Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Eh? What

Now, we all know that Paul Uppal MP will never be a Nobel laureate, an FRS or even a Mastermind competitor, but this gnomic statement baffles me.

Does he agree that the contribution made by graduates is not only economic and that it relates to social capital? They provide positive role models in society and make a contribution back into the community. The way we will achieve that is through the Finance (No. 2) Bill.

It seems meaningless on the surface, and after a moment's thought, it turns out to be plain balls.

There's no argument there. How do graduates contribute social capital? Do non-graduates not do this? Plenty of evil people are graduates, and therefore not role models. Take Rich Paul for instance. He claims to have a degree, yet he's spent his life enriching himself, and now actually damages the fabric of society by voting to load £60-80,000 debts on to students, making it less likely that they'll contribute to society in other ways. They'll be too tired from working hard to pay their debts. Is Paul a role model? I think not.

Then there's the leap of logic which he crosses with some style. Finance (No. 2) beggars all graduates and makes low-paying graduate jobs fundamentally unattractive (teachers, social workers etc). It works against social capital.

I can't help thinking - and you may agree - that Lazy Paul's statement, at heart, means little more than 'I'm here. Acknowledge my existence' rather than presenting any reasoned argument. I'm not alone: his colleague Vince Cable, minister in charge of destroying education, couldn't work out what the hell Uppal was on about either:

I think, if I understand the question correctly, that the hon. Gentleman is making the point that there are high social as well as private returns from higher education. That is one of the reasons why the Government continue to support it.
Remember, dear readers, Uppal won the election by 600 votes, and there are an awful lot of students, academics and parents in his constituency. It won't take many of us to consign him to history. In the meantime, don't expect too much from him.

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