Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Student fee protests are offensive to the poor

Another day another student fees protest. I’m on my way up to Parliament and the Intranet is warning me of potential road closures and entrance closures as a result of another fees protest. This will be protest number three in Westminster alongside the numerous university sit-ins and yesterday’s attempted sit-in at Top Shop (nothing to do with student fees, but I believe they think that in the current climate of austerity a 10% NUS discount just isn’t enough)

Taking inspiration from the 80's their message is simple “Just say no”. Say no to pretty much everything proposed. Don’t read the proposals, which show that they are actually progressive and will result in an increase to UK government debt of £13bn at a time we can scant afford it, just say no to reform of the university finance system full stop. Oh and remember to say that this means that university will only be for the rich.

It is this point that we are constantly hearing from middle class students who feel they have to go out and look after the poor because seemingly they’re unable to talk for themselves. None of the students interviewed ad naseum on the news can say that if fees were higher they wouldn’t have gone, they just all point to the mythical student from a poorer background who will be put off by fees increases.

It is this idea that is offensive. What is says is that someone from a less well off background is unable to understand the argument and logic that says that you borrow money now to invest for the future, and that if you make the right investment you will be rewarded by a higher salary. However don’t forget it’s probably one of the safest investments around as you don’t have to pay anything at all now, and if it all goes wrong and you never earn enough money you don’t have to pay it back anyway.

A pretty simple argument, but according to the NUS and every fees protestor the rich can understand it, but those who are less well off can’t. That’s not very progressive is it?

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1 comment:

  1. I totally agree, this is getting beyond stupid, they bang on about a graduate tax, despite the fact that 'the poor' they are so eager to defend would be worse off under it.

    Can we finally have an intelligent conversation about his without finger pointing and screaming traitor!