Archive for April, 2011

Mobility and servitude

So, social mobility is a new priority for the coalition government.  So why did the weekend seem to be taken over by some kind of trip back in time?  On Sunday morning, a good deal of discussion was of primogeniture – the old laws about the eldest son inheriting title and estates.  The argument seems to be that this is an anachronism – the eldest child, whether male or female, should be allowed to inherit.  Utter nonsense.  And who cares anyway?  There is not a sensible discussion to be had about modernising the archaic institutions of aristocracy and monarchy.  Making inherited privilege gender neutral is not progress.  Or is this social mobility as Nick Clegg sees it – for the daughters of the rich.  Certainly it is the only tangible improvement being discussed, it seems to me.

Elsewhere, the coalition is condemning a generation of young people to little more than indentured servitude.  For what else is the loading of financial obligations onto graduates which they will have to work to pay off for many years to come?  If this were people trafficking, involving years to pay off the traffickers, we would be outraged.

I am not sure what that analogy makes the higher education sector!