Monday 19 February 2018

How thick does Theresa May imagine students are?

Theresa May and the Tory party have some incredible brass neck to announce that they're going to conduct a year long review into education funding because of the shocking levels of student debt that graduates are building up as a result of the Tory/Lib-Dem policy of imposing the highest tuition fees in the world for study at public universities, and applying rip-off inflation plus 3% interest on the resulting debts.

It's absolutely extraordinary that Theresa May is now pretending to be concerned about these extreme debt levels when she voted in favour of this impoverishment strategy along with the rest of her Tory chums.

We know that they voted in favour of this policy because they see the huge debts and the 9% aspiration tax that graduates must pay on their disposable incomes as a highly effective means of limiting social mobility and ensuring that the economy is rigged even more in favour of those with parents rich enough to pay the tuition fees up front*.

We also know that Theresa May didn't give the slightest damn about the issue of student debt when she became Prime Minister in 2016 because one of her very first acts was to scrap the maintenance grants that helped students from low-income backgrounds.

This Tory "review" has obviously been inspired by sheer panic at the popularity of Jeremy Corbyn's proposal to scrap tuition fees and institute a National Education Service to provide free education to anyone who needs it, no matter what their age, income or background.

It's taken the Tories eight years to realise it, but lumbering the majority of graduates with vast unpayable debts with ridiculous interest rates is a sure-fire way of creating a generation of people who hate your political party with an absolute passion.

But instead of admitting that their tuition fees hike was a deeply unfair policy of erecting social mobility barriers in order to benefit the children of the establishment, and that Jeremy Corbyn is absolutely right that education should be considered a social good that benefits everyone in society, rather than a commodity to be flogged at the highest possible price, they've decided to make a big fuss about kicking the issue down the road for another year in the hope that it makes it look like they actually care.

Had Jeremy Corbyn won the 2017 General Election these outrageous rip-off tuition fees would have been abolished already, yet all Theresa May is offering is "we'll look into it and get back to you in a year".

Theresa May must imagine that students are pretty damned thick to buy this ridiculous song and dance the Tories are making about how much they care about the devastating impact of their own damned policies. And she must imagine that they're absolute bloody half-wits if they're going to accept Tory 
"we'll look into it and get back to you in a year" guff as preferable to a Labour commitment to immediately scrap rip-off tuition fees.

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* = Finding an extra £9,000 per year for your kid to go to university is an impossible dream for most ordinary families, but £9k is an absolute snip compared to the £39,000 per year fees at Eton (David Cameron's school)  £37,740 at Westminster (Nick Clegg's school).

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