On the scrapheap

September 29, 2016

Lord Mandelson questions how the cost of scrapping tuition fees would be funded. “By spending less on health or housing?” he answers rhetorically (“Peter Mandelson: Brexit an ‘act of self-harm’ that ‘breaks my heart’”, News, 15 September).

Well of course we can’t do that, we all respond. It’s the classic commonsense argument, so brilliantly analysed by Antonio Gramsci. Other options are closed off for discussion – such as cancelling Trident, unthinkable to Lord Mandelson but not to at least half the population, as demonstrated in numerous opinion polls in the past few years. The current estimated cost of £205 billion over 30 years will pay for an awful lot of fees. And if that isn’t enough, there are a number of vanity projects such as Hinkley Point C nuclear power station and the High Speed 2 railway that could fill the gap. But these, too, are off the table for Lord Mandelson.

I suggest that his comment is an excellent example of “common sense” to use in a course on ideology in the modern world.

Mike McGrath
Editor
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