Wednesday's student protests against increased tuition fees for students, which turned into a punch up and serial vandalism outside/inside the Tory HQ, was a salient reminder as to how used people have become to having the state provide them with everything from birth to death.
When I was a student in the early 80's (Edinburgh was a fine place to study and drink:)), there were no such thing as student loans/fees, the state paid my fees and even paid a small sum to me each year towards my living expenses.
I had it easy!
To some extent I sympathise with the "modern student" who faces having to start work (if he/she finds a job on qualifying) with a debt owed to the bank for his/her tuition fees. That is not a great way to start one's working life.
However, smashing up buildings and punching police officers is not the way to make a coherent case against fees; it gave the impression that "today's students" are immature, petulant and spoiled.
I would also note the following points:
1 The world today is very different to the one I lived in as a student in the early 80's. The West is, to a large extent, broke; money and jobs are flowing to Asia Pacific.
2 Other countries, eg the USA, expect their students to pay their way through college.
3 Our country has a £4.8 trillion (yes, TRILLION!) debt, which future generations for decades ahead will have to pay off. We are in danger of becoming nothing more than the slaves of the state (working ever more to pay ever higher levels of tax), unless we find a way to pay down this debt.
4 When I was a student there were far fewer universities, and indeed students, than there are now. Like it or not, in the early 80's, higher educashun was still a privilege (rationed by means of entry qualifications and limited spaces).
Today we are awash with all manner of establishments calling themselves "universities", and offering all manner of courses (some less beneficial to finding gainful employment than others).
5 People manage to succeed in life without going to university (eg Lord Sugar -educated in the "school of life" - is the host of a popular TV series that humiliates those who have been to university).
6 When I went from university to study for my FCA (accounting) qualification I was expected to work a full day for my employer (KPMG) and study in the evening (aside form various periods when I was on training courses). The rate of pay I received was less than my contemporaries who went into other fields, eg banking, because it was understood that my firm was covering the cost of my study courses etc.
7 Why should the taxpayer be expected to fund very "man Jack" who wishes to indulge himself/herself in a 3 year course from a second rate institution that will add zero value to the economy?
These courses cost money, someone has to pay the bill.
The stark reality is that if it is everyone's desire (and the government's belief that everyone's desire should be fulfilled) to go to university, then that will cost a large sum of money.
Who will pay this?
The world has changed, thanks to Nanny's attempts at social engineering, and there is simply no longer the money in the pot to pay for all of Nanny's promises.
The cupboard is bare, get used to it!
Visit The Orifice of Government Commerce and buy a collector's item.
Visit The Joy of Lard and indulge your lard fantasies.
Show your contempt for Nanny by buying a T shirt or thong from Nanny's Store.
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