So, in a desperate attempt to win back young voters, the Tories have decided to freeze tuition fees and raise the threshold at which students must start repaying.
I’m sure that’ll have them flocking back to the Tory party in their droves. I’m sure the (ever so impartial) British media, will trot out a young person, whose mind has been brainwashed changed by this and now pledges their allegiance to the Tories. Most likely Theresa’s best pal, Laura Kuenssberg, will applaud the move as a brave choice and proof that Theresa is listening to the electorate, isn’t she great!
Well, I have a tip for the Conservative party,
If you want to win back young voters,
Stop destroying their lives!
A little personal history for you.
My family were working class, we grew up in a modest house that my parents bought with their wages, one was a lorry driver, the other a secretary. Both had scarcely a secondary education, but I dreamed of being the first in my family to get a degree.
Luckily, when it was time for me to go to University, there were no tuition fees and I got a full maintenance grant to help me survive the four years it took me to get my BA (Hons) in Modern Languages. I was even paid extra money by the European Union to study abroad in both Germany and France. I finished my studies with what my parents thought was an outrageous £2,000 overdraft, which was entirely of my own making – let’s just say, I had a lot of fun at Uni.
When I graduated, Thatcher’s Britain was beginning to bite and although jobs were scarce, I knew that, with my degree, I could garner a higher salary and therefore I would be OK.
And I was.
I worked in various salaried positions, with decent working conditions, paid leave, permanent contracts and even perks and bonuses. Then, at 26, with just a single salary, I was able to purchase my own house (in a dodgy part of Salford, admittedly, but still, it was mine 🙂 )
Today, for pretty much all working class young people, this life progression is non-existent.
The average student leaves university with debts of over £40,000 once they graduate and this sum rises year on year due to interest, especially if they don’t earn enough to start paying it off.
Despite having done everything society demanded of them,
Work hard at school, go to University, work hard at University, get a degree, work hard, work hard…
They either have to work unpaid to get experience or take a zero hours contract.
Permanent contracts are now like Bigfoot,
people say they exist, but no-one has seen one for yonks!
Buying a house with a single salary is impossible, hell, renting a house on a single salary is now impossible. Even if they manage to rent a tiny flat on a zero hours contract, it eats up pretty much all of their disposable income, especially if they live in the South East.
Most work hard for a woeful minimum wage, which barely covers the rent, but even if it doesn’t,
no housing benefit for you, young people, nope!
Thanks to the Tories.
No wonder the younger generation had completely switched off from politics, government policy had systematically destroyed any chance of them living the same quality of lifestyle that their parents enjoyed.
Every single one of those rich, entitled Conservative politicians who are now bleating on and on about it only being fair that young people should their pay their own way,
Every single one of them, got a free ride to University.
Not one of them, despite the family riches, paid their own way.
How is that fair?
I, personally, believe we should abolish Tuition fees altogether and cancel all current student debt.
But how will we pay for it? I hear people immediately cry out. I would find a graduate tax – from 1-2% for current and 5% for past graduates – more palatable. That way, when you, as a Graduate, have found employment, you are able to pay for future generations to enjoy the same benefits you have had.
After all, wouldn’t it be fair for all those demanding people pay their own way, to pay their own way?
Why not make it voluntary for past graduates? Let’s see how many of those who say they think people should pay their own way, are willing to, voluntarily, put their money where their mouth is? I would gladly pay it. I wonder how many Tory MPs would do so?
Young people are not stupid, they see their generation being sold down the river, they had been conditioned to believe that this was just the way life is…
Then along came, Corbyn and posited that a different society is possible. Of course, they saw him pilloried and shouted down at every turn, but still they were curious to find out more… and the rest is history…
or is it the future?
The one success this past election achieved, despite not turning out the way they wanted, was to engage younger voters. Young people have realised that they have a voice and that with a little political engagement, they can change things.
Maybe they can have a better life, a better future.
Maybe they don’t have to accept what the government tells them.
Maybe they can change the government…
Some of us oldies, will help, but the future is theirs for the taking.
Dear Tories, freezing tuition fees at their current exorbitant level and raising the threshold (effectively ensuring that they have far more to pay back, btw) will not lure the majority of young people into supporting the Conservative party.
Try giving them their lives back…
Any young people wanting to make their voices heard,
Register to vote here: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
And if you’re in the mood to get even more involved, join the Labour party here: https://join.labour.org.uk/
Before people rush to remind me that New Labour was responsible for bringing in tuition fees, let me just say, the current Labour leadership was always against it.