Wednesday, March 16, 2005

the full halfwit nelson

They think they can just do what they want now, the Liberals, don't they? You look away for half a second and there they are, dismantling our higher education system even further. And what schadenfreude from the Education Minister:

"The good news for the Labor Party and student activists is that they will continue to be able to pay their student union fees," Dr Nelson told ABC radio. "There is no law preventing people from paying student union fees."

Yeah, and people are going to pay their taxes if you make it optional, too.
Then you have Mr Nelson saying he's justified in introducing this legislation because he's had a few complaints:
Brendan Nelson says...the Government has received complaints from students about having to pay for things they do not want. Dr Nelson quoted the views of one young man:
"He said some of the things that my money has been spent on in the past year are 'a bus to Woomera for a protest, a sausage sizzle and balloons to protest the Tampa incident, and bail for those arrested at the aforementioned Woomera protest'," [Mr Nelson] said.
"In modern society, student protest and student dissent is an important part of a vibrant democracy but no student should be forced to join and support political activism unless they choose to do so."

I'd like to know exactly how many complaints he's received. A handful, compared to the majority of students who are content paying for services and therefore don't write in to whinge about it?
And watch how Nelson skews it into ridicule of protestors, as if that's the only thing student union fees go towards, when anyone who's ever been to uni knows that's a lie; viz:
John Mullarvey from the Vice Chancellor's Committee says the changes will mean many student services simply will not exist.
"There are a myriad of services provided to students and paid for by this compulsory fee, services such as support services, health services, food outlets etc, all of those services will go unless students want to pay for it voluntarily," he said.

And what Bob Brown said:
Wealthy students could afford services and facilities off-campus, but poorer ones would struggle.
"The opt out is so that wealthier students who've got other options can not pay their dues," [Senator Brown] said.
"We're an egalitarian country and we all should pay our taxes and I think we all should pay our union dues when we go to university."

But who needs unis anyway? We don't want more (snigger) intellectuals after all.