Thursday, 9 December 2010

No ifs not buts this woman drives me nuts

Whilst fully supporting the students, I wish they would choose another chant....anyway...

My favourite MP has come out and blogged in favour of the education cuts.  Hardly surprising of course, but this time, I am going to take it VERY personally indeed.  She makes references to courses being "Mickey Mouse".  I am currently taking one of these "Disney Based" courses.  I am doing a BA Hons in Theatre Studies.  It is part time, and distance learning based, and as a result, I am getting into debt paying for it, but it was my choice to do so I suppose.  This "Mickey Mouse" course has helped me to set up my own small business; a Theatre Company. It provides employment of varying levels to 7 people, and whilst we have struggled through the recession, we continue to survive.  We provide work and income for Venues, Lighting and Sound Companies, Costumiers, Make Up companies, Publishing companies and Licensees.   Her government have already began the process of cultural pillage of the Arts, which impacts on so many in society.  In spite of the fact that the Arts industry is reckoned to bring in to the economy twice what it takes out, the cuts go ahead.  There is not much sound economic sense behind the decision, and it smacks of an ideology rather than an economic necessity. The cuts in the arts, and perhaps more importantly to the local authorities that have done so much for the Arts will have a negative impact on every child.  The ability to  think creatively and channel imagination is SO important to any child, and it will stifle much of the business world in the long run.  This is long term thinking though, and as we know, our MPs think in terms of five year cycles.  Businesses like mine should be celebrated, helped, nurtured and encouraged.  Not stifled, blocked and insulted.  The arts are a "Soft" subject.  Terms like "Mickey Mouse" just help to reinforce these ridiculous and unnecessary prejudices.  Small businesses all over Bedfordshire have suffered during the recession.  My MP would have us believe that the recession is all the fault of the Labour party, and I would not agree with her on that, but I would hope she would agree with me on one thing.  Small and medium businesses are crucial to the recovery in this country.  Without them, any possible recovery will be next to impossible.  So tarring people in Media, Photography and humanities that you do not understand serves no purpose other than to disenfranchise, discourage and belittle.  Is that the way the government want to go?  Really?

Where do the figures come from about four hours of lectures?  Is it another Daily Mail horror story based on nothing other than bile?  Or are there any real figures to back this up?  I suspect I know the answer.  I study for around 20 hours a week as well as run my own small business and a household.  I know how hard it is to thrive in further education, and I am not alone in this.  That doesn't suit your rhetoric though does it?

You may, Mrs Dorries, be happy with the Cultural vandalism that your Government calls progressive.  Your disgraceful and insulting put down of people wanting to go into subjects that you do not understand is sadly typical of the prejudice that myself and many other in my Industry have to deal with.  Why put people off of their dreams and aspirations, when it would enhance the cultural health of the nation as well as the economic one?

1 comment:

  1. Unfortunately Ms Dorries and many of her Tory (and alarmingly now I have to include the LibDems) chums do not understand higher education. They assume that if you take a degree that on the face of it does not contain some practical application then it is somehow inferior and won't lead to a well paid job.

    (Although, it's funny how you never hear these old Tories questioning the value of studying the Classics, but hey.)

    What they don't realise is that studying for a degree is not just about learning the subject. It's about learning to analyse and think at a deeper level.

    I made this point on twitter as Dorries was speaking about HE on #bbcqt the other night. A respond wrote back "media studies?"

    14 years ago I graduated from a "New" University with a Media related degree. When I meet up with my Uni friends we have the typical conversation "what are you doing now, are you using your degree?" The answer for me is always "yes". OK we didn't go on to become film directors, big at the Beeb etc, but social workers, businesses owners, the whole gamut. But the gift we gained from our degree studies was how to pull issues apart and solve them analytically. I use these skills constantly in my (by most standards very well paid) day job in procurement - how did that happen?

    I fear stories like this will not hold much sway with this govt. What can actually happen is trumped by their ideological zeal to ensure only the rich can access an elitist educational systme. If the vote goes the way everyoine expects tonight, it will indeed be a sad day for my alma mater, and HE in England as a whole.