The Worldwide Weblog of Donald Pincher

by Joshua Gaskell

Tag: Tuition Fees

Thursday, 9th July 2015

Further to yesterday’s entry, even if I wanted to go into details about the bally budget I don’t think I’d have the heart to. The thing’s too recent. The anguish hasn’t had time to pass.

Wednesday, 8th July 2015

Just Fancy That!

2011: ‘Ministers insist that a generous package of student support – including an increased maintenance grant […] – will ease the burden of degree costs.’

– Telegraph, 12th August 2011

2015: ‘Maintenance grants for university students from low-income families will be scrapped and converted into loans in the Government’s next round of spending cuts.’

– Independent, 8th July 2015

Wednesday, 27th May 2015


(For accompaniment, press play – WEBMASTER)

The Students Apology Song: We’re Sorry (The Autotune Remix)

We’d like to take this opportunity to put a few things straight.
When we meet former Lib Dem MPs around the country, it’s obvious that many of you have strong and pretty mixed reactions to losing all your seats at the general election.
We wanted to give you a kicking, and succeeded in doing so. But, with nationalism and Toryism on the rise, for the liberal, unionist, social democrats among us, this is beginning to feel like a Pyrrhic victory.

♫ As a group of young people, we were disappointed and angry
That you couldn’t keep all your promises,
You couldn’t keep all your promises.
Above all, your promise not to raise tuition fees.
But to ex-Lib Dem MPs, we say this: ♫

♫ We made a promise before the election
That we would vote against all Lib Dem MPs,
We would vote against all Lib Dem MPs,
We would vote against all Lib Dem MPs.
It was a pledge made with the best of intentions,
The best of intentions.
But we shouldn’t have made a promise without considering just how much worse things could get. ♫

♫ We’re sorry, we’re sorry,
We’re so, so sorry.
There’s no easy way to say this:
We’re sorry, we’re sorry. ♫
(Repeat)

♫ When we’re right we hold our heads up,
But when we’re wrong we hold our hands up too.
You learn from your mistakes,
And that’s what we will do.
We accept that won’t be enough for you all,
But we owe it to you.
You learn from your mistakes,
And that’s what we will do. ♫

♫ We’re sorry, we’re sorry,
We’re so, so sorry.
There’s no easy way to say this:
We’re sorry, we’re sorry. ♫
(Repeat)

♫ We are sorry, we are sorry,
The Liberal Democrat-haters are sorry.
There’s no easy way to say this:
We are sorry, we are sorry. ♫

♫ We are sorry, we are sorry,
The Liberal Democrat-haters are sorry.
There’s no easy way to say this:
We are sorry, ♫

And if you’ve lost your seat, then we hope you can win it back.

Tuesday, 3rd March 2015

Private vices, public virtues, phr.

Pronunciation: /ˈprʌɪvᵻt ˈvʌɪsɪz ˈpʌblɪk ˈvəːtjuːz/
Etymology: < pop. var. of subtitle: The Fable of the Bees, or, Private Vices, Publick Benefits (1714) by Bernard Mandeville.

1. Regarding eighteenth-century spending: Mandeville’s provocative assertion that the private vice of acquisitiveness is a necessary evil in creating the public virtue of a thriving market economy.
2. Regarding twenty-first-century borrowing: the Tories’ self-contradictory assertion that debt is natural for private individuals (student loans: hurrah!), but unnatural for the public purse (deficit: boo!).

Sunday, 8th February 2015

The Department for Education gives out what it calls bursaries, ‘To encourage the best graduates to enter the [teaching] profession’. But in several subjects ‘the best graduates’ include those with a two-two, and in physics, maths and primary maths those with a pass. So bursary – ‘An endowment […] an exhibition’ (OED), i.e. given upon the result of a competitive examination – is the wrong word to use. The so-called bursaries are in fact simply government funding for what is rightly government-funded. The same squeamishness about perfectly unremarkable cases of necessary tax-and-spend lies behind the pathetic attempt to pretend that Network Rail does not represent the renationalisation of rail infrastructure after the failure of Railtrack.

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