Saturday, September 22, 2007

Guide to Blogging 2007: Top 30 MPs' Blogs

The GUIDE TO POLITICAL BLOGGING 2007 is being published on Monday. Featured among the 288 pages are a myriad of blog lists. Today we have the TOP THIRTY MPs' BLOGS. I compiled this list myself. It's based on popularity, frequency of posting and content.
13 John Hemming MP
14 Michael Meacher MP


Greg said...

Given that the article you've linked to below states that only 30 MPs actually have blogs, I can only imagine the pride that the likes of Ming Campbell and Pat McFadden must currently be feeling.

Anonymous said...

Popularity, frequency of posting and content.

So how come Nadine Dorries gets to Number 3. Yes, she is unashamedly populist, and she is she is certainly garrulous, but surely it is quality, rather than verbose quantity, which counts ??

She ain't the sharpest tool in the box and her grammar is appalling - although I grant you she is rather amazingly bad at keeping anything a secret, so maybe her indiscretion has bumped her up in your scoring?

Anonymous said...

What's with the colours? I assumed you were going for party affiliation, but if that's so, why are John McDonnell and Julie Morgan in blue, and Andy Love in purple?

And the link to Ed Vaizey's blog shouldn't have "www" in the url.

Donald said...

To whom it may concern:

Higher Education Funding Changes 2008 onwards

You are presumably aware that the government has proposed funding changes to Higher Education in that it has signified to HEFCE that it will phase out £100 million from the funds which it feels are at present going to graduates to take a second “first” degree and that it will place these funds elsewhere. Undoubtedly not all the £100m which is being moved around will have been allocated to any one university but as a current student of an institution my concern is obviously centred around the problems that any and all universities may suffer.

I feel that there are certain flaws in the argument which the Secretary of State for Universities is using to move these funds around. The first is that it is the government’s avowed intention to promote lifelong learning. Such lifelong learning would presumably include one’s propensity to retrain and gain additional qualifications throughout one’s life. All that there is to know is not contained within one degree syllabus. Although the government has said that it will ask employers to join in with the training and re-skilling of personnel, there is no proof that it could do this without the help of the most advanced universities and here I include both the Open University and Birkbeck College, whh both have a wealth of experience in helping people train for second careers.

The second flaw within the argument that the Secretary of State has promulgated is that the funds will be moved to help younger students go to University for the first time, yet there is no proof that they will do so in order to accumulate a substantial amount of debt and start their working lives in around £20,000 or so in debt. Also you yourself will be aware of the falling birth rates which will mean that there will be less youngsters to go to University, whether or not the Government wishes it. So whatever money is shifted from the getting of second degrees (undergraduate degrees) to this other segment of the educational population may not be as efficacious as your government is seeming to advocate.

The third flaw within the reasoning that the government should take an arbitrary, or blanket amount from the educational budget in this way, is that universities tend to use all the funds it receives from HEFCE to put to the development, preparation and innovation of its courses, which I think you will agree are outstanding and world class. The universities do not segment/hypothecate part of their funds to go especially to graduates who are doing a second “first degree”. The money goes on courses for all students. Therefore, if the amount of money which is available is further restricted, then obviously the universities are not going to be able to put as much funds into the development of these world class courses as heretofore. That means that the quality of preparation of courses will suffer and the global population of all universitiess will suffer, not just the people who are setting out to enhance their qualifications by taking a second undergraduate degree.

So therefore I would ask you to seriously consider the effect your Government’s proposals will have upon all universities and would ask you to recommend to the Secretary of State and and the Cabinet that the universities be a special case, for the following reasons (in summary):-

They are very big contributors to the lifelong learning agenda;
It will enable younger people to earn while they learn, this contributing to the economy of this nation and help them not to get into debt (but reducing the overall subsidy will not enhance anybody going to the universities)
That the funds going to the universities are not hypothecated to graduates in particular to do a second degree but they are universal funds applied by the OU to develop all courses. Therefore the taking of funds from this sector will damage and diminish the universities as a totality.

Yours sincerely

Donald Hedges, Dip Eng Law(Open), BA(Hons)(Solent).