Thanks to Bill and Judy for brightening up what would otherwise have been a miserable train journey back from London.
You asked me what good I thought would come from UK universities being able to charge fees. This short article [Adobe Acrobat PDF file], The Coming Invasion of Britain by Andrew Oswald, an economist at Warwick University, predicts one striking outcome if they aren’t freed to set their own fees and compete as semi-private institutions. It might happen anyway.
UPDATE: Bit distracted when originally I posted this so I forgot the article link. Thanks to the Maoser for pointing out my mistake.