Client States

There are legitimate arguments for this:

Billions of pounds are being spent on schools in deprived districts in Labour strongholds at the expense of pupils in more affluent areas, new figures show.

Precisely because Labour does best in deprived areas, and deprived areas need more to spend on education.

Having been even handed about it, let me say that I don\’t actually believe it. It\’s part and parcel with the distribution of health spending (remember when it was Labour held marginals that weren\’t getting local services cut?). It\’s actually exactly what we would expect politicians to do: spend money on their supporters at the expense of those who do not support them in order to tie in their votes. Almost a version of gerrymandering, the creation of client states.

Labour has more than doubled education spending since 1997 from £29 billion to £63.7 billion this year.

But there are already fears that the money has not been well spent.

Gosh, there\’s a surprise. The important lesson still hasn\’t sunk in: it\’s not how much you spend, it\’s how you spend it. According to one or other of the various such rankings, Finland and Sweden have the best education systems in the OECD. They both have variations on a voucher system for education funding.

This might not be a coincidence, you know?

2 thoughts on “Client States”

  1. “It’s actually exactly what we would expect politicians to do: spend money on their supporters at the expense of those who do not support them in order to tie in their votes.”

    No, you would expect politicians to spend money on marginal constituencies at the expense of safe ones. Spending money on safe Labour seats doesn’t help the party as a whole, although it might bolster a ministers standing within the Labour party.

  2. There is a great deal of talk about teacher/pupil ratios in our schools. But one statistic we never get to hear about is the ratio of supernumary education staff, versus teachers, with each LEA. I suspect rather a lot of the money ends up being used to recruit ever more administrators, facilitators and co-ordinators. That’s how votes are bought at the local level. We have a massive public sector here achieving very little, especially when you take into account all the quangos. All those non-jobs also come with a better pension deal than most in the private sector.
    Vouchers. That’s what we need. Let folk choose where not to spend their vouchers, and see what happens.

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