Charnley claims Lincoln MP ‘uneducated’ about higher education

— Shane Croucher and Suzy Aldridge contributed to this report.

Chris Charnley, Lincoln Students’ Union president, has labelled Karl McCartney, Lincoln’s Tory MP, “uneducated” about higher education.

A status posted by Charnley on the ULSU Prez Facebook account read: “Lincoln MP, Karl McCartney has been on campus today meeting with students, showing up the Tories and Coalition Government for what they really are with his uneducated responses on the NUS, Tuition Fees and [the] Students’ Union.”

Chris Charnley has labelled Lincoln's MP, Karl McCartney, ill-informed about higher education. Photo: Sam Cox

McCartney had been on campus yesterday, November 4th, giving an interview to LSJ TV. He said he’d been told the interview wouldn’t be online until Wednesday, November 10th, but Bullet Magazine have already posted a reaction from Charnley.

Charnley said in a statement: “It is rather clear over recent months that Karl’s uninformed and uneducated responses on fees and education funding show a clear lack of his understanding on these issues. 

“Had Karl done his research, or picked up a newspaper in the past year he would have seen a very strong and well informed document called the NUS Blue Print, which suggests a stronger way of funding the HE [higher education] system through contributions ‘graduate tax’ from all areas such as the student, government and business. 

“This represents a much fairer and progressive system than that which is currently being pushed by the coalition government.”

McCartney said: “I am an educated man and I know my own mind. I have in fact read the NUS Blue Print.”

He referred to the decisions the coalition has made as being the “pragmatic options”.

Charnley’s comments were a “kneejerk reaction”, he said, that were expressing the views of what he called “certain personalities” in the NUS.

He said he had been led to believe that his interview with LSJ TV wasn’t to be in the public domain until next week. In spite of this Bullet had posted a story by the evening.

The MP seemed concerned about this, but wanted to make no further comment until he had read the Bullet article in full.

Rebecca Murray, Bullet Magazine’s editor, is a part of the LSJ TV team. Murray wrote the Bullet article in question.

This isn’t the first time an officer at Lincoln SU has insulted McCartney. In the run up to the general election, Dan Derricott, SU vice-president for academic affairs, called him an “upper-class toff”.

2 Responses to Charnley claims Lincoln MP ‘uneducated’ about higher education

  1. Charnleyisaplonka says:

    Let Charnley enjoy his remaining moments in a position where his title has gone well and truly to his head. Once he gets his first job in the real world, he’ll realise that his attitude and comments are more likely to get him a black eye than media coverage.

    Can we open a book on what his next job might be, I’m going for an assistant to someone equally up their own backside.

  2. Richard C says:

    In all fairness, Charnley’s ‘uneducated response’ was a direct comment to McCartney saying ‘ I’ve seen the NUS President [Aaron Porter] who came up to Lincoln during the election campaign and I’ve seen him on the television and I think- come up with some credible alternatives. ‘

    An alternative was put forward by the NUS – and frankly it made at least as much sense as the ‘Browne stuff’ and probably is financially better for both sides. So it seems to me that it was fair comment.

    Whilst I have always disliked the petty politics power games that happen in every student union across the country, I think on occasions like this the NUS does give an umbrella that all student should use to protest against what the government is doing.