Friday, 10 December 2010

No stats - the moral case for abolishing EMA

I have blogged a lot about the economical and statistical effects of EMA, but it's as well to point out that this is not my only objection to EMA.

Scroll to just over four minutes in to hear what he has to say:

"We're from the slums of London, yeah, how do they expect us to pay nine thousand for uni fees and EMA, EMA, the only thing keeping us in college, what's stopping us from doing drug deals on the street anymore, nothing."

EMA started as a government bribe to kids. We shouldn't be surprised that the same kids are now using it to blackmail the government.

I've spoken about the attitude EMA creates before, with reference to the Save EMA website. This kid is clearly just like some of the ones I quoted there - viewing himself as a complete victim of circumstance, with no idea of his own individual responsibility or agency.

I don't want to get extreme about this. Clearly environment does have an impact on upbringing. But there is a very definite line between saying 'these proposals might lead to a slight increase in the number of kids doing drugs' and saying 'these proposals mean I will go out there and become a drug dealer'.

And the EMA protesters are crossing that line. Again, and again, and again.

You have a choice. You always have a choice, and in modern Britain you have very many choices, probably more than 95% of people who are currently alive or have ever been alive.

Shamima Blake, who I talked about a few weeks ago, is from East London too (I'm going to assume that's what he meant by the "slums of London"). But she chose to read the proposals, to listen critically to the scaremongers, and to work hard to get to university.

This kid, however, looks like he is going to choose to be a drug dealer. It wouldn't surprise me if in a year's time he's up in front of the bench and tells the judge 'it's not my fault right, it's not my fault, if they'd had EMA I would have been a brain surgeon by now!'

The sad thing is, there's people out there who will believe him.


  1. "It's not my fault right, it's not my fault, if they'd had EMA I would have been a brain surgeon by now!"

    This is the very 'victim mentality' Katherine spoke of. Schooling needs to be overhauled.

  2. Funny how perceptions can differ.

    "I was struck by the desperation of a TV vox pop on Thursday night, after the vote on fees, when five or six young black and Asian boys said if they hadn't got places at uni they'd be doing drug deals. Putting people on to job seekers allowances because, with no qualifications, they can't get proper jobs, is no way to create a Big Society. The only thing that will get bigger are its problems".

    The Indy didn't publish my comment.