Sunday, 12 December 2010

Educating Rita - As a Volunteer

Overheard in the caravan:

Hay: “You’re changing that sweater today – you’ve had it on for a week.”

Chairman: “No I’ve not!”

Hay: “Well how long have you had it on then?”

Chairman: “Oh, only about 7 days.”

On the burning issue of the day in the UK (the proposed £6k-£9k university tuition fees); there was a time when a university education was free – for anyone, regardless of social class. Why then was it that students from working class backgrounds were under-represented? It certainly couldn’t have been because they couldn’t afford it – it was free, for God’s sake.

Yes, the number of places was limited by the fact that the number of universities was fewer, but that ensured that only the most academically qualified were admitted and had no bearing on the class from which the intake was harvested. The feed system - the grammar schools - was not elitist and took anyone who passed the 11 plus (or the 12 plus for the late starters).

I would suggest that it was more peer and parental pressure that dissuaded academically minded working class students from entering university. Shades of Educating Rita? Any thoughts?

The government is allowing he hoi polloi to buy ‘significant’ buildings and run services on a voluntary basis. I’m considering getting a kitty together to buy the local hospital and volunteering as a brain surgeon. What happens when the volunteers get fed up of doing what we’re paying taxes for the government to do on our behalf?


  1. I'll chip in a dollar. Will I need to wash my hands?

  2. Lee: For brain surgery? I doubt it, else how will be pass on MRSA?