Much is (rightly) being made of a revealing column Michael Gove wrote in his op-ed days arguing in favour of higher tuition fees. What has attracted most attention is his statement that:
anyone put off from attending a good university by fear of [a £21,000] debt doesn’t deserve to be at any university in the first place.
However, of far more importance in helping understand the mentality of those now running our country is this observation a couple of paragraphs later:
Those of us who are net contributors to the State, graduates or not, are getting a terrible deal for our money. We could guarantee far superior healthcare and schooling for our families if only the Government gave us back the money which it confiscates from us in taxes and then spends on the schools and hospitals which it runs so badly.
This shows a far more radically right-wing mindset than the present government is prepared to own up to publicly, but which surely informs many of its actions.
First, the mentality of being the “us” who are “net contributors” to the State, versus (by implication) the “them” whom “we” are “subsidising”.
Second, the view that taxation to fund public services is “confiscation” from those “net contributors”.
Third, the clear desire for the “far superior healthcare and schooling” which “we” could guarantee for “our” families if the government gave that money back and let “us” spend it ourselves – no mention of what implications this might have for “them”. But then, if “they” are afraid of a little debt, then they don’t deserve an education anyway, do “they”?
This is naked class-war politics. So much for “we’re all in this together”.