Posts Tagged ‘education’

How would you feel if someone treated your children as a lesser group of citizens? Angry?

Consider then the Scottish National Front. In their race to bleed as much cash from the oh so nasty English before they dare actually allowing a vote on Independance they’ve whacked tuition fees up to £9,000 for English students north of the border.

Whats so bad with that you may wonder, don’t we have that in English Uni’s for all students?

Well, yes. But here’s there kicker.

Scottish students still study for free. As do students from every other EU country. Except England. The problem lies with EU law. It is illegal to treat citizens from other EU countries differently from your own. What is not illegal is to treat people from within the country differently. Hence Alex Salmon* gets to put his racist hate into practise to persecute English 18 year olds trying to study.

Welcome to the racists of the 21st century. Cloaked under the age old guise of nationalism. Apparently it’s fine as long as you’re not English.

+++Updates & Correction+++
*Apologies to Mr Salmond for getting his name wrong. Spellchecker corrected. The rest stands.

I also found further examples of democratic deficit and interesting information as I looked further into Scotland. Scottish MPs can (and indeed did) vote on matters effecting solely the English, such as education discussed above. They are then able to support different decisions north of the border without a recipricol English input. (also known as the West Lothian question). Such as education for instance, in effect Scottish representatives enabled the last Westminster administration to bring in tuition fees in the first instance (whether I think this good or bad is irrelevant), then their own parliament rejected the policy for Scotland. I guess some people in the UK are more equal than others…

As a real anachronism, Scotland is the only european country to maintain a private armed force, the Atholl Highlanders. Perhaps the lead unit in the new Scottish forces following Independance?

…and just in case you missed my post following the Scottish elections

In case you missed the cause of the furory the Beeb had a program made by Sir Terry Pratchett witnessing a man being helped to die.

In Choosing to Die, the 63-year-old author – who has Alzheimer’s disease – went to Switzerland to see a British man with motor neurone disease dying.

There is the inevitable conglomoration of pro-life, anti-choice, religious, charity types who are now screaming at the BBC for allowing it to be televised.

Not that I think it is right for everyone. I’m not even convinced it is a good solution to problems. What I am firmly convinced of is that what people decide to do with their life, and the ending of it, is no-ones business but their own. I am not pro or anti, I am not in the position where I would contemplate that choice. What I am strongly in support of is the rights of the sufferer to be able to decide for themselves.

It is not for me, you, some charity, religion or a government department to force someone to live with a disease or condition they find unbearable. If you did it to a dog you would rightly be prosecuted so why do it to a person fit to make thier own decision?

If you disagree with assisted suicide, or even just plain suicide then great, it’s your life, live it how you will. You have the freedom to believe what you like, you have the freedom to express your thoughts, you have the freedom to die how you choose.

You do not have the right to enforce your will and prejudices on another person. How they decide to die is the ultimate liberty, it is tantamount to fascism to forcibly remove that choice from them.

You are free to be offended all you like. you can rant and wail about the sanctity of life, you can believe whatever you want. By seeking to prevent them even having the choice you would deny them that same freedom of belief.

Is it uncomfortable? Certainly, and rightly so. It should not be made into a trivial matter. Support should be available to sufferers at every opportunity. but that support should be even handed and unbiased. It is up to the sufferer to ultimately decide the course of action.

What sort of person puts their own beliefs above the pain and suffering these unfortunate people have to endure? Why do we make it so difficult and fraught? Every anti-choice campaigner is seeking to compund the agony and mental anguish of a person who wishes to put dignity of life before sanctity.

It is the high minded arrongant assumption that they know best, that only they are right, that they can tell you how and when you should die.

That cannot be right.

Or as the daily Mash more eloquently puts it, pro-choice is opposed by…

“Pro-life groups who want to watch you die screaming”

So did the earth fail to move for you yesterday? Harold Campings predictions of the Rapture failed to materialise with a stunning lack of apocalyptic earthquakes, messiahs and ascendancies towards a divine light.

His radio station is curiously quiet today, although I guess they didn’t bother planning for any shows today after all! Tragically some people appear to have bet and lost big on being amongst the chosen few with reports of one 60 year old spending his entire life savings on billboards warning of the impending non-event, more tragically;

Another Camping follower, 27-year-old Adrienne Martinez, was planning to go to medical school but decided not to after listening to Family Radio. Martinez and her husband, Joel, had lived in New York City but a year ago quit their jobs and moved to Orlando. They spent their time reading the Bible and distributing tracts, according to NPR. They have a two-year-old daughter and a second child due next month.

