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On students being ‘in for a shock’

November 29, 2010

Just a quick update in anticipation of tomorrow’s day of action. I saw a particularly vicious comment on a news article today, which I couldn’t help but respond to. It turned into a bit of a rant that actually sums things up rather well. I won’t edit it, because it should stand as a spur of the moment thing (except for a couple of typos), but I may post another version of it as an edit.

March tomorrow and keep up the pressure – we have seen cracks appearing in the LibDem resolve, and if we can win on tuition fees, we can start to press the argument further, with letter campaigns, press releases and marches to challenge the destruction of the welfare state, which is what Coalition policy amounts to. This is not to say that savings don’t need to be made, but many of the decisions being made (the destruction of the concept of universal benefit, the restructuring of the NHS, the market principals of the Browne Report) suggest not simply cost cutting but a prelude to something far more sinister, for which there is no democratic mandate. At all.

Love and Rage xx

Well I suppose when you’re not that capable and shouldn’t really be at university in the first place taking a day off protesting is perfectly acceptable.

Think – we now have a generation of lefty activists brandishing sociology degree’s demanding high wages and “rights”. The DEMAND that future generations of non grads pay for there education at Neasdon Polyversity. How scary.

Boy are they in for a shock.

Well, I suppose when you’re not capable of addressing the actual issue and have to resort to outdated stereotypes and ad hominems, wasting time spewing bile all over an internet comment board is perfectly acceptable.

Think, we now have a generation of rightist trolls brandishing chips on their shoulders and an inability to correctly use apostrophes demanding we accept political betrayal, a reduction in democracy, and an alienated, bitter society. The [sic] DEMAND that all who disagree with them shut up and take it, while inventing terminology as a means of avoiding debate. That IS scary.

Students have already had a shock. The shock was growing up in the knowledge that the previous generation had benefited from the post-war consensus that there was more to life than money, then watching as everything that had been built up was slowly torn down. The shock was knowing that media ranting about ‘exams getting easier’ was causing many of their peers to develop serious mental illnesses, and that the objectification and commodification of celebrities has seen young girls actually starve themselves to death.

We were shocked when we discovered that, in addition to already very high levels of student debt, we would also have to work part time just to survive, while studying for longer and longer hours in a bid to keep up with increasingly more competitive and exciting courses. We discovered that it’s almost impossible to even get voluntary work without specific experience in that field, and that rental prices for flats full of mold had been pushed to insane levels by buy-to-let landlords.

We were shocked when, having been told we lived in a democracy, our politicians who specifically courted our votes then reneged not just on their manifesto, but on individual pledges. And we were very shocked when we discovered that this apparently makes us privileged, just because better technology is available.

Students, and young people in general, rightly feel shut out of a political system which offers a choice between two and a half flavours of neo-liberal hegemony, and which insists on mortgaging the present and future to pay for a past which they had no part in. We understand the issues far better than you imagine, and they go far deeper than you can conceive. This is not adolescent rage, this is the face of a generation who have been told that they are spoilt and stupid one too many times, and are out to prove that they are actual people, not a politically useful mass to demonise or court as best suits the tactical climate in Whitehall.

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