steepholm: (Default)
[personal profile] steepholm
I'm sure this point has been made elsewhere, but since everyone from Eric Pickles to the Daily Mail (and even some Labour supporters) have taken to describing the pledge to abolish university tuition fees for English students as a "bribe", I'd just like to point out that, if you want to look at it that way, corporation tax cuts are a bribe, as are the triple lock on pensions, with free TV licences, bus passes, winter fuel payments, free prescriptions, etc etc. And the NHS, of course. Why get all hoity toity about it only when the young are beneficiaries? It smacks doubly of hypocrisy when most of the people flinging this word about were the beneficiaries of free university education themselves. (I've yet to hear of any of them offering to pay the money back.)

"Bribe" is the wrong word to use in all these cases. Free education is a recognition that we all benefit from having an educated population; the NHS is a recognition that we all benefit from having a healthy population; those who advocate tax breaks do so (in most cases) because they think it will benefit the economy generally. This isn't bribery, just enlightened self-interest.

You might even think of it as paying forward some of the benefits (bribes, if you will) that you received. Or do you think your parents were profligate fools when they bribed you for your love with food, shelter, money, toys? I've no patience with that view of the world, especially when it's so selectively applied.

Tangentially (as I noted on FB the other day), Greg Mulholland's father was on Any Answers on Saturday, arguing that students should be registered to vote in their parents' constituencies rather than the university towns where they live. That way, they won't be able to gang up on poor Tory and Lib Dem candidates like Sir Julian Brazier and, er, Greg Mulholland. Hilariously, he began by saying how much he welcomed the fact that the young had decided to vote this time. He just wants to make sure that their vote won't count.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-06-13 09:11 am (UTC)
shewhomust: (ayesha)
From: [personal profile] shewhomust
To give money to the rich is an incentive; to give money to the poor is a bribe. I hope we've got that clear.

I admit that I don't understand how the triple lock became untouchable. There may have been good reason for it when pensioners lagged behind the rest of the country in prosperity, but now that we have caught up, wouldn't the double (incomes / prices) lock suffice?

And actually, all the free pensioner benefits are just an admission that the pension isn't enough to allow people to buy things, but that's a more complocated question and I shouldn't inflict it on your comments!

(no subject)

Date: 2017-06-13 02:06 pm (UTC)
cmcmck: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cmcmck
Eric Pickles has to be the biggest political arsehole I've ever encountered.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-06-19 02:12 am (UTC)
ethelmay: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ethelmay
In the US there are different laws about out-of-area students in each state. I think generally speaking no one can keep a student from voting in their parents' district if they're already registered there, but some states make it difficult for students to change their voting address to their school residence.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-06-19 05:19 pm (UTC)
ethelmay: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ethelmay
I tend to think that anything that makes the rules of voting more opaque is for the benefit of anyone who benefits from low turnout. Obfuscation is a blunt but very powerful tool in the hands of bureaucracy.

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