Tuition Fees Madness 51

I set out a comprehensive attack on the withdrawal of public funding from university teaching (for it is no less than that) here:

Now the actual figures have been released – £6,000 fees and up to £9,000 if you can prove you condescended to admit a few plebs – I do hope some Lib Dem Ministers will be shamed into rediscovering their integrity. But I doubt it.

If the object of this “reform” is to ensure that the Camerons, Cleggs and Osbornes of this world can go through life without ever meeting a member of the hoipolloi who is not serving them, it will succeed. If it has any other aim it will not.

The British government will spend less in total and less per student on higher education than any other developed country. It already spends less government money per student than the United States. This is a national disgrace much more fundamental than all the

macho nonsense about sharing aircraft carriers.

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51 thoughts on “Tuition Fees Madness

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  • ingo

    Thanks angrysoba for putting me on the righteous path, you thought he’d seen me coming…

    As somebody who has campaigned against the excesses of the right in west Germany, which still has large rightwing sympathies within the public services, the Forces as well as in the police, I have realised this a long time ago.

    I stand by the figure of 300-350.000 and by the fact that these attrocities have been committed after the war.

    This in no way diminishes the ugly episode in Germany’s past, nor will it admonish those who benefitted from German attorcities and never said so, whether it was Mengeles inhumane research in concentration camps, medical and genetic researchers used it all over the world, or Werner von Brauns excellence without which the US would have never got their backside into gear, NASA would be 10 years behind the Russians.

    I do not subscribe to rightwing fantasists, but equally I do not shun debating with them, because only in debate, rather than shouting at them, will the true extend of their mis guidance be revealed to the general public.

    But thanks anyway.

  • angrysoba

    Well, Ingo, my father was born in Hamburg in 1947 (I think) and my grandmother told me that when she was in Germany there were a number of soldiers kept behind the wire and when she talks of them she does suddenly take on a distant look and say, “Poor devils!”

    There can be no doubt that things were atrocious anywhere for anyone in almost all of Europe and especially to those who were combatants on the losing side. I think, though, that the record is warped without pointing out that this was almost a global frenzy of obscene violence that had lasted for a number of years (English, Welsh and Scottish people somtimes like to mock the US by saying they had been fighting the Nazis from 1939 and that the US joined in late in 1941, but the Chinese had been slowly succumbing to the Japanese boot since 1933 and the same Imperial Army had attacked the Soviet Union twice in Mongolia!)

    The levels of repatriation by the victors to the vanquished was pretty bad in almost all cases but if you look at the numbers of Japanese repatriated to Japan instead of being forced into the Gulags in the Soviet Union or being left behind in China. And when you consider just how atrocious the Soviet Union was with its own returning soldiers many of the Germans were quite correct to realize that they had better flee back to Western Europe and into the custody of the US and UK (with a special preference for the UK).

    People who persist in the idea that the British were especially bad in the post-war have to square it with figures that show the British in the Second World War were the best people to surrender to.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Yes, I think that although there were atrocities on all sides (and we don’t tend to hear of those committed by British forces, eg. allegedly shooting Italian POWs in a public park in Paisley, Scotland; it’s never talked-about locally though, just whispers from the older members of the Italian Scots community, who were of course interned), relatively-speaking, if one had to choose, one’s chances were likely to be better if one were captured by the British/ Commonwealth forces than by the German/ Soviet/East European of whichever side, etc. I’m sure even more killings of captured German troops occured in Continental Europe – Germany, as angrysoba has suggested.

    I’m sure all of us know German/Italian POWs who stayed in the UK after the war. There were a lot in Scotland, actually. Some of them married local women. My pal’s father was a Silesian German (i.e. a German in Poland) who fought with the Wehrmacht on the Eastern Front. He settled in the UK after the war, married a Londoner and lived to be around 90. If he’d been in the USSR, he’d have been dead a long time ago. He hardly talked about it, but I think that when he did, it sounded like utter Hell.

    The Burma Front was equally horrendous – my grandfather served there, in the swamps, etc. The Japanese were utterly merciless. I guess the British were too after a while. War does that to people, it dehumanises everyone.

    Still, ingo’s right that it’s time we did know all about British forces’ actions in this regard.

    ‘The Thin Red Line’ – good film – portrays the mercilessness of war; no prisoners were taken. I’m sure that happens a lot. Perhaps someone who was in WW2 or a later conflict would be able to render a firsthand account on this matter.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Alan Campbell at 11:35am: Yep, absolutely.

    Maybe also everyone ought to learn Spanish (and/or Portuguese – due to Brazil) and Mandarin. The Chinese imported thousands on English teachers – everyone you knew was off to China to teach English during the 1980s and 1990s, remember? Perhaps we should do the same, and import Spanish and Mandarin teachers en masse as part of a new comprehensive Foreign Languages curriculum in schools.

  • peacewisher

    Even the low end £6000 fees is madness – and it won’t save money for many years because the fees are given directly to students by government and this will also be true in 2012.

    Something else: poorly reported in the UK, but there was a big student demonstration in Ireland last Wednesday – protest against increasing fees to… 2000 euro (!):

  • peacewisher

    Correction: the Irish government wants to raise fees from 1500 euro to 3000 euro.

    The demonstration was even larger than expected – 40000 according to the USI website.

    Anyone remember Manic Street Preachers: “If you tolerate this…”

  • peacewisher

    Looks like you’ve got the automated bullshit machine back on this website, Craig.

    I just hope this isn’t paid for by taxpayers!

  • Suhayl Saadi

    It is paid for by taxpayers, peacewisher. It is not inanimate; it is carbon-based rather than silicon-based. It talks, if you address it. None of the links go to real shops, etc. But we have its ‘number’.

  • peacewisher

    LOL, Suhayi.

    Whether silicon or carbon based, I’m sure someone must think this “process” is all very clever!

    It disrupts the flow of ideas apparently without doing anything anti-democratic. But it is disrupting freedom of speech, and arms of government really shouldn’t be doing that in their own country.

    Even if the “crap for sale” process is silicon-based, it must have an organic handler. Who is that person accountable to? If this links back to govt… as tax payers we have a right to know.

    If journalists had any morality they would investigate on our behalf.

    Perhaps I should write to my MP…

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Fine, thanks, arsalan. Trying to eat mackerel twice a week… in between the takeaways.

    Vronsky, clearly, you are taking over the world – or at least, the world of Guardian readers. They will all be coming to you as their new guru. You will have to pick up your lyre and tell some truths. Or else, develop a permanently furrowed brow.

  • arsalan

    Suhayl Saadi Try Pangasiidae. You might be able to find it in a Chinese shop.

    It is white, taste a bit like fresh water throat, but is full of minerals and important oils like mackerel.

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