“We budgeted everything so that, on May 21, we won’t have anything left,” Adrienne said to NPR.

So as one churches help and biblical counsel comes to nothing except despairing, bankrupt and bewildered idiots who actually believed this rubbish they can at least have the consolation that another church is offering help and biblical counsel to help them recover. When will they learn? More to the point they let these people vote and carry guns!

Tell you what, here is all the help you need.

There is no god(s), djinns, genies, deities, demons, angels, unicorns, leprechauns or indeed any other mythological creatures. There is no evidence for an afterlife at all. So make the most of this one. Stop. Think for yourself. Look at evidence and come to a reasoned conclusion. Conclusions trump beliefs every time.


Yes, you, Charlie Gilmour, priviliged, coseted son of wealthy guitarist David Gilmour. Take your egotistical wank-sock of a saxophone and stick it up your privately educated arse. You would not know the real world if it smashed you in the face with a brick. Some of us really did do Uni for themselves and object to having to subsidise selfish disrespectful scum like you.

If we must have police brutality in this world I sincerely hope they come looking for you.

The militant left seems to been able to easily hijack a protest of an estimated 30,000 in London yesterday with the associated widespread disruption, damage and injuries. They went on to labour their point that as responsible young adults they were entitled to us paying for their education by vandalising the statue of Churchill, the Union Jack on the cenotaph and numerous governemt buildings, which of course will be repaired and cleaned by us, the very people they want to pay for their education.

How exactly does trying to deface a memorial to the dead who sacrificed their lives to ensure your freedom help your cause? Go on, please explain that one to me, because obviously my education was deficient in that I simply cannot understand it.

To those who say such violence is inevitable on large demonstrations I call bullshit.

There were an estimated 30,000 present yesterday, with 12 police officers injured, 34 arrests and 43 protestors injured. In 2002 an estimated 400,000 people protested in London without a single injury due to violence or an arrest.

It was not a tiny minority. There were many who simply saw it as an opportunity to attack the police, cause damage, and enjoy themselves being feral scum. I sincerely hope the police meet fire with fire. By all means people should be allowed to protest peacefully – it is a sign of civilised society. But the moment they stop being civilised it should be one of the rare occasision that the police should feel free to let loose large quantities of pepper spray and batons.

I do continue to have some sympathy with the sentiment of free higher education. I think it is important we get the most able to push themselves without having to worry financially because it benefits the country as a whole and they return the cost in higher tax payments anyway. I also think that 50% in higher education is an unaffordable, misguided, centralist, piece of social engineeering that was dreamt up by an authoritarian administration. It pays no heed to ability, or societies need, or even our ability to afford it. We are not all equal. Higher education is not for everyone.

The cause of higher education was done untold damage yesterday. If those there cannot see that then they do not have the intellect to be worthy of a place in higher education. Condemn the actions of the scum, or count yourself amongst their supporters.

So students who usually can’t be arsed to attend a lecture have managed to invade London to protest against Further Education Fees. I’ve already spouted my opinions on why students are a good investment for the rest of us if controlled adequately.

Another thought struck me today. Students are allocated funding on criteria dependant on their parents status. How can that be fair? By age 18 (more often 16) a parent has little or no legal say in what their offspring does, so conversely why do students get penalised for their parents status?

An 18 year old criminals fines are not calculated on parental income, neither is an 18 year olds benefits assessed in light of parental income. Either a person is an independant entitiy in their own right or they are not. A fundemental of law should be that it is universal not conditional on whether you want to claim unemployment benefit or better yourself at university. You are either an adult and should be treated as such with the appropriate rights and responsibilities, or a child and therefore your parents retain the responsibility.

Of course another upshot from all this is that universities will be held to account over the service they provide. Want to cancel lectures? Then expect to be asked for rebates. Fail to provide promised courses and equipment? Then expect to be hammered for a refund (and no I haven’t forgotten how you cost me another 6 weeks of my life Dr Pilgrim). Perhaps the contempt with which universities tend to treat students will disappear as more of them demand a better service since they will be paying directly for it.

Lastly, and one for all the politicians. If you’re intending to backload the fees onto students future earning by increasing taxes on them (they already pay more if they earn more – how hard a concept is that you morons?) then how will you tax those that simply move either themselves or their earnings outside the UK? Because you’ve just made that option a whole lot more inviting for a person finishing university, with little ties to any location and usually no property or job to tie them down. Nice one…