Can College Level The Playing Field

by Harry on March 10, 2023

Here, as promised, is a podcast we made at the Center for Ethics and Education based on interviews we did with Sandy Baum and Michael McPherson, authors of the excellent book Can College Level The Playing Field, which is an indispensable read if you want to understand the relationship between inequality and higher education, and inequality within higher education, in the US. (For CT discussion of a very poor quality review of the book, see here). Also I unabashedly recommend the whole podcast series!

The UK’s debased asylum “debate”

by Chris Bertram on March 10, 2023

In a democracy one might, naively, imagine that political deliberation would involve the presentation of the arguments that people think bear on the question at hand. That is, if someone is in favour of a policy they would present the arguments that they believe support it and if someone is against it they they would do the opposite. One of the surreal aspects of British parliamentary debate on refugees and asylum is that neither the government nor the opposition do anything of the kind, and nor, for that matter do the media do much to improve things.

Consider, that everybody knows that Rishi Sunak’s harsh denial of the right to claim asylum of those who arrive “illegally” is motivated by the fact that the base of the Tory party and a sizeable chunk of “red wall” voters are strongly anti-immigration and that Tory strategists are concerned about the “small boats” issue, both because they are worried that a lack of border control gives off a sign of incompetence and because they want to expose Labour as “weak” on “illegal immigration”. In the Tory press, refugees and asylum seekers are constantly demonized as freeloaders, economic migrants, and young male invaders who pose a threat both of sexual predation and terrorism. (The European far-right, including Italy’s Salvini, France’s Zemmour, and the German AfD, in praising the British policy, do so explicitly as keeping the brown hordes at bay.) Labour, on the other hand, while they have a poor record of support for refugee rights, at least stand for maintaining the current human rights framework and upholding the right to claim asylum as set out in the 1951 Convention.
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