Sunday, 7 February 2010

Problems With Sums

There are many things about life that you simply could not make up yet reality has much more of a fictional feel to it these days.

Think about it - on the one hand we make bold claims that we want more maths graduates, engineers and doctors to help make Britain great again and then we fine universities £3,700 per student over quota they go (or at least Peter Mandelson does). With university applicants up by 12%, many students are finding arbitrarily unfeasible entrance requirements being asked of them to discourage intakes. It means that universities will shun UK students and pack in more, fee-paying foreign students. That's really joined up thinking by the Government who cut funding to universities last year and will do so again this budget.

Meanwhile, in cuckoo land, RBS is clocking up £7bn of losses and the Government is set to sign off a bonus tab of £1bn for the RBS investment banking arm. How does that work when we own over 80% of the bank's shares and simply cannot afford the money? Some may argue we get some of it back through the windfall tax - but bankers are wily sorts and will make sure that is minimised while I would pose an argument that we should simply save £1bn and not pay any of them a penny.

On another note, Sir Jock Stirrup former head of the Armed Forces, has foretold that parts of the armed forces will merge before long in order to save money. Super thinking as we are fighting two major wars with many more likely - run that by us one more time. I heard John Nicholl, the former Tornado navigator shot down and paraded on TV in the First Gulf War, this morning. He made the point eloquently. Arguably with the exception of Iraq lately, all of the major conflicts which have occurred in recent times have been completely out of the blue and unanticipated.

So if we had used Jock's logic, after the first Gulf War we would have contracted the army as the whole war was virtually fought and won by aircraft. But then we could never have invaded Afghanistan if we had done so - conventional thinking is that we no longer need heavy armour as lightly armed, specialist troops are required. Tell that to the kids with arms and legs blown off and no armoured vehicles. From where we stand now, why do we need a decent Navy as wars are in major countries - but that presupposes that we never have a Falklands situation again.

The point here is that you either plan for all eventualities or none as you never know what is going to happen next or where the next threat comes from and in what form. Certainly, there is no point telling TAs to not drill or train with live rounds and then send them into battle situations - you may as well paint an arrow on their backs to a sign saying 'Greenhorn, please shoot at freely'.

It's all about non-joined up thinking and stupid logic. What is the point of paying banker bonuses when the company makes a massive loss and then telling nurses and doctors they have no pay rise? What is the point of paying off sitting MPs who are under legal investigation for fiddling expenses when they should be paying them back? And what is the point of allowing ancient protection to be misused to help them avoid legal charges? This surely shows just how guilty the people are in their squalid attempts to avoid justice.

It's a world gone crazy - the loonies are running the hospital.

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