Some titbits for Friday


A few weeks ago I wrote a post suggesting there might be some way of connecting students who would like support and funding for undergraduate or Masters research dissertations with individuals or groups who would like some subsidised research undertaken. I got a very encouraging response so asked one of our research team here to explore it a bit further, including following up some of the comments I received on the post.

The good news is that we now have a possible partner with whom we might be able to turn this idea into a pilot project. This really wouldn’t have happened without the response from readers so ‘thank you’ and let’s hope it turns into something.

* Some people have expressed disappointment that I didn’t persist with the idea of pensioners donating their winter fuel allowances to compensate teenagers for losing their educational maintenance allowances (EMAs). As I said at the time there wasn’t enough interest and there was a strong view that generous older people would rather choose their own good cause. But this may not be the last you hear of the idea. I suspect the reality of the abolition of Emas will only start to hit home next year when current beneficiaries are told they are losing them and new applicants that they no longer exist. Maybe then, when teenagers and their families hit the street (hopefully without violence), I can resurface the idea.

While I am on the subject of ideas, Andy Green FRSA has contacted me with a new scheme. His website is dedicated to the idea of people using the days between Christmas and New Year doing good. I can see the appeal. These are days when most people are off work and when we are between the mood of Christmas magnanimity and New Year resolutions. Anyway, it’s well worth flagging up.

* Finally, there was a fascinating piece in the Times the other day by Anatole Kaletsky. It suggested a link between two recent posts: one on a new politics which combines aspects of left and right thought, including hostility to huge unmerited inequality, and another on the frailties of our democracy. I think everyone should read the column but sadly, because of the paywall, they can’t!

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