Clarity, treachery and silence 3

January 16, 2004

I am a lecturer about to be made redundant by an institution that is not overstaffed but is desperately underfunded. In eight months, just under half my department will have left, more than a third made redundant. My future is uncertain. I am in my early 40s. I cannot afford a house or a car.

I read with cynicism of the top-up fees revolt by Labour's "principled" leftwing and "principled" opposition of the Conservatives.

Fees opposition is fuelled by middle-class parents unwilling to have themselves or their children pay for the education they benefit from. So we pay for their education, and a second or third-class education it becomes.

I hold no brief for top-up fees. A graduate tax would be better. But any such tax is opposed on the same political grounds as fees. Our unions should be fighting for us on this, not trying to maintain their "principled" leftist credentials by remaining silent.

R. A. L.
London W13

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