I loved being a student. I got a grant which basically covered my accommodation and my fees were paid by Northamptonshire County Council despite the fact that I’d lived in Northants for a fortnight and was studying Welsh in remotest Ceredigion. By the time I left university – a successful honours graduate no less albeit one unable to complete an MPhil owing to far too little focus and far too much drink – I’d have to pay my accommodation. Now, I’d have to pay my fees as well. Even if I could I wouldn’t be heading to Ceredigion any more, I’d be banking on my thousands of pounds of debt being paid off by taking a BA in something spectacularly mundane. This is not progress. We need the esoteric to keep the mainstream on track.
Today potential students, actual students and former students are marching through Westminster. The lot in my photo got a bit confused and were heading around Waterloo. It starts with W and it’s in London. Good enough and the point was well made. The country might be basically bankrupt but that’s no reason to sock it to the students. And, as a card carrying member of the yellow party with the funny bird, I find it particularly insulting that our leadership believes it can weasel its way round this particular compromise. I get the needs of coalition. I get the needs of consensus with parties whose views we oppose. I don’t get the need to go back on a cast-iron pledge and then pretend we haven’t.
You can see this photo large here.