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Browne’s Gamble

Stefan Collini: The Future of the Universities, 4 November 2010

Securing a Sustainable Future for Higher Education: An Independent Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance 
by Lord Browne et al.
62 pp., October 2010
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... of deferred repayments of an initial loan, calibrated according to income after university. But David Blunkett, the relevant minister at the time, decided that it should be imposed as an upfront charge, initially of £1000 per year. He also, in an equally ill-considered move, reduced maintenance grants. Most students felt worse off; most universities felt ...

From Robbins to McKinsey

Stefan Collini: The Dismantling of the Universities, 25 August 2011

Higher Education: Students at the Heart of the System 
Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, £79, June 2011, 978 0 10 181222 1Show More
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... an unworthy consideration: suggesting that critics of the proposals despise such things, as David Willetts did when discussing my LRB piece on the Browne Report (4 November 2010) in a speech at the British Academy, is just a way of setting up easily knocked-down straw opponents. It is, rather, that the model of the student as consumer is inimical ...


Gabriele Annan, 7 September 1995

1920 Diary 
by Isaac Babel, edited by Carol Avins, translated by H.T. Willetts.
Yale, 126 pp., £14.95, June 1995, 0 300 05966 3
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Collected Stories 
by Isaac Babel, translated by David McDuff.
Penguin, 364 pp., £6.99, June 1995, 0 14 018462 7
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... one needs to keep up with the diary entries as they hurtle past. The translation by H.T. Willetts reads like a translation. But the Diary is in note form, and the occasional jolt gives it an extra touch of authenticity, of having been dashed off on the hoof. ‘In Russia,’ Avins explains, ‘cavalry meant Cossacks.’ But like every other ...

The Darth Vader Option

Colin Kidd: The Tories, 24 January 2013

The Conservatives since 1945: The Drivers of Party Change 
by Tim Bale.
Oxford, 372 pp., £55, September 2012, 978 0 19 923437 0
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The Conservative Party from Thatcher to Cameron 
by Tim Bale.
Polity, 471 pp., £14.99, January 2011, 978 0 7456 4858 3
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Reconstructing Conservatism? The Conservative Party in Opposition, 1997-2010 
by Richard Hayton.
Manchester, 166 pp., £60, September 2012, 978 0 7190 8316 7
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... the aspect of free market economics that Conservatives – even supposedly bright ones like David ‘Two Brains’ Willetts – stubbornly fail to absorb is that unintended consequences apply just as much to market-oriented panaceas as to statist policies. Cameron’s political achievement may have been to ...

Seventy Years in a Colourful Trade

Andrew O’Hagan: The Soho Alphabet, 16 July 2020

Tales from the Colony Room: Soho’s Lost Bohemia 
by Darren Coffield.
Unbound, 364 pp., £25, April, 978 1 78352 816 5
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... see him standing at the bar of the Wheatsheaf in Rathbone Place, dressed, as his biographer Paul Willetts writes, ‘in either a camel-hair coat or an astrakhan-collared alternative, together with a pale suit and a brightly patterned tie, augmented by a cane, cigarette-holder, snuff box and dark glasses’, a slave to hard booze and ...

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