Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Daily Mail froths at mouth at tuition fees "apartheid"

The Daily Mail virtually explodes with Middle England outrage this morning. How dare the Welsh look after their students while our poor little lambs are "punished"?
What the frothing-at-the-mouth report fails to mention is that the punishing is being done by the Fib Dem-Tory coalition in London.
The intro in particular captured that very special resentment the Daily Mail does so well:

Britain was facing a future of tuition fees apartheid last night as Welsh students were told they will be exempt from higher charges.

Apartheid? Really? So presumably the ability of some people to pay £30,000 a year to ensure their kids get a privileged school education at Eton is also a class-based apartheid. Or is that somehow different?
If it wasn't such a laughable and unsustainable argument, using the term "apartheid" would be hugely offensive to those who fought that racist regime.

The atmosphere in Daily Mail towers must be so splenetic that one sub, who wrote the picture captions got completely carried away:

'Revolution': Police with riot shields stand at the base of a graffiti-daubed Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square last night. The news Welsh students will have their fees subsidised threatens to trigger fresh protests

Now I wonder who's going to protest? The NUS has welcomed the move as have the university lecturers' union UCU. The only protests it's likely to spark is from the Fib Dem backbenchers who must be pig sick of being outmanoeuvred at every turn.


Anonymous said...

The Mail's (and the Telegraph's, btw) reaction is bizarre, to say the least.

Middle-English voters' children are being hit with huge HE fees bills, and you can choose to blame (1) the government they voted for, or (2) blame the Welsh.

Guess who plumped for (2)?!

Plaid Whitegate said...

I haven't bothered reading many of the comments under the Daily Mail article but the ones I saw were borderline racist and almost all have a vision of Wales as some feckless cesspit of ex-mining scroungers entirely dependent on the benign patronage of the local squire (or was it England?)

Druid said...

Plaid Whitegate is using the Welsh "victimisation" argument. You can't go on blaming the English and the UK media for the perception of the Welsh or everything that goes wrong in the principality. Wales needs strong leadership to take control of its economic prosperity and look to the future.

Plaid Whitegate said...

I'm not blaming anyone for something that's gone wrong in Wales - this is a great example of something going right in Wales.
I'm laughing at the Daily Mail for getting it so badly wrong in its analysis of the tuition fees debate. If you read the Daily Mail argument they say the Barnett Formula needs to be scrapped because Wales does *too well* out of it. Talk about looking down a telescope the wrong way.
Even the Druid's Tories now accept that the Barnett Formula is not fit for purpose.

Oh, and can we drop the "principality" schtick? That's the name of a building society not a country.

Anonymous said...

It seems that the focus of the Daily Mail spleen is on Lib Dems. Yet they are still very much a junior coalition partner. The increase in fees is driven by staighforward tory ideology and the silence by Welsh Conservatives over the One Wales government's defence of higher education is deafening.

Plaid Whitegate said...

Here's a lesson in victim mentality:
"I am not surprised to see Ynys Môn once again receive one of the worst settlements from the Welsh Assembly. Last year, compared to an average Welsh rise of 2.1 percent, Anglesey County Council's allocation was increased by just 1 percent -- the joint lowest in Wales -- and we would have received even less had the Council not been able to negotiate a 'floor'. As the allocations are calculated by population and not by need, Anglesey tends to lose out despite being officially the poorest place in the UK."
Taken from the Druid's Revenge blog.