23 March 2014

The seventeenth-century Swedish politician Axel Oxenstierna wrote to his son, Don’t you know with how little wisdom the world is governed?

How little wisdom indeed. We saw that with the last Labour government and, well, we saw it again for ourselves the other day when we learned the Tory Libdem government plans for the repayment of student loans were seriously off course. The proportion of loans that will probably never be repaid is nearing the point at which the Tory Libdem student fees scheme financially costs the taxpayer more in subsidy than the lower fees of the old scheme. For Libdems this is a double blow in the making: political loss from their broken promise on fees, and a scheme that doesn’t pay.

I also commend the observation of William Lamb, lord Melbourne, the first Victorian prime minister: What all the wise men promised would happen, hasn’t; and what the damn fools said would happen, has.