When Henry Kissinger was given the Nobel Peace Prize, satirist Tom Lehrer announced that his profession was dead. There could be no higher form of sarcasm than the architect of the Cold War, Mutually Assured Destruction and the Vietnam War getting a prize for peace.
At last, I think we have a worthy successor to Mr. Kissinger. Paul Uppal MP is to address The Bridge Group on the theme of Social Mobility Through Education, alongside his boss, David Willetts. Sadly, I can't attend on Dec 3rd, but I'd encourage you to pop along to this free event.
Now, I don't know who the Bridge Group are and what they do other than host cosy networking events, but I'm assuming that their events organiser is a satirist of the highest order. How could it be otherwise when Paul Uppal's only contributions to Social Mobility Through Education have been to
- vote to abolish the Education Maintenance Allowance which kept poor teenagers in FE
- vote to impose fees of £9000 on HE students
- sign a manifesto calling for overseas students to be admitted only to 'top ten' universities.
Did Mr Uppal achieve social mobility through education? He certainly got in to Warwick University to study politics without having to pay fees or take out loans, though he's very cagy about the degree he attained. But I'd say his present position in the political firmament is more to do with the millions of pounds he acquired through property investment, which isn't exactly the 'knowledge economy' and a shameless lack of concern for those of his constituents whose lives might be transformed if they'd had the same access to free education as he did.
What has Paul Uppal done for social mobility through education? As far as I can see, he's stopped it.