Open learning at Kaplan

I came across a great new course which I am weighing up whether I should embark upon, offered by an organisation called Kaplan Open learning which I believe if affiliated to the University of Essex.

I already have a Masters but I am particularly interested in the Internet Marketing Degree, partially because I am fast becoming a bit of an internet geek, but more so because I want to know more about the various methods that can be used to market on the interent and how those lessons can possibly apply to politics.

There are a range of modules which include:-

Level 1 Modules:

  1. Introduction to Online Learning and Personal Development Planning
  2. Business Environment
  3. Fundamentals of Marketing
  4. Business Skills
  5. Business Finance
  6. Human Resource Management

Level 2 Modules:

  1. Project Management
  2. Business Planning
  3. Market Research and Innovation
  4. Web Design
  5. Internet Marketing Applications
  6. Internet Marketing

What is more important for someone like me who is in full time employment is the flexibility to be able to study at my own time and pace from anywhere. These days flexible learning options really are quite valuable and it certainly has an appeal for me.

I have to say that having considered courses in the past, what really appeals to me is the variety of modules that seem to be covered. You aren’t just learning about marketing or indeed web design – both of which are if interest, you are also getting a good foundation in business skills and business finance for example, which are just as important.

Instead of looking into marketing courses that just offer a theoretical background without any real application to the business world, I think the offering from Kaplan really is very desirable as without a practical application, there is no point learning marketing just for its own sake. Who knows it could even help me market this website much better!


What Labour said and what they did

The other day I came across a great collection of clips on Youtube of PMQ’s in 1996. A fag end administration dying and a popular opposition kicking the Government around. Thanks go to ergos645 for putting them up, so if you have a few minutes free have a look at some of these.
Tony Blair criticising the amount spent on administration in the NHS. Oh the irony.
Party Funding
Another classic here. Blair passionately attacks gifts disguised as loans (donations are ok though). Nice mention of trade union funding for Labour by John Major. Twelve years on and….
A Lesson for Harriett
Michael Heseltine takes questions from Prescott (now middle class) about dumping an unpopular Prime Minister. At least John Major won an election.
A couple of things strike me about the videos. As I was 14 at the time and had a life, I hadn’t seen them before but it’s amazing the difference a proper Speaker makes. There’s no doubt the present Speaker has been appalling in comparison. Secondly how calm and measured Tony Blair was at the time, until the subject got on to party funding and he had his rant. Quite remarkable when you consider what happened a decade later. Thirdly how much better and at ease John Major was in comparison to Gordon Brown. At least he maintained some likeability which Brown seems to be failing to achieve.
All very interesting, I wonder how today’s PMQs debates will look in 10 years.


Is there an angel out there?

Having set up my own company in the past I know how tricky it can be to get initial funding. Now there is a great site where people looking for venture capital and venture capitalists can really get some help.

The site provides organisations with a wealth of advice about how to go about attracting an Angel Investor to help you kick start your business idea.

Perhaps you should forget about going on Dragons Den and have a look at this website as there may be a host of Angel Investors ready to fund your concept could literally be only a click away.

Isn’t ithe internet a wonderful thing!


Free market making green cars more attractive?

I’ve always been a big believer in the strength of the free market in changing peoples behaviour – and there is perhaps no better example than consumers and their choice of automobile.

With the rise in petrol prices green and hybrid cars are becoming more and more popular. I have to say that as a rational human being one of the key criteria for purchasing a new car will be its mpg stats.

It won’t be government who has made me make this choice, or a change in the car tax regime. What it will be is the free market and the rise in petrol prices that will convince me to by a much more fuel efficient car – with the fact that it may be more environmentally friendly being a secondary issue. The major reason is the increase in cost – and its the free market that has made me do it!



I Predict a Recession

One of the biggest lies perpetuated by Gordon Brown and co is that the UK is best placed to withstand the global slowdown. Now I might be being a little simple here but we have an economy where wealth for the majority is based on their house price. This drives their spending power and this consumerism keeps the UK economy going. Now falling house prices = less equity to feel rich through = no more new kitchens, bathrooms, plasma TVs (unless you’re an MP).

With this in mind, how the economy fail to fall into recession? We’re in a bear stock market, people have eye watering personal debts on which their interest rates are going up on, the savings ratio has plunged since Gordon Brown wrecked pensions in his first budget and got rid of tessas and peps. We have a diminished manufacturing industry and a service industry economy which relies on consumerism (and so we’re back to the start).

With Government borrowing billions and the off balance PFI’s and pensions, this country is in a mess and people are only just waking up to it. We’ve had a 10 year boom of house prices fuelled by cheap money and the likes of Kirstie Allsop saying but buy buy property. This could never continue and indeed the realignment is now taking place.

So what are the economic consequences. Well as the impact of the housing crisis starts to feed through, I expect many industries to topple like dominos in a long drawn out slowdown. New house building has come to a virtual halt and can’t just restart overnight. Unless credit markets open up prontish which is not happening, then the house price falls will continue. Therefore I would be surprised if over the next 2-3 years, growth gets above 1% in any year. There will be a contraction in amongst that in late this and early next year.

Politically, a Prime Minister who has boasted about the end of boom and bust for a decade will look a weakened figure every day. This boast has always been ridiculous as there was no way one man could hold make the economic cycle. Brown could well send Labour into total meltdown come election time with these circumstances.

Having always wanted to be Prime Minister, he should have paid attention to the old adage ’be careful what you wish for’.

Andrew Woodman