thefairymelusine: line drawing of a knight lying by a bank of flowers (Default)
 I am twenty one years old, in a country where most batchelors degrees last three years. I left secondary school in 2007. I have repeatedly tried to get a undergraduate qualification in that time, and am now having some success with the Open University. Today/yesterday I spent the day working on my coursework (on how the courage of children is portrayed in Treasure Island and Little Women) and checking the news on the protests and debates. 

I am utterly furious.

Parliament voted for a threefold increase in tuition fees, making the maximum £9,000 per year. Many of the current graduates I know make something around £9000 as their total income. Add to that the proposals to axe the EMA (a weekly means tested payment of £10-30 paid to 16-18 year olds continuing education, in return for full attendance) and the £84 million in cuts to my university, which does open access university education, and is the only way many of their, myself included, have of getting back into the education system, because of work, or family, or illness, or poverty or any of the combined.

Oh, and the repeated violence and intimidation from police. 

Earlier this year I read "Parable of The Talents" by Octavia Butler. The really scary society in that, which I found utterly terrifying and believable, starts with public services being cut, including schools, and replaced by privately funded ones. Butler said she wrote the novel after reading a proposal to ban the children of undocumented immigrants from receiving public education.

You know what I've been told, for years, when I got angry at political issues? That my tone was the problem, or that was just the way things are, that surely I can understand. But I've watched the government my parents voted in to change things betray their voters, and the party I did do the same. I'm still seeing the tired lie that these protests are just a spoilt minority who want a vacation from adulthood for three to four years.

And it makes me glad that so many of the people I know and care about are angry, are betrayed and are fighting back. But it also, really, really scares me. Because the people affected hardest by the cuts are those who are most vulnerable, and that's even more true when it comes to the protests- school students, PWD, pregnant people, being attacked or denied medical attention (I will post later with links, I can't). I haven't been to the protests since the first big one (when I didn't manage to get there owing to anxiety attack) because I am physically ill, have recently had a run in with mental health services and am approaching discharge. I've barely been able to go outside by myself for weeks because of the weather.

I'm going to post this now, and read or watch something. But I wanted to be somewhat articulate on the subject while I could.









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