Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Gordon Brown, the buck stops with you & Labour...

Right. It’s time to draw a line under the whole blame game surrounding the current farcical economic situation once and for all. As a humble Copywriter, I’m under no pretence that I have the solution to the world’s monetary woes, but it seems to me that the British Government is overlooking the fact that so much of society’s financial troubles have arisen from the society that ‘New’ Labour has built.

I graduated five years ago with a mountain of student debt. Plenty of my friends, people I’ve worked with and people I’ve met are in the exact same situation to me. Unless you come from an extremely moneyed background, the only options available to you in your pursuit of further education are student loans, overdrafts, credit cards and debt.

Even the most prudent of students will leave university with several thousand pounds worth of debt, meaning that we have an annual army of graduates with huge debt and limited employment prospects. I found it hard trying to find a creative job that I’d trained for in an extremely competitive sector, having instead to spend several post-university years shackled to the oppressive chains of retail work. I genuinely pity the graduates of today – coming out of halls and into the real world to a job market more barren than a Tony Blair fan club meeting - weapons of mass destruction anyone?

I digress. The issue I wish to make is that the UK now has a whole generation of indebted students, clambering to get on a career ladder that’s as wobbly and creaking as a rope ladder in an Indiana Jones film. It inevitably won’t hold everyone, and as seen, the economy has now ‘snapped’ in spectacular fashion, dropping several UK workers into the unemployment abyss that lurks beneath all of us.

I’m an indebted student. I have finally got onto a decent career ladder after three and a half years of retail work. That low-paid work required borrowing from overdrafts. I don’t have any deposit to get on the housing market as I’m continually seeing my pay packet drained as the Government take back their percentage of a fat student loan – a percentage that leaves me short each month yet barely covers the interest on the loan.

Whilst I know there are so many factors to consider in this complex financial meltdown, why don’t we learn from this and ensure that positive change comes about as a result? Why not offer our citizens free education, enabling them to graduate debt-free, clued-up and able to buy a house – able to feed the economy rather than drain it further. Gordon Brown and his cronies want us stimulating the housing market and buying properties? Sorry Gordon, we’re too busy balancing Labour’s student debt on our shoulders to even think about buying our first house yet.


  1. Don't just blame New Labour. This is a huge problem in the U.S. too. Here, our Ivy League schools are beginning to take action: they're offering free undergrad tuition to anyone who is accepted. But if you're not smart enough to get into Harvard etc., you're on your own. Even students with full-tuition scholarships scrape for money for books, housing, food and so on. New grads can't afford to take internships and entry-level jobs; they have thousands in student loan debt. Since they're already on the debt hamster wheel, they try to distract themselves with cars, houses and big-screen TVs bought on credit. Now we've seen where that leads.

  2. so what do we do? vote conservative? nobody is going to get into power who will do or would have done anything different. its fair enough realising we've been shafted, but what are we going to do about it? gordon brown and new labour are easy scapegoats, but the problem goes far beyond them.