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After Browne

Iain Pears, 17 March 2011

... supposed to be freeing from the shackles of regulation. The Higher Education Council proposed by Lord Browne in last October’s review would be able to define and enforce standards; fund particular courses and shape what is taught in them; specify teaching hours; take over or shut down institutions it decides are failing; impose ‘access ...

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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... Much of the initial response to the Browne Report seems to have missed the point. Its proposals have been discussed almost entirely in terms of ‘a rise in fees’. Analysis has largely concentrated on the amount graduates might pay and on which social groups may gain or lose by comparison with the present system ...

Snobs v. Herbivores

Colin Kidd: Non-Vanilla One-Nation Conservatism, 7 May 2020

Remaking One Nation: The Future of Conservatism 
by Nick Timothy.
Polity, 275 pp., £20, March 2020, 978 1 5095 3917 8
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... In his pomp he sported a luxuriant beard, which made him look like another late 19th-century Tory, Lord Salisbury: jarringly and unsettlingly so, since Salisbury was Chamberlain’s rival and the proponent of an antithetical strain of conservatism, pessimistic, illiberal and anti-democratic. Now clean-shaven, Timothy is no longer Salisbury’s ...

The Right to Know

Stephen Sedley: Freedom of information, 10 August 2000

... thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market.’ Holmes’s dictum is cited by Lord Steyn in a significant recent decision on prisoners’ rights as the third of four reasons for placing a high value on freedom of speech. The first is that freedom of speech is important for its own sake: this I take to mean that it is important to everyone ...

They rudely stare about

Tobias Gregory: Thomas Browne, 4 July 2013

‘Religio Medici’ and ‘Urne-Buriall’ 
by Thomas Browne, edited by Stephen Greenblatt and Ramie Targoff.
NYRB, 170 pp., £7.99, September 2012, 978 1 59017 488 3
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... or theologians, but one of the most enduringly popular was written in 1635 by a physician, Thomas Browne. Browne was thirty years old. He had lately returned to England after several years studying medicine on the Continent, and was serving a medical apprenticeship in Halifax. There, in his spare time, he compiled a book of ...

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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... of the 2006 fees and to come up with a sustainable form of future funding for higher education. Lord Browne, a businessman with no particular experience of teaching or working in a university, was chosen to chair the seven-person committee, whose members included the head of McKinsey’s Global Education Practice, a former Treasury economist who is a ...

Persons Aggrieved

Stephen Sedley, 22 May 1997

... the shackles struck from him as his ermine-clad deliverer pronounces judgment from on high – Lord Mansfield proclaimed: ‘The air of England is too pure for a slave to breathe. Let the black go free.’ The truth, as usual, is less dramatic but more instructive. English law, which recognised and enforced slavery until well after the Norman Conquest, no ...

History of a Dog’s Dinner

Keith Ewing and Conor Gearty, 6 February 1997

... to his property. In giving one of the great judgments in the history of English jurisprudence, Lord Camden expressed alarm at the idea that ‘the secret cabinets and bureaus of every subject in this kingdom’ could be ‘thrown open to the search and inspection of a messenger, whenever the Secretary of State shall think fit to charge, or even to ...

The German Ocean

D.J. Enright: Suffolk Blues, 17 September 1998

The Rings of Saturn 
by W.G. Sebald, translated by Michael Hulse.
Harvill, 296 pp., £15.99, June 1998, 1 86046 398 3
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... Modern German Literature at the University of East Anglia, had read that the skull of Sir Thomas Browne, antiquary, lover of mysteries, connoisseur of odds and ends, was kept in the museum of that same hospital. He failed to find it, or the museum, and it turned out that the skull had subsequently been buried with the rest of ...

No More Victors’ Justice?

Stephen Sedley: On Trying War Crimes, 2 January 2003

... between 1973 and 1983, and of torture between 1988 and 1992. A divisional court presided over by Lord Bingham has quashed both warrants on the ground that as a former head of state Pinochet is by statute immune from prosecution, but has stayed the quashing of the second – the torture warrant – in order that the Commissioner of Metropolitan Police and the ...

Cash Today

Andrew McGettigan: Who profits from student loans?, 5 March 2015

... to market’. This was meant to run alongside the review of undergraduate funding chaired by Lord Browne, whose report is seen as having ushered in the coalition’s funding revolution. Although Browne considered recommending a graduate tax, his review came down in favour of extending the loan scheme. As a ...

I have written as I rode

Adam Smyth: ‘Brief Lives’, 8 October 2015

‘Brief Lives’ with ‘An Apparatus for the Lives of Our English Mathematical Writers’ 
by John Aubrey, edited by Kate Bennett.
Oxford, 1968 pp., £250, March 2015, 978 0 19 968953 8
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John Aubrey: My Own Life 
by Ruth Scurr.
Chatto, 518 pp., £25, March 2015, 978 0 7011 7907 6
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... him that J.G.A. Pocock told him that Conrad Russell told him that Bertrand Russell told him that Lord John Russell told him that his father the sixth Duke of Bedford told him that he had heard William Pitt the Younger speak in Parliament during the Napoleonic Wars, and that Pitt had this curious way of talking, a particular mannerism that the sixth Duke of ...

Cell Block Four

Keith Gessen: Khodorkovsky, 25 February 2010

The Quality of Freedom: Khodorkovsky, Putin and the Yukos Affair 
by Richard Sakwa.
Oxford, 426 pp., £55, May 2009, 978 0 19 921157 9
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... talk as if the president of Russia did not exist’. (Is this what Putin had in mind when – as Lord Browne, the former president of BP, recently revealed in his memoirs – he said: ‘I have eaten more dirt than I need to from that man’?) Best of all, perhaps, once the case got going the authorities were able to start landing Yukos with enormous ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I Didn’t Do in 2007, 3 January 2008

... for weeks, walking round the garden listening to the tape and saying the words out loud. 3 May. Lord Browne disgraced largely thanks to the Mail on Sunday and the bribery of a Canadian youth. The newspapers painstakingly explain why we should feel no sympathy for him, but if the Mail chose to target Heinrich Himmler I would tend to be on his side. The ...

Above it all

Stephen Sedley, 7 April 1994

Suing Judges: A Study of Judicial Immunity 
by Abimbola Olowofoyeku.
Oxford, 234 pp., £27.50, December 1993, 0 19 825793 7
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The Independence of the Judiciary: The View from the Lord Chancellor’s Office 
by Robert Stevens.
Oxford, 221 pp., £25, November 1993, 0 19 825815 1
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... the Mansion House was not struck by a thunderbolt on the night in 1936 when the Chief Justice, Lord Hewart, told the guests at the Lord Mayor’s Dinner: ‘His Majesty’s Judges are satisfied with the almost universal admiration in which they are held.’ Or, for that matter, on the same occasion in 1953 when the ...

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