Monday, November 15, 2010

Rants about The Times, Trains and some Happy Stuff as well

I said I would be blogging again soon, so here I am. Sorry it’s been a while, I have been crazy busy.

So, the student protests in London. I’m not going to talk about the violence; I am going to talk about the Times’ view of the protests and the whole student fees thing. On Thursday, page 2 of the Times carried an article called something along the lines of ‘Protest and Pantomime’ in which the author argued that the protests just show that students have no idea about politics or economics. This greatly offended me. I understand politics, and maybe I was naïve when I listened to Mini-Cameron (aka Nick Clegg) say that they would vote against fee rises. But a demonstration is a way of using the freedom of speech that democratic politics is built on. So if anything, those students understand politics better that those who sit in pubs and grumble but don’t actively do anything.

Secondly, this article stated that students and graduates should pay for the university system and there should be little government help. Why? Because students/graduates are the ones that benefit from university, so why should those who do go to uni pay for them. OK, I can kind of see the logic to this, but on the other hand… There are a lot of benefits that are government funded that many people don’t use. For example, as far as I know, my mum has never claimed job-seekers. So should my Dad pay more tax than her, because he has? This idea of ‘those who benefit should pay’ just doesn’t work. And I would challenge you to find one person who hasn’t ever visited a doctor (who has a uni education), lived in a house that was designed by an architect (uni educated), been protected by a law that has been enforced by a judge (uni educated). I think my point is made. Everyone in Britain benefits from universities. Without them we would have no educated people driving innovation, developing live saving drugs, creating the technology that runs our daily lives. So everyone has an interest in people going to universities.

Ok, two rants down, one left, then some nice stuff. Arriva Trains Wales, how I hate thee. Another two journeys, another two times arriving late. I got back Friday to Aberystwyth station 40 minutes later (no drive for a while, then an inexplicable crawl from Borth to Aber) to see a poster on which the lovely people at ATW proudly state that the Cambrian line has something like 98% punctuality. I would love to know how they have figured that out, because I don’t think I have ever been on the Cambrian line and arrived on time. OK, one way they do it is by claiming that being 10 minutes late is still punctual. Rubbish. 10 minutes late is 10 minutes late, that isn’t on time! So that annoyed me, but now there is a possibility of a strike o Friday, the one time I really need to be somewhere and can only use ATW. GRRRRR…..

Anyway, happy times. Goo Goo Dolls gig on Thursday night was awesome, and would advise people to check out Unkle Bob, the support act. This was followed by a wonderful weekend of Ultimate Frisbee. Disctators (Aber Interpol team) came 6th, and I was very proud to be a Disctator. And congrats to Mwnci See, winners of Petting Zoo 2010, and Do who came ninth but showed a lot of talent and promise.


  1. Wow that Times article would have made me angry. I get so frustrated by the opinions of some people on this whole thing. Usually it is just people saying Arts degrees should be scrapped because history, art and english don't contribute to the country.

  2. Well made point about university education. I agree with you but hadn't seen such a good list of 'have you never spoken/used/done'...

    On the flipside I also enjoy the irony that the very same right to protest is potentially being used by train workers - therefore not just sitting on their BTMs - and you got annoyed at that.

    Be interested to hear your thoughts on Trade Unions.

    All the best