Chris patten

Chris Patten: a big disappointment all round

Chris Patten has held almost every great and good job the great and the good can offer: Governor of Hong Kong, Companion of Honour, European Commissioner, Chancellor of the University of Oxford and Chairman of the BBC Trust. Only his parents’ decision to send him to a Catholic church will prevent him becoming Archbishop of Canterbury and winning the game of establishment bingo with a full house. Patten features in Peter Oborne and Frances Weaver’s strange polemic against British supporters of the Euro. (Strange because Gordon Brown and the Labour Party stopped Britain joining the Euro so the authors have no crime to accuse the “guilty men” of – other

The university funding debate continued

University funding is beginning to dominate op-ed pages. Yesterday, Matthew d’Ancona put the case for a graduate tax from the conservative perspective; and to which Douglas Carswell has responded. Today, Professor Alison Wolf, a specialist in Public Sector Management at KCL, makes the point that any debate about higher education funding is prejudiced because Britain’s politicians and policy makers are predominantly Oxbridge educated, and the structure of Oxbridge undergraduate degrees is radically different from anywhere else. Writing in the Times (£), she asserts: ‘I’ve sat in many meetings, in Whitehall and Westminster, where people have talked up credit systems (a modular system of assessment) without the faintest idea that we

Is the real love affair between Fat Pang and Dave?

We know that Chris Patten is advising David Cameron over the Pope’s visit – the Spectator interviewed him in that capacity recently. But a number of events this week suggest that Patten is very close to Cameron. Patten is currently in India, selling Oxford University with Cameron, but he has found time to pen an article about Gaza for the FT. Like Cameron, Patten believes that Gazans are serving an ‘interminable prison sentence’. He writes: ‘Gaza is totally separated from the rest of Palestine. It is cut off by a brutal siege. The objective is collective punishment of the one and a half million people who live there simply because