The Bitch And Broken Promises!
If the changes to university funding and child benefits are anything to go by, we're in for a very stormy winter. It seems to me, everybody accepts something has to be done about the unsustainable debt the country has amassed, until it affects them. Please God, let me love my neighbour - and make him pay off all my debt!
Don't you find the number of Liberal Democrat voters now screaming the party has welched on its pledge to oppose a rise in university tuition fees, quite amazing? I mean: what did they realistically expect? Any party that, in normal circumstances, doesn't have a hope of seizing power can, and usually does, promise the ridiculous. Why did these people vote for it? Could it be because NEITHER of the two main parties offered what they wanted?
Though it was a bitter pill to swallow for some followers, the Lib Dems did the honourable thing by forming a coalition with the Conservatives. It was the only party with any hope of sorting out our catastrophic economy. Anything else, any other combination in the given circumstances after the election, would have seen the country on its knees by as early as today. Such is the power of the money markets.
When one votes for a party with absolutely no hope of forming a government on its own, and then by a fluke it has a share of power, and at least a few of its policies get onto the statute book, and several Conservative policies are tempered by its insistence, isn't that reward enough? But for the whingers, there is every chance here for the nation to see some Lib Dem policies in action, and, should they work well, that can only be to the party's benefit. With support, it can take them nearer to the day when they can form a credible government on their own, but they need to remember: in this setup they are only the tail, of the main three they had the least number of supporters, so they cannot expect to wag the dog.
Being at the smelly end may not be pleasant, but if the Lib Dems can hold their noses long enough, they might one day get the end with the teeth. It's all about leaving behind the virtual world so many wallow in today, and facing up to reality.
Facing up to reality with our universities is long overdue. Tony Blair's 'education, education, education" idea, where one day just about everybody will go to a university, plainly doesn't work. All it does is dumb down the standards, and see people with degrees driving dustcarts or serving hamburgers. The evidence is out there.
In my day, a university education was free. However, it was only available to those who could prove they were worthy of it, and regardless of background, whether they were rich or poor, they had to be the cream off the top of the bottle. It was a system that worked well. Unstrained, our universities were well funded, tuition was free, and they remained amongst the best in the world, so unlike today where, by including the lowest possible denominator, many were hardly rated in a recent survey.
We could easily return to free university education, if only we had a government with enough guts to stand up and say: our children are not all equal, and we must provide according to each child's need. We should encourage more apprenticeships, and vocational colleges and training centres, and begin to see these as being just as worthwhile as a university education. Equality should not require everybody to be exactly the same, but only treated equally, with equal respect. When we learn that, we shall give hope to the generations of underclass we have created; those with no hope in life at present. They didn’t just appear from nowhere – we created them!
The Bitch! (15/10/10)
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