I have just finished writing this letter to one of my MPs:
I was dismayed to read on the Spectator's website today about Vince Cable's planned introduction of a graduate tax. This is a terrible university funding policy that harshly penalises those who work hard for good degrees in order to subsidise the mass-consumption of low-value HE certificates in the name of social engineering.
I understand that your hands, like those of Mr Cameron and the party as a whole, are tied by the coalition agreement and the necessities of the grim times in which we are living. Nonetheless, I would be very grateful if you could raise and keep in the minds of policy makers the concerns of those aspirational students who will already be emerging from university with their fair share of the debt burden without having the burden of others thrust upon them too.
Euch. I can't quite put into words how angry the introduction of a Graduate Tax (and more broadly, the presence of Vince Cable in a Conservative-led government) makes me. The Graduate Tax is proof positive of Vince's 'I'd be in Labour if it wasn't for the Loony Left running London when I moved there' credentials. The idea that the more use you make of more degree, the more you should pay to support those who won't, is abhorrent to both conservative and liberal thinking. Fraser Nelson's idea is what I would have hoped to see: an admittance that not everyone needs a degree, and a re-calibration of HE in line with the radical recalibration of compulsory education being enacted by Michael Gove. Instead, the coalition brings in a disjointed policy of radical reform on the one hand, and punitive taxes to subsidise the status quo on the other.
Another reason to vote 'NO' in the PR referendum.