Thursday, January 07, 2010

Message for Will Straw

As a follow-up to my blogpost below about Left Foot Forward's story on Educational Maintenance Allowances, a reader emails to point out this exchange in the House of Commons when Michael Gove first became Shadow Children’s Secretary. You can’t get much more unequivocal than this on the floor of the House...

Ms Dawn Butler: Is the hon. Gentleman in favour of the education maintenance allowance?

Michael Gove: Yes, absolutely.

Game, set, match, I'd say. I look forward to Will Straw withdrawing the blogpost.

23 comments:

Shamik said...

That was almost exactly two years ago. Wouldn't you say David Cameron's sentiments of two days ago carried more weight than Michael Gove's words of two years ago?!

Just asking...

Iain Dale said...

Yes, but if you actually read what David Cameron said, rather than what LFF reported that he said, you'd see there was no difference.

Peter Baxter said...

It's irrelevant. The issue here is that Will Straw tries to pose as an "independent blogger", yet it is the worst-kept secret in politics that he is a Labour supporter and his father is Jack Straw (he has never denied it). In which case, how can he continue to be allowed to position himself as some kind of pundit?

And I ask again: are our taxes paying for him to do so?

Max Atkinson said...

Wow - the third example of a straight answer to a question I've seen from a politician in less than 24 hours (previous two in Paxman- Mandelson video clip from last night at http://bit.ly/5SM76P).

At this rate, I might have to revise one of my recurring obsessions! http://bit.ly/60QD1h

Paul Halsall said...

I simply don't get that *because* Will Straw's father is Jack Straw, therefore he can not be independent.

I'm sure what your parents think may have some implications for one's own politics, but plenty of people take very different views from their parents.

Tim said...

LFF reported that Cameron said he was "not uncommitted to" Education Maintenance Allowance. This was a misquote - bang to rights.

But Iain, if he had said that, then it would have meant that Cameron remained committed to EMA. Since this is what he is saying now, and what you are saying that he is saying, I don't see that there's a problem. The LFF mistake was in the form of words, not the meaning.

Meanwhile, you're not denying that Cameron was previously equivocal about EMAs, or that Grayling criticised them, or that Gove called them a flop.

So the alleged u-turn is from a previous Cameron-Grayling-Gove negativity about EMAs (which you say you share) to a current commitment to them.

In other words, the thrust of the LFF post was correct, although the specific form of words they claimed Cameron used was wrong. They've apologised for that, but unless you're going to deny that Cameron has previously publicly equivocated about EMAs, along with other shadow cabinet members, I don't see that any further withdrawal is warranted.

Mine is a much better defence of LFF's position than Shamik's, above, if I may say so.

Anonymous said...

@Peter Baxter - so do you need to be independent like our host to be a 'pundit'?

Gordon Brown-Nose said...

@Iain
So it appears Jack Straw's website, sorry, son Will's, is fact based but not correct fact based. Wonder how many more unchecked "facts" will appear in the "independant blogger whose daddy is on the Labour front bench"?

@Shamik
Just spotted that your star sign is a sheep...

Captain Picard said...

I thought Iain 2 years ago you were against Educational Maintenance Allowance and you were asked about it online during your selection campaign in Bracknell .

Iain Dale said...

Captain Pickard, and I remain against them, as evidenced by my previous post today on this subject further down the page.

Captain Picard said...

so Iain how about students from poor backgrounds? are you against assistance for disadvantaged students?

Iain Dale said...

Please, do yourself a favour and read what I wrote earlier in the day before asking smart arse questions.

Of course I would want to help people from poorer backgrounds. But this is not the way to do it.

Shamik said...

Mr Brown Nose, what insight! Baaaaaaa! Baaaaaaaaaaaa!

Peter, let me assure that we receive no taxpayer money. For you to even suggest it, well, I don't know what planet you're on.

And just because someone is a member of the Labour (or Tory) party it does not mean that they agree with everything the leadership does. Surely you can see that.

Lord Snooty said...

@Peter Baxter

What is all this nonsense about Will Straw not being independent because he's a Labour supporter - and that therefore taxpayers must be paying for his blog! Iain is a Conservative supporter but no-one questions his right to sound off about whatever he likes. And both Iain and Will do not always support their respective party lines. I cannot see the difference between them.

Hans said...

So Iain how would you economically support students from disadvantaged backgrounds? absolutely nothing... You are such an elitist.

Captain Picard said...

Iain, you cannot seriously suggest that giving EMAs to thousands of students who get qualifications is a bad thing.

You also said that too many people go to university. I am starting to see the connection.

I think its a positive thing that this Labour government has done was give students (especially from low income backgrounds EMAs) to continue their study after 16 so they can achieve something better in life.

I have seen the positive benefits of EMAs and believe that without EMA allowance fewer people will stay on in education.

I fail to see how EMAs are a waste of money.

And as for your comment about being a smart arse - all I can say is that unlike you I have an honours degree in Politics, so when i talk about it I know what I am talking about instead of being an amateur.

Iain Dale said...

Captain Pickard, that last bit made me smile.

As for the rest, I do not believe in making arbitary targets of numbers of people who should go to university. 50%? Why not 60% what's so magical about 50%? Why not 40%. No one can ever answer that question.

university is right for some, not for others. The trouble is that too many people nowadays feel pressured into going to university. they then drop out and feel complete failures. is that a good thing? No.

Johnny Adcock said...

Why did you go to university Iain? How did studying German help you in your later career in politics and media?

Unsworth said...

@ Captain Picard

"And as for your comment about being a smart arse - all I can say is that unlike you I have an honours degree in Politics, so when i talk about it I know what I am talking about instead of being an amateur."

Apparently they've developed an antidote now. See your GP, help is at hand.

Douglas Adams said...

@Captain Picard: Politics degree eh? I take it you're captain of the 'B' ark, with the hairdressers and estate agents?

Lord Palmerston said...

Since when did you need to have a degree to have an opinion on the EMA?

Will Straw said...

I've been out all evening but have just responded on Left Foot Forward: http://www.leftfootforward.org/2009/12/will-iain-dale-acknowledge-his-climate-error/

Magical_Mist said...

Captain Picard,
It is worth pointing out that alot of middle class students who really don't need that money are quite happy to continue in education regardless. It's like pocket money.