Saturday, 27 November 2010

David Mitchell - not got a clue

Incredible article here by David Mitchell. I don't have a problem with non-professionals commenting on politics - obviously I don't, otherwise where would that leave me - but it would nice to think that if you get a comedian to write a serious article about politics he would try and do some research and make a logical argument. No such luck. First he says this:
One of the many problems with the proposals is that you need to examine them so carefully before you realise that they're not quite as awful as they initially seem. The fact that the vast amount of debt that students will accrue will only be repayable when they earn more than £21,000 a year and will be written off after 30 years of failing to do so elevates the scheme from an utter disgrace to a huge disappointment. .
At least, unlike most of the students, Mitchell has spotted that the scheme is not that awful. But then we get this:
But this scant silver lining is barely noticeable. Kids, especially from poorer backgrounds, will just see the giant cloud of future debt and infer that higher education isn't a welcome opportunity but a big financial gamble.
Quite frankly, if you aren't capable of researching the finance behind this scheme, you aren't bright or motivated enough to go to university.  As Mitchell points out in the previous bit of the paragraph, it's not a 'financial gamble' at all - if the gamble of uni education doesn't pay off, it's the state who will pick up the tab not you. And as I have pointed out before, what is more likely to put off kids?  This plan, or the absurd media hype surrounding it?

 Why have you abandoned a policy that would have alleviated such inequities, and on which you were elected, for one that worsens them?
There is no evidence that free higher ed alleviates inequities. It is a middle class susbidy. The people who have benefitted from the expansion of university places are the children of the middle classes. What is inequitable about rich kids being asked to fund their own education? What is equitable about the taxes of roadsweepers paying for the university education of the children of millionaires? The best bit, however, is this:
The student protests just might be demonstrating a growing political will to reform our higher education system, to have it paid for out of income tax. I think that would be fairer. 
David Mitchell thinks it would be fairer does he? Bless him!  Well if David Mitchell thinks it's fairer, we'd all better do it then. Never mind the fact that paying for higher ed out of income tax means dinner ladies subsidise investment bankers.  Never mind that, David Mitchell thinks it's fairer. Sod the evidence, sod the facts, sod doing any research, an Oxbridge educated comedian thinks he knows best.


1 comment:

  1. This bit is precisely what I've been arguing elsewhere:

    "Quite frankly, if you aren't capable of researching the finance behind this scheme, you aren't bright or motivated enough to go to university."

    These kids have had 14 years of state funded education, it's not that hard to say 'you're on your own for the final three - show a bit of initiative'.