Monday, 8 July 2013
Belief beggared again.
"It beggars belief" has, I'm sure, become overworked among my lexicon of phrases to express exasperation at the imbecilities of our political leaders, but what else is there to say?
Here's the latest example. One of the few areas in which Britain retains an international comparative trading advantage is higher education. So instead of capitalising on this our government has made it harder and harder for overseas students to obtain visas, left some of them high and dry without viable courses, and is now talking about demanding bonds of £3 000 in case they make use of our medical or welfare services.
So, surprise surprise, the number of overseas applications to our universities has fallen and a nice little earner has been hit on the head.
Now the government has realised the damage it has done and Mr Cameron is reported to have written a letter suggesting we try to "repair the damage done by the government's student visa restrictions" by encouraging academies and free schools to recruit overseas pupils as part of a "new education export strategy."
Once upon a time our civil service was regarded as being of Rolls Royce quality, with some of the finest brains in the country at its head. And many of our current leading politicians have first class qualifications from our poshest universities.
So what is going wrong? How is it that this well oiled political structure which we like to claim is "the best in the world and the envy of the world" is incapable of anticipating the most obvious adverse consequences of its policies.