Robert Skidelsky
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House of Lords

Video Nasties
Robert Skidelsky
Hansard | Sunday, February 08, 1998

 
My Lords, I understand that the motions before us are not in the nature of objections to Mr. Whittam Smith’s appointment as President of the British Board of Film Classification per se. They seek to provide an opportunity for airing the question of the BBFC’s accountability to Parliament for its work.
 
 
Even this short debate has revealed a variety of opinion on the working of the Video Recordings Act of 1984, and the general question about the effects of some videos, colloquially known as video nasties, on the character & behaviour of those, especially young people, exposed to them.
 
The noble lords Campbell of Troy and Alton of Liverpool have voiced concerns which are surely widely shared beyond this House.
 
The gist of their

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House of Lords: Education Bill 2nd Reading
Robert Skidelsky
Hansard | Monday, February 10, 1997

 
My Lords, since I became a member of this House in 1991 we have had an Education Bill every year. At various times I remember Ministers saying ‘this is the last Education Bill we shall bring before you.’ Yet in each year there is a new one.
 
I believe this is now called the evolutionary approach - as if we were going through the stages of a carefully matured legislative programme based on a coherent vision. I wish I could believe that. But the evidence is against it. As I said in my maiden speech, the government can try to raise standards either by extending central control or by freeing up schools to respond to the varied demands placed on them by their users. I don’t think the government has ever decided between the two approaches, or

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House of Lords Education Group
Robert Skidelsky
Hansard | Wednesday, May 24, 1995

 
Our discussions have revolved round three main topics:
 
 
1. Education Finance
How is the government going to meet educational expectations which rise faster than national income and at the same time keep the growth of public expenditure below the growth of national income in order to achieve tax cuts? It may be possible to squeeze more outputs out of existing educational resources, or reduce other components of public spending. But we do not believe these will meet the long-term problem of inadequate resourcing relative to what people expect.
 
The two alternatives are to raise taxes or to inject private money into the educational service. If, as Conservatives who want the State to shrink, not expand, we reject the former, we need to

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Future financing of the EU
Robert Skidelsky
Hansard | Monday, March 22, 1993

 
 
May I start by congratulating the noble Lord, Lord Grenfell and his Select Committee for their Report on the Future Financing of the EU.
It is a fiendishly complicated subject, which the Report has reduced to exemplary clarity. However, the Commitee's hope that greater transparency can be achieved under the present system -that in its own words we should know 'what we are paying -and what we are paying for' –strikes me as being somewhat Utopian.
 
I doubt whether one person in a hundred understands the fiscal operations of his own government. The idea that the accounts of the European Union might become an open book is a pipedream.
 
It would certainly be a nightmare to all those who live off the honey pot. The recent mass resignation

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