Polly Today

Mmm. Just feel the width!

Is that it, eh? Let\’s just remind ourselves what the "It" was. The climate change bill makes Britain the first country in the world to introduce a legally binding target for greenhouse gas emissions, enforcing 60% cuts by 2050. No, it probably isn\’t enough, but right now that\’s still a massive promise.

Yes, quite, it\’s a massive promise. But there is no idea about how to actually get from here to there. And legally binding? Upon whom? How is this going to be enforced? Does the Treasury fine Defra if the target is not met? What?

It is, as you say, sound and fury signifying nothing.

Housing is another good promise, even if it still won\’t be enough: 3m homes in 12 years, when only 43,000 were built in 2006, means building six times more a year.

Eh? 43,000 in 2006? Err,

According to the DCLG, there were 46845 housing starts in Q2 2006 in England,

You might want to brush up on your Googling skills there m\’dear. You seem to have the quarterly figure for only one of the four countries in the Kingdom. Yes, 180,000 or so starts, 160,000 or so completions for England alone.

This is the columnist of the year, famed for her research?

As for raising the school-leaving age, some may recall Labour\’s ferocious internal rows, when raising it to 16 – under the acronym Rosla – was delayed as too expensive (Tories opposed oiks getting anything more then, too). Now it jumps up to 18 with a full programme of diplomas and apprenticeships that will improve a lot of children\’s life chances, with less truancy, fewer Neets (not in education, employment or training) and less failure.

Captives of the State for another two years: just in case the inoctrination hasn\’t taken I suppose.

Party funding, the poison in politics, will be reformed with caps on spending and donations.

Yup, State funding. Only those who pass the State tests will get it though, won\’t they?

Yes, it\’s a shocking shame that exploited agency workers still get no protection:

I beg your pardon? What do you mean "no protection". They are protected wih the full majesty of the law, just as every other person in the country is.

So would a "fair" living wage, to make up for the depression of wages that migration has caused.

Err, Polly, that is seriously misguided. We\’ve go lots of economic migrants at the moment. They come to hte UK because they can earn more than they can at home. So you\’re suggesting that the way to deal with this is to make sure that they get paid even more when they come here?

Cameron is starting to win the argument that the state wastes money and never delivers.

Quite, truth will out eventually.

Fairly standard column there, don\’t you think? Labour Party cheeleading, let\’s move left, silly logic and at least one glaring error of fact.

This has been your Polly Toynbee column for today.


1 thought on “Polly Today”

  1. “Raising the school leaving age . . ”

    I share most of the reservations about introducing compulsion that I’ve read online and suspect many teachers won’t relish the prospect of having to cope with more reluctant learners. For all that, there remains a perennial mystery as to why a relatively affluent country like Britain has such a high drop-out rate from education or training at 16 compared with almost all other countries in our peer group:

    “Last year [2004], a report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) revealed that Britain came seventh from bottom in a league table of staying-on rates for 19 countries. Only Mexico and Turkey had significantly lower rates of participation for this age group. Italy, New Zealand, Portugal and Slovakia have marginally lower rates.”

    . . . as well as:

    “Only half of those on apprenticeships in England finish them, the chief inspector of adult education has found. Although standards of training had improved dramatically overall, David Sherlock said low apprenticeship completion rates were ‘unacceptable’.”

    The fact is that unskilled manual jobs are rapidly going out of fashion. What is the alternative to gaining employable skills after 16 through education or training – adding to the numbers eligible for “incapacity benefit”?

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