One advantage of student loans

Students now can\’t even afford to go to a demo
student-demo

Barbara Ellen: Could the low turn-out be anything to do with the terrible state of the student grant system?

Students are now paying for their education. The idea that this is a problem, that they prefer to get educated to shouting in the streets of London, doesn\’t actually seem like a problem to me.

You know, people pay for a pizza and they eat the pizza, not go windsurfing. Pay for an education and get educated. Far from this being a problem I see this as a benefit of the system.

18 comments on “One advantage of student loans

  1. Not sure student loans mean much. Many will never pay it off, some may pay interest but little of the capital until it is written off. Or in my case none of the interest or capital – not earning the threshold figure.
    People made a big deal regarding the debt students would be under at the time of the big student demo 2 years ago. So far the numbers applying for courses suggest that its not that big an issue – figures similar to 2009 applications.

    I have seen a few comments from students in the past couple of weeks about the need to concentrate on their studies rather than take a day out. And this time of year there’s a big rush to do a ton of assignments – often 3 or 4 due before breaking up for Christmas.

  2. Maybe they just think any protest would be ineffectual. Not since the poll tax riots has any public demonstration made the slightest difference to UK government policy.

    And I don’t think it’s healthy for democracy if people are too busy working (or studying) to find time to engage in politics. There’s a lot more to civic society than just voting once every five years.

  3. They want to try going to either of our proper universities, there was never any time to go to Commie rallies, debt or no debt.

  4. Yeah, people tell me about not having time. I agree with them to a point, working full time, studying full time and being a full time carer at the same time can reduce the hours available for other things.

  5. And I don’t think it’s healthy for democracy if people are too busy working (or studying) to find time to engage in politics. There’s a lot more to civic society than just voting once every five years.

    How many demos actually made any difference to civic society? Million people protested against Iraq, no change. I went on a dope legalisation rally with tens of thousands, no change.

    Today, I’d rather stay home and watch TV and send some money to technological projects instead. Technology has made far more difference to civic society in the past 20 years than any rally has done.

  6. “And I don’t think it’s healthy for democracy if people are too busy working (or studying) to find time to engage in politics.”

    But students tend to be intrinsically left wing and completely indoctrinated with the BBC mentality. I know I was and everyone I knew was aswell. So I’d say its important that they get involves as its the start of a learning curve but they’ll probably just be pawns of the left. “the big student demo 2 years ago” was strange as went a labour government introduces student fees I was studying and there wasn’t even a whiff of complaint on campus from the NUS.

  7. Been on a rally where the organisers have claimed 20,000 marched. I was at the back, got a lovely photo of the vehicle at the front leading the march. 120 metres in front of me. Marching 6 – 8 abreast, spread out – pretty sure wasn’t 20,000.
    Boy did I get a lot of stick from the organisers when I posted that picture….

  8. At the University of Manchester, the Student Union was trying to tie funding of all student groups to their members’ attendance of the recent demonstration. By “all student groups”, I mean literally all, including non-political groups (rambling, campanology etc) and those opposed to the demonstration (Liberty League etc). Fortunately they were forced to backtrack and ended up looking rather silly. Reading this makes me wonder if they knew beforehand that turnout was going to be low and were resorting to desperate measures.

  9. “Maybe they just think any protest would be ineffectual. Not since the poll tax riots has any public demonstration made the slightest difference to UK government policy.”

    The poll tax was about linking the electoral register to paying local tax, which is still the situation isn’t it, so what did those riots achieve?

  10. Runcie, in our house with four working adults (me and my sister both had started work), we were paying over £1600 poll tax. For me it was in excess of a month’s gross pay.

    It was a strange tax. Millions of people lost out and had to pay more. Millions of people benefitted from it. One of the more divisive issues of its day.

  11. Runcie,

    The poll tax was about linking the electoral register to paying local tax, which is still the situation isn’t it, so what did those riots achieve?

    There’s a much smaller portion related to the individual (basically a discount for single homeowners).

    There’s a myth surrounding the Poll Tax riots, created by the sort of people in our media who are more impressed by a visually large crowd than crunching statistics. The myth is that this was an outpouring of anger by normal people over the poll tax, when in reality, it was a lot of troublemakers who realised they could have some fun (I knew someone involved in one and he was a former criminal). The next part of this myth is that the riots made any difference to the government.

    Reality is that opinion polling showed that the poll tax was very unpopular, and along with other things about Thatcher’s policies, were going to bring down a lot of MPs.

  12. The poll tax was about linking the electoral register to paying local tax, which is still the situation isn’t it,

    No and, err, no. You were not required to be paying the community charge to be entitled to vote (and foreigners were not exempt, despite not being allowed to vote) although the qualifications for the two were pretty similar. Nor could you choose not to be registered and thus escape paying the tax. So it wasn’t a “poll tax”. But thanks for falling for the lefty propaganda.

    And, no, they don’t disenfranchise you for not paying council tax.

    But Martin’s point is true – it shifted the basis of payment from local services away from householders and onto residents. 1 qualifying resident per household, you benefited significantly in most cases as did couples with high rateable value homes. More than a couple? You generally lost out.

  13. Ok, so my point stands even more: public demos don’t make the slightest difference. Let’s look at London’s biggest protests of the last twelve years:
    2000: Fuel protest
    2001: Brian Haw (until 2011)
    2002: Countryside Alliance (opposed to incipent ban on fox-hunting)
    2003: Stop the War
    2005-6: Campaign against Climate Change
    2009: G20 London summit
    2010: Students
    2011: March for the Alternative (anti-cuts)

    Basically, no matter how large the protest, the government did f all. The only outcome was the government granting itself more powers to harass protesters.

  14. Don’t know about the others but the 2010 student one was based partly on how the rise in fees would put people off from going to uni. Time and ucas figures have proven that basis to be wrong. Figures are down from 2011 but similar to 2009 – and still more applying than there are places.

  15. Basically, no matter how large the protest, the government did f all.

    And why should they? None of the protests were more than 2m people, which is around 3% of the population. It doesn’t tell you anything about how the other 97% of people feel.

  16. It could even be said the other 97% agreed with the government.

    Or don’t care enough about the subject for it to be an issue.

    Must be hundreds of actions by any UK government that I simply have no interest in. Must be hundreds of votes in parliament where I could not possibly care less whats decided or who votes for it.
    Marches can be organised by groups I’ve never heard of and take place without me hearing about them. Makes no difference to me. Obviously to those involved its an issue.

  17. “They want to try going to either of our proper universities, there was never any time to go to Commie rallies, debt or no debt”

    From your name, I’m guessing I went to the one you didn’t go to, and there was PLENTY of time for Commie rallies, if you were that way inclined

  18. I went to a proper university, albeit a few years ago, and there was no shortage of extramural activity. I recall that at the Societies Fair the Molesworth Action Group found its stall positioned alphabetically next to the Monday Club.

    The point of attending a demonstration, at least for me, is not to change government policy but to acquit oneself of complicity in it.

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