Monday, June 18, 2007

Tories to scrap free entry to Museums..?

Visitors to historic Lincoln can now enjoy a fabulous new, free to enter, Museum, which embraces the region's premier art gallery, the Usher.

When the Museum was under construction, I raised the issue of planned charges at Lincolnshire County Council.

I was disappointed with the response but delighted that before The Collection was opened, the Labour Government scrapped entry charges to museums and galleries.

Today, free entry features heavily in promotion of The Collection at Lincoln – which attracted 40,000 visitors in its first three months!

Nationally, free admission has seen visitors to large museums and galleries rise to a record 42 million a year. Before free entry, each visit could cost up to £25 for a family of four.

But now Cameron's Tories want to scrap free admission to museums and galleries which would again make them the elite preserve of a privileged few.

The Tory plan to turn the clock back was revealed in the Mail on Sunday.

The idea was immediately condemned by Tory blogger Iain Dale:

If you were compiling a list of Top Ten Ways of Losing Votes, reintroducing fees to museums and galleries would surely have to be right up there…
Later today, the Conservative Leader will launch his 'Save Dave' campaign.

No matter how many spin doctors Cameron employs at £300,000 a year, when his frontbenchers talk of bringing back museum charges, everyone can see the reality:

The Tories are unchanged, unreformed, and in complete disarray.

18 comments:

Geoffrey G Brooking said...

That statement has been retracted by the Leader's office.

fairdealphil said...

no disarray there then...

flip flop, flip flop.

Anonymous said...

anon:

and who is playing at being your "Leader" today?

Dave Pearson said...

Sort of reminds me of when this government couldn't understand why people might want to study the classics and also thought that learning for the sake of learning was "a bit dodgy".

A neighbour said...

When my children were growing up it cost us a fortune to get in the museums, but at least the railways were still sensibly run by BR so we could afford to get to the museums! I remember having an annual ticket to the Science Museum one year, free in return for buying almost all our Christmas presents from the museum shop by mail order! BR did well out of us that year.

For my parents the museums were free to take me, for my children they probably will be free to take their children: it's my generation that has suffered. Again. As we have with university education.

fairdealphil said...

Dave:

Thanks for the memory...

Isn't it outrageous: Less than one tenth of one per cent of kids study classical Greek under the Labour Government.

I reckon Demestos and his mates should be taught in every school.

Dave Pearson said...

Please don't misrepresent my point Phil, that's just being dishonest.

My point, in case it wasn't clear, is about the issue you raised: governments (or "potential" governments) wanting to set things up such that they are (to use your own words) "the elite preserve of a privileged few."

You are, as I see it here, backing the idea that government should fund people's access to the arts. Correct? Do you not think that the Classics are part of the arts? Do you not see a slight contradiction between your position and the position of this government in the recent past?

Please note: there's no shame to be had in disagreeing with something this government has said or done - you won't personally lose face by acknowledging that there's a bit of a contradiction here. I take it you understand that your words so far do create a contradiction? The idea that this government are the champions of enjoying the arts for the sake of enjoying the arts and enjoying learning for the sake of enjoying learning vs learning for the sake of enjoying learning being "a bit dodgy", do you not see a contradiction there? I do, I see an implicit suggestion on your part that this government is a bit of a "flip flop" government but that can't be right, can it?

And please, if you do answer, don't go harking back to ancient political history. Isn't it about time we judged this government based on what they say or do rather than judging them on the horror that came before them? It's hardly a ringing endorsement when you do is it?

Unless, that is, you think the Tory governments that came before were a hard act to follow?

Michael Oakeshott said...

Phil's comments, and his ignorance of Classics sums up why very few children from Comps get into the decent universities.

The lefties, still fighting the battles of the past, hark about privilege, neglecting to mention that this Government(and previous ones) have introduced a ridiculous number of subjects to be studied by all(classic socialism) and then dumbed them down to boast of "better results". Only fools fall for this, and our education system produces more of them every year. A novel way of retaining the confidence of the people.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating. And Oxbridge doesn't want to eat this pudding.

fairdealphil said...

michael:

i plead guilty to total ignorance of the classics, but not to fighting past battles.

wasn't me who said its wrong to separate 11 year olds into sheep and goats..

that was dave (cameron not pearson).

Michael Oakeshott said...

Yes and I have repeatedly said that I consider Dave to be an utter fool. But he can hardly be blamed for the sub-standard state of most comps. That'd be Tony's fault.

Dave Pearson said...

I hate the fact that my first two names are Dave and Tony. I get blamed for everything

fairdealphil said...

dave:

it's not your fault...you could always change your name to Gordon.

fairdealphil said...

Dave:

Sorry i didn't have a chance earlier to answer your suggestion of misrepresentation and dishonesty:

Not guilty on both counts m'lud...

i was just trying - perhaps badly - to make the point that the greek classics are a minority sport - and that's not surprising...

quite frankly, in my view, we need to raise standards for all in the basics before we worry too much about greek classics...

However, i do take your point about classics being part of the arts and would not wish to criticise students of any subject and no, i don't see anything wrong in learning for the sake of learning.

However, the main point here is surely that Cameron rather lost his audience with his clever-clogs comparison of the Deputy PM with Demosthenes.

On flip-flops, i'm sure there has been the occasional change of direction by the Labour Government - but not on every single policy!

I agree that it's about time we judged this government based on what they say or do rather than on 'ancient history'...

But just as the Tories rightly never let voters forget Labour's winter of discontent, Labour will keep on reminding today's voters about Tory Black Wednesday...and Cameron's role in it.

Dave Pearson said...

Why are you going on about a comparison regarding the DPM? This post, and my comments, relates to views that could or would lead to access to the arts and other educational facilities being "the elite preserve of a privileged few" (to use your own words).

Isn't that the "main point"?

That said, it's good to see that you are willing to expose the errors of the Tories and the errors of this government.

By the way, slight contradiction alert:

"i do take your point about classics being part of the arts and would not wish to criticise students of any subject"

vs

"Cameron rather lost his audience with his clever-clogs comparison of the Deputy PM with Demosthenes."

One other thing I'm wondering about:

"quite frankly, in my view, we need to raise standards for all in the basics before we worry too much about greek classics..."

Are you saying that, after 10 years of this government's work on the education system, we're still not up to an acceptable standard for the basics?

fairdealphil said...

dave:

sorry you didn't like the Demosthenes/Prescott reference...

to answer your questions on what I'm syaing about standards after a decade of Labour...

i'm saying i support Labour's massive increased investment in education over the past ten years...

Do you?

The result so far has seen spending per pupil double in cash terms, 38,000 more teachers, over 100,000 more support staff and rising standards.

I'm proud that there's been as much new school building in last 5 years as there was in the preceding 25 and much more to come.

Are you?

Over 58% of 15 year olds now achieve 5 good GCSEs compared to 45% in 1997.

The number of secondaries with fewer than a quarter of pupils gaining 5 good GCSEs down from 616 in 1997 to 47 in 2006.

The number of secondaries where 70% or more pupils gain 5 good GCSEs has risen seven-fold to 604, up from just 83.

Nearly 83,000 more 11-year olds today achieve the target level in English and over 100,000 more in Maths at KS2 compared to 1998.

I visit schools, speak to Head Teachers and see the improvements for myself.

yes, there's much more that we need to do help every child achieve their full potential, but the direction of travel is clear...

Dave Pearson said...

And you're saying that after all of the above we're still not up to an acceptable standard for the basics?

Why is that?

Michael Oakeshott said...

"I visit schools, speak to Head Teachers and see the improvements for myself."

Or at least you used to.

fairdealphil said...

keep taking the tablets michael...