Charm / Offensive

Being a true (ish) account of my existence on this level of reality

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Things that are concerning me
A bit of a drive-by posting, but I've finally removed my head from the sandpit that is theatre and looked around to see woe blossoming elsewhere. I suppose it might be heartening to think that not only is my own personal empire being screwed over by the current status quo but that we are all in it together*.

So, I am worried. I'm worried about the lack of support for AV, and the frankly terrifying posters that are going up around Wandsworth, funded by the wrong-headed No to AV campaign who seem to be fielding a "don't use this system because Fiji uses it" by-line that doesn't actually make much sense to me, but who knows, maybe Fiji is some sort of by-word for "awful"? Rather than exotic and pleasing to say (go on, say it feee geee). It's something to do with popularity - as if voting systems should be decided on the basis of how many people invite them to their parties.

Crass but entertaining explaination of why AV is a good idea is here.

I'm also worried about tuition fees. Not for me. I'm all educated-up, but you know, I'm trying to move away from my parochial arts-based worries and extend my concern to other areas. Like the future. Where I hope to live one day. And I hope contains people like doctors, teachers and even (fuck it) arts managers. Who all need further education, really. And it would be nice if they could be people who wanted to do it, and who enjoyed doing it rather than simply people who could afford to.

This worry was compounded by the frankly incredulous news that the government is surprised that universities are charging the full amount. Really? Really? At the same time as central funding is cut and we know that there really wasn't enough to start with, it's surprising that universities are going for extra cash?

This notion of "surprise", possibly encouraged by the idea that such a system might be "empowering" for students** leads me to believe that there is a lack of higher education (or perhaps a dictionary) within the current regime. Which whilst leading me to keep quoting famous utterances of linguistic disbelief is very worrying.

Though it would explain a lot.

* It's not. Really.

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Well, Fiji has been naughty recently - they were expelled from the Commonwealth Of Nations and the Pacific Islands Forum in 2009 over voting irregularities.

On the otherhand, just because you can beat some to death with a pair shoes does not make wearing shoes a bad idea.

Must make a SHUT UP WILLETS! tag.

Lots of people are undecided and will stick with what they know as a result, I don't think AV has much chance of winning and yes the No campaign's advertising has been shocking. That said AV *is* somewhat rubbish and not the wonderful alternative to FPTP that some think it is, in fact I've heard many very pro-voting reform types saying "don't vote for AV".

Also politically Labour being split doesn't help.

I'm pro-electoral reform but anti-AV. I think both campaigns have been rubbish and offensively patronising (from what I've seen).

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A little unfair I feel. The Tory (mostly settled) position is they support FPTP but they knew they had to offer some sort of electoral reform to get the LibDems on board. In their mind AV was the least objectionable alternative they could offer and still have a chance of forming a government.

You can't complain if Cameron campaigns against something he doesn't want. He was good on his word in providing the referendum, the rest in in the lap of the electorate on May the 5th.

The tuition fees will also have a serious impact on postgraduate studies, hence the research that an advanced economy needs (and there's no way the UK can compete with China on basic level manufacturing). Who in hell is going to be willing to go even further into debt to study a masters degree or PhD?

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Interesting. From mine, I funded my MSc using a career development loan - converting the upfront fee (much smaller than the fees now proposed) into monthly repayments. I then worked for some years, and paid off my debt before I felt in a position consider a PhD. My original comment was only based on undergraduate fees as I don't know what system will now apply for postgraduate study. I am concerned about the effect on scientific research, as those doing a science degree will often be those who have to repay the full fees, and the UK already struggles to attract students to these high workload courses. From what I've read, the monthly repayments aren't what I'd describe as small, and the size of the debt that students will incur is daunting. A new funding system was necessary. Forcing it through in this rushed manner was not, and I believe the end result has significant flaws, often born out of hastily patching in ill-considered "concessions" in an attempt to quell opposition.

Oh, and anyone doing postgraduate study puts off repaying their debt, which now incurs market interest rates, growing even larger.
Knew I'd forget at least one reason!

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