Home Education Letters: not at university? The odds are against you University

Letters: not at university? The odds are against you University


Sony Soda’s article brilliantly highlights the unfair advantage enjoyed by young people who may accidentally go to university over their colleagues who do not, such as the state- and society-subsidized transition to adulthood and independent living (“Is it fair that we spend so much on helping middle-class children in adulthood?», Comment).

There are other structural inequalities as a result of which young people entering the world of work (and for whom a university may not be an option) become still at a disadvantage. The national subsistence level only applies to those over the age of 23, but dental treatment, prescriptions, eye examinations and bus travel (in Brighton anyway) cost teenagers aged 18 to 22 working full-time just as much. same as adults aged 23 and over. Meanwhile, full-time graduates can apply for free low-income prescriptions and free dental treatment for under-19s; receive income from student loans, which is exempt from their tax benefits; and can take advantage of cheaper student trips and discounts on countless goods and services (including eye tests and glasses). The government could do a lot to level the playing field for young people – it seems it just decided not to. At the same time, retirees (the largest group of votes) continue to enjoy free travel on the bus regardless of income.
Lauren Shukru

The logic of Sony Soda’s race is widespread. Instead of abolishing tuition fees, investing in schools or ending the rental crisis, should we just deprive universities of even more? Already, this sector is financed by harmful loans, not from the government. University do not compile your own rating scales, they have external examiners to ensure parity; if this fails, it is due to corruption caused by fee and funding structures.

If middle-class students outnumber workers, we need to address the shortcomings in education and the prospects that make it so, rather than further stratifying society by sending working-class students on internships. University education has nothing to do with training, and the sooner it is detached from the idea that society needs to somehow get out of this “value for money”, the better.

If, according to Soda, “new research suggests that university admission is associated with declining racist and authoritarian sentiment,” that’s an even bigger reason to encourage more people to study at that level, no matter what job they end up doing. perform.
Peel and Galia Collective
London E2

Juvenile delinquency

Surprise, surprise, crisis of hiring children (“The shortage of staff is forcing kindergartens to close – and it will be even worse”, News). A friend with a degree in social sciences, NVQ levels 3 and 5 and more than 30 years of experience, recently quit her job at a kindergarten to stack shelves at Aldi. Better working conditions, less stress and 1 pound an hour more in her salary. Says everything.
Alexandra Cosgrave
London SW11

Starmer’s missed opportunity

Keir Starmer accurately, though incompletely, describes the political bankruptcy of this Tory government (“The sound you can hear is the dying moans of the clapping government», Comment). It is unfortunate, however, that the only reference to the horrific Brexit mistake inflicted on the deceived population by the same brigade that currently mismanages the country is to identify the potential VAT reduction as a “real benefit of Brexit”. Sure, this is another one identified by Jacob Reese-Mogg, but failing to deal with the stupidity of the Brexit government version and its devastating impact on our politics, economy, security and reputation, Starmer has failed to decide and cannot begin a dialogue on liquidation. damage.
Tim Lambert
London SW1

The fog of war

Notably, there are still those who want to defend the accuracy of Dennis Avey’s account of his life as a British prisoner of war in Auschwitz (“Hero or deception? New doubts about the story of the dog of the man who invaded Auschwitz”, News).

Avey’s memoirs are perhaps unique in that they are a false story based on two other similar textual deceptions (Charles Coward’s). Password – Courage and Stoker Donald Watt). Without a doubt, Avey wanted recognition at the very end of his life and, instead of just writing about what was a horrible experience, built himself up as the savior of the Jews. That he should do so may be understandable, though unfortunate, but the lack of diligence to verify irrelevant elements of his story does not do the publishers and others who helped him write the book and then promoted it and Avey. It is to be hoped that forensic research by Alona Shapiro and others will lead to a serious health warning if Avey’s memoirs remain on sale.
Professor Tony Kushner
Parks Institute for the Study of Jewish and Non-Jewish Relations
University of Southampton

Bertie is not Boris

William Keegan very cleverly uses the scene from PG Wodehouse Very obligated, Jeeves to comment positively on the French presidential election, but among other things calls Bertie Worcester a figure similar to Boris Johnson (“France abandoned the far right. Britain’s Brexit can do the same”, Business). This is a serious insult to Worcester, whose fights often arise because of his attempts to do a favor to a friend, with hilarious results from which Jeeves has to save him. Johnson’s crimes arise because of his own dishonesty and incompetence, from which there is no Jeeves to save the country.
Vivienne Kinaston
Bradford-upon-Avon, Wiltshire

The problem of left capital

To say that Labor was too relaxed about the rampant financial capitalism and paid too little attention to the downsides of globalization, as Andrew Raunsley argued, is an underestimation of the decade (“Lessons that Keir Starmer can learn from the famous convincing victory of the New Labor.», Comment). As the French economist Thomas Pickett pointed out, the “radical achievements” he rightly noted were largely offset by the mass transfer and concentration of wealth in the hands of 1% while lowering the living standards of the vast majority, creating an unprecedented challenge for potential capital regulators.

The impoverishment that has forced millions to vote for Brexit in despair is now exacerbated by Kovid and the war, which Labor describes as a cost-of-living crisis. This is certainly one of the symptoms of the crisis, at the heart of which is a fundamental question for the left: is political regulation a possible solution to the reluctance of capital to coexist with humanity and the planet?
Martin Jarnit

Decline and fall

During a cursory reading ObserverI was initially struck by the generous title attached to the work of Tim Adams (“Everyone who has a heart will surely feel the sadness of the fall of Boris Becker», Comment). Then I realized that, unfortunately, the fall of Boris was completely different. I respectfully suggest that Observer ponders how its title could be reworked in the near future.
Colin Mann
Barhead, Glasgow

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