If ever anyone did NOT deserve a student grant, it was Nick Boles

A protest in Westminster against the abolition of student maintenance grants. Every single person in the image is more intelligent than Nick Boles, but will not benefit from the life chances enjoyed by that entitled upstart. [Image: Jay Shaw-Baker/Demotix/Corbis].

Nick Boles. If the Conservative Party really are “lower than vermin”, as Nye Bevan once said, then he must rank among the lowest of the low.

Last week, he was talking nonsense about the junior doctors’ strike on the BBC’s Question Time; now he has been prattling about his party’s decision to deprive the intelligent poor of a university education by removing the student grant.

He reckons the choice was between limiting access to a university education or offering a system of subsidised student finance. This Writer would expect all right-thinking people to agree that the latter is the way to go.

So why does Boles so clearly support the former, which is the course of action voted through by a tiny Commons committee last week, and supported in the Commons by a margin of only 14 votes yesterday (Tuesday)?

Wait, though – was he actually trying to say the Tories were supporting “subsidised student finance”?

A quick glance at his CV shows the 50-year-old son of former National Trust chief Sir Jack Boles and great nephew of Conservative MP Dennis Boles studied PPE at Magdalen College, Oxford – so he clearly had the opportunity to benefit from student grants himself (it was only after he would have been at university that the Thatcher government introduced loans for the first time).

Another hypocrite, then. He was able to benefit from the grants he is happy to deny to people more deserving than he was.

Not only that, but he very obviously did not benefit from the educational opportunities provided, being an ignorant clown.

Members of the National Union of Students should remember his crack about them being a union of “shroud-wavers”.

That’s something they should take with them to the polling booth, every time they vote, for the rest of their lives.

Speaking in a Commons debate on the government’s decision to scrap student maintenance grants and replace them with loans, Boles said the government had to choose between limiting access to a university education or offering all those able to benefit from it “a system of subsidised student finance”.

Ministers have been accused of attempting to sneak proposals to end student grants in England though parliament without proper scrutiny by using a statutory instrument, which does not require a vote in the House of Commons. The Labour party tabled an annulment motion to try to block the proposal on Tuesday, but it was voted down by 306 to 292.

“A party’s attitude towards student finance is a leading indicator of its fitness to govern,” said Boles. “In opposition, a party will take the irresponsible route in an attempt to curry favour with the national union of shroud wavers, sorry, students.

“In government it will suddenly discover the merits of a sustainable system of student finance that is fair to students and taxpayers alike.

Source: Minister defends abolition of student grants and attacks NUS ‘shroud wavers’ | Politics | The Guardian

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5 thoughts on “If ever anyone did NOT deserve a student grant, it was Nick Boles

  1. brianfkirkham

    Hmmm….Mr Boles and his party cannot have both sides of the argument here. When the likes of Oxford and Cambridge were leading the charge to a Pay system of higher education – I don’t suppose they could have forseen the almighty mess of student debt they created. If we had kept to a system – where Fees were automatically paid as part of a grant allocation, I wouldn’t have minded…but having left uni in 1996 with a HND, I was encouraged to go back a year later to complete – for a £3000 fee (which I wouldn’t have had to pay if i’d been allowed to stay on) – I reluctantly but definitively refused…You see they want the Uni’s to have variable fees but even the lowliest of institutions is charging near to the top rate as they can get away with…and unless they’re given the opportunity – this leaves students with a millstone of debt until its cleared.

  2. NMac

    The ultimate aim of the nasty Tory Party is to limit University education to the aristocratic and the wealthy classes. The Tory Party makes no secret of the fact that it wants to keep wealth and power in the hands of the monied classes They really don’t want to empower the poor.

  3. loobitzh

    I wonder if part of their motivation to limit education to those who can easily afford it is linked to the fact that graduate jobs which pay well are disappearing therefore making the probability of a working class graduate being in a position financially to pay back their loans low.

    Many working class and lower middle class graduates are ending up working in the low pay low skill service sectors, replacing those of the working classes who would have traditionally filled those roles.

    I would also speculate that the apparent rise in the working classes applying for undergraduate courses may well be linked to the sh*t and precarious jobs market out there.

    If I were in their position and had to choose Workfare or University for 3 years, for me there would be no competition. Especially If I knew the likelihood of me having to repay the loan was slim.

    But as you say, the Tories likely view all working class graduates as a waste of time, and cannot see the value in opening up their horizons, especially if it means the financial return is low.

    Also with the jobs market for graduates is shrinking fast, why risk the chance some of these well paid jobs will end up in the hands of the Working Classes rather than their rich friends kids.

  4. David

    Boles seems to be one of the sort who use the ladder of education, get to the top, then seek to pull it up from the rest. Plenty like him, I’m sorry to say.

  5. Terry Davies

    this has always been the case. Nepotism is the result in jobs and Parliament.
    I’m sure most people have an example they can add. Ill start Hilary Benn son of Tony Benn. over to you!!!!

Comments are closed.