Because, just as proponents tend to claim about socialism, it’s a very conceptual idea that breaks down when it meets reality.
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