This is what the chair of BUCF has to say to say on the ‘Golligate’ scandal:
“I find the use of the word golliwog as offensive as ‘pr*ck’ ‘tw*t’ ‘bast**d’ ‘wank*r’ ‘k**bhead’ and all other terms of offence which are regularly tossed about between friends. Ive lost count of the terms of abuse that ive heard thrown between friends…. all in jest usually.”
quoted from “In defence of Carol Thatcher’ comments section at http://www.bucf.co.uk/
I’m not sure I agree with this…
The following is from Pippa Calver, Guild Ethical and Environmental Officer and BULS Vice-Chair Elect
Speaking recently to my grandparents and being told I should start to put some money aside for a deposit on a house fund I realised how differently the generations see property. I replied by saying that I’m not sure where I’ll be getting a job and don’t plan to buy a house until I am in a career enjoy and perhaps have views to start a family. I was met with shock. At the moment I see a house and mortgage as a big swinging ball and chain holding me down in one place, hindering my job possibilities because I don’t have freedom of movement, applying financial pressures and stopping me having a career break and travelling. this leads me to two questions………
1) Am I alone in my opinions?
2) Is it possible to do well in life without ever purchasing a house?
BULS Guild correspondent Hollie Jones has provided us with the inside scoop that our good friend Steve McCabe MP has joined us students in our quest for affordable halls accommodation. In a letter to our very own Vice Chancellor Prof. Michael Sterling, he says
“Providing high quality accommodation in Halls of Residence is commendable but it is important that this accommodation is affordable for the whole student population and that there is maximum consultation with the students to ensure that what’s on offer is meeting their needs.”
BULS salutes Steve for showing solidarity in the good fight!
In the spirit of Amartya Sen I wanted to respond to Comrade Nash and Pippa with their earlier thoughts on population growth.
I want to pick up where the controversy ‘rears its ugly head’ as you aptly put it. When you talk about these vast hordes in Africa and Asia you don’t seem to take into account the relative share of the global population. So as 63.7% of the worlds population in 1950 was from Asia/Africa, which rose to 71.2% in 1990 and is estimated to reach roughly 78.5% in 2050. This would mean that by 2050 Africa/Asias share of the worlds population would just be reverting to what it was in 1650. In fact the only reason why Europe/North America grew as a greater proportion of the worlds population was owing to the Industrial Revolution. This means that prior to Industrialisation when we might be able to view things as ‘all things being equal,’ the population levels resembled what they are becoming rather than what they are now. This leads us to believe that the population growth is merely a case of the worlds share of population ‘righting’ itself.
We must also take into account that the rate of world population growth is declining overall with its rate of growth falling from 2.2% per year between 1970 and 1980 to 1.7% from 1980 to 1992. It further likely that this will level off in the future.
You then talk about Chinas One Child policy as possibly being a solution, when there are far better solutions and policies than the one child solution, which hasn’t even been proven to be effective and diverts money from policies that are. The best solution to general population growth I would argue is development. When we look closer at India and China we can see an example of this. While in general education levels in India are lower than China, in those places in India that have a comparable levels of health and education the population growth is less than that in China. The low levels do not require state coercion. There are a number of reasons why those places in India grow less (womens education etc) but it still shows that the One Child Policy is not the answer.
When we look at which countries have the highest levels of population growth it is those least developed in sub-Saharan Africa, (with 3-4% increases) and that in those countries that are experiencing higher development rates such as India and China they have a declining growth rate, this also the case in Latin America.
In relation to Pippas Malthus-esq point, I would argue that he was wrong 200 years ago and the ideas are likely to be wrong today. Firstly we find that in general there is a growth of food production (per person as well as total) so this idea that we are running out of food is a fallacy.
In fact as well as having a growth in food production while the prices are cheap (relatively speaking when we compare it to the past – inc when Malthus was alive) and the incentive to grow thereby being less, we also see that much of the growth in food production is from areas that have a high (absolute) population growth, so we see that the per capita food production rose by 39% in China and roughly 23% in India.
This tends to lead us to the conclusion that those areas that do experience famine tend to be as a result of wider political and economic structures and have little bearing on whether people are having babies or not.
How wonderfully amused I was to learn today of the existence of the Apostrophe Protection Society!
Tory commentators love to pull us up on our grammar on this here blog, in fact after Thatcher I’ll wager its their second favourite thing to comment on. How aghast they must have been to note that their own Tory council leaders here in Brum are ditching that beloved bastion of the educated!
I know you guys aren’t that well acquainted with the Guild but if you want to start up a uni branch of the APS you only need twenty members, I can help with the forms if you like: just get in touch.
Speaking of education, I was most interested in the new Tory ad that informs us the UK is now 24th in the world at maths, (not sure what kind or level of maths as it didn’t specify), behind both Canada and Korea. Last time I checked Korea was in fact two separate political entities, North and South Korea; where pray does the UK come in the world geography championships? I personally am wondering why I ought to be surprised that both these places have reasonable education systems, but would like to congratulate them both all the same.