When I was little (or young, i'm still pretty little, height wise at least), I was desperate to be a showjumper like Harvey Smith, then I went through a phase of being a librarian and forcing mum to take books out all the time while I stamped them and fined her (none of my childhood books are untouched), and finally, a teacher phase, bossing my sister around and criticising her efforts. "NO! Do this NOW! No, no, don't cry, Mum will come, here is a biscuit".) And you know, apart from the showjumping, I DID do that. I was a childrens librarian for years, and then retrained as a teacher, which I loved, for years. I did what I wanted to do. Son is obsessed with levers, gears, mechanics. My dad is an engineer, In Law dad is an engineer, there is a clear obsessional path for him. Daughter is currently limited to doing whatever pees son off most. But whatever they want to do, I will say, "You CAN do it". Because really, they're bright, they're funny, they have drive, they can. Even if he still wants to be a policeman.
Except they can't. We will never, never, never have enough money to pay for degrees for our kids. Read that again. NEVER. This country now has the most expensive education in the world. Kids that are bright, from less well off families, will never get to University. The Conservative blurb may say "It's merely a debt...." blah blah" , but people who have no money do NOT get into debt. Imagine being an 18 year old from a poor background, and being told that your debt on leaving will be 40K, 3 years work for your dad. You wouldn't countenance it. Of course, it's probably different, if , like David Cameron, you are worth 19 million and you think this makes you Middle Class. I won't even mention Clegg, nobody can hear him from the cavernous recesses of Camerons passage anyway. Cameron just excuses any noise as being "something he ate".
This is what this government wants: education for the elite, the ones who a 40K debt means nothing to. Their dads earn it in a few months. I was the first person in my family to get to University, indeed, even finish school. I managed because I had no fees, and a grant. I repaid that generosity by doing public sector work for years. The State helped me, I help the state. I believed in the State. I put something back. They more than got their moneys worth from me, from the teaching in the East End alone, believe me. ("No, pupil, I cannot come and pick you up from Budgens for shoplifting. I am not your mother. I am your teacher. Oh. Alright. She's with you. And caught shoplifting. I'm on my way.")
No more. This week we learned that the local (and only) secondary school has lost it's Building Schools for the Future money. 9 million. This was to provide for more space and facilities. The school was built in 1938 for 500 students. It now has 1,350. The money has gone. Not needed, says the government. Not needed , says local bigwig Martin Curtis, and minister for children, no less, who also said that "screaming and shouting" won't do anything. Fine. We'll all just accept it then, shall we? And the fact that you've just more or less told our kids that they're worth much less to this government than the kids of the small enclave of wealthy Free school parents. And the 1,000 homes you've just agreed will be built here, to add to our hugely overcrowded school and village with no facilities and schools that are too small. ( Strange that all the local Conservative councillors are so keen on the idea, possibly it has something to do with the huge links to the building trade many of them have. ) This government sucks big time.
The students round here already perform terribly. Fenland has the lowest tertiary education take up of ANY English area. It has the lowest parental tertiary take up. It is a rural, on the land work, area. And a safe, very safe, Tory seat. Nobody votes, apart from the landowners, and me. Everyone else is too apathetic, working on the land they don't own, or in the middle of the Fens picking leeks for minimum wage, for 14 hours, while the voting goes on. So why should the local MP Mr Steve Barclay care? He doesn't. He went to Rugby. He is a golden boy who replies to my letters with the party line and never holds a surgery in my village, knowing full well there is no bus on earth that will get me, my kids and my hatred to his actual surgery. So i've written to him. (Again. See previous posts to hear about my effort to build up enough asinine replies that I can furnish my chicken coop with them. And they can shit on him. I know it's childish.) Would he like to come and tell my son that his local schools are falling to bits, with the government sanction? Would he like to come and explain why my kids will never get to tertiary education? Would he buggery. He goes to the opening of a crisp packet, but he won't come here.
And because i've made myself really cross again, here's a picture of some stuff I sewed last night: a taggie for an upcoming baby (NOT mine, dear me NO), a pot stand, and a pink(ish) cushion for daughters room. I'm getting into the swing of the machine now. I even wound a bobbin. (clap, clap, clap) Once I get good enough, I may even attempt to sew a tiny mannikin of our MP as a pincushion.