22 August 2017

Inequity

Our daughter Frances still owes the Student Loans Company £26,000. If she had been Scottish and had attended a Scottish university she would owe nothing, not one penny, zilch! This is patently unfair. Every month The Student Loans Company deduct money at source from her salary. She has paid off about £10,000 since she started her working career. A parallel Scottish graduate would have been able to use that money to buy a car, have a round the world holiday or build a deposit for a house purchase. As I say, it is damned unfair.

Anyway, back to Kirkcudbright the weekend before last. I am sitting in "The Steam Packet Inn" talking with my new best friend Jack. He is wearing a faded Glasgow Rangers football shirt and his accent is as thick as a bowl of Scottish porridge. As I mentioned in an earlier post, he had just turned sixty. He opens his wallet to proudly show off his free bus pass. In Scotland, men are still entitled to free bus travel when they reach the age of sixty. Jack was rather puzzled when I told him that I am sixty three and won't be entitled to a free bus pass till I'm sixty five. England v Scotland - there's another blatant injustice.

On the morning of Monday the 14th, I met my camper van friend Jimmy again by the drizzly wharf, overlooking the River Dee close to where his vehicle had been parked up for the night. I extolled the virtues of a town that has no double yellow lines, no parking ticket machines and no parking enforcement officers.

I said to Jimmy, "I hope it stays this way and that Kirkcudbright council don't get greedy and start to squeeze parking charges from motorists."

"Nae chance of that," smiled Jimmy, "as long as England keeps subsidising Scotland!"

That made me laugh somewhat ironically..

"I wish they's subsidise Yorkshire in the same way!" I said.
_____________________________________________________________________

By the way - here's a little known fact. Using our ancient county boundary line, the population of Yorkshire is bigger than the population of Scotland and yet our county has been denied so many of the benefits that have headed Scotland's way. Here's one symbolic example - The Scottish parliament building which opened in Edinburgh in 2004 cost £414 million to build and currently costs  £72 million a year to run. There is no parallel building in Yorkshire. Jimmy was surely right about subsidisation. 

47 comments:

  1. Well, the obvious answer to all that is, why don't you go and live in Scotland then if it's that good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because I am a Yorkshireman and despite the inequities Yorkshire remains the centre of the known universe. Who woould want to live anywhere else?

      Delete
  2. My paternal grandmothers family originate from Thornton, Haworth,Denholme area of Yorkshire. It's my spiritual home.Bolton by Bowland used to be in Yorkshire but is now in Lancashire.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. After the revolution, we will reclaim our lost territory and re-establish our borders.

      Delete
  3. I won't get my pension or a bus pass for another 8 years. Age 66. Doesn't seem fair that ladies born in the late 50s and 60s have to wait an extra 6 years. I should have married a rich Yorkshire man!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You would have been far better off moving up to Scotland. Another bone of contention - there are no parking fees in Scottish hospital car parks! How can that be right?

      Delete
  4. The federal system in Germany makes for some (seemingly or real?) injustices. The 16 states are all supposed to pay into a common pot of money, and then that money is split between them according to population, economic situation etc. Now, Baden-Wuerttemberg (where I live) and Bavaria are (and have been for a long time) the richest of the 16 German states, while Berlin and Nordrhein-Westfalen and some others are notoriously poor. Therefore, a lot of money goes into that common pot from "my" state, but hardly anything comes out of it, while places like Leipzig get brand new roads and a shiny railway station and so on.
    But I would not want to live there - I am very happy in my hometown.

    So in England, men get a free bus pass at 65? When do women get theirs? And what happens to people who claim to be neither?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's the same for women and indeed transgender people. 60 in Scotland. 65 in England.

      Delete
  5. Would I also be right in saying the English people who live abroad in the warmer climes of Spain and the South of France all year round, are still entitled to the same Winter Fuel Allowance as those of us suffering the cold of an English winter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you are right Derek. That's another crazy anomaly.

      Delete
  6. I'm afraid your Mrs Thatcher set some very bad standards, and we in Australia have copied them and have many similarities with England, whereas many here would think the Scottish standard would be much better. Should Yorkshire become part of Scotland?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, Yorkshire should become an independent republic. Oh, and please don't use the extremely offensive term "your Mrs Thatcher" Andrew. She was never mine.

      Delete
  7. I see you were just across the way from my son in Ayr. His son is going through Uni and not paying a penny. My other Grandson went to Uni in London and is now paying back a huge sum like your daughter. It doesn't seem fair does it?
    Scotland may have these perks but just look at the weather, my son very rarely has less that three layers on and its always raining when he calls.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I was up in Scotland it didn't rain once. I know that this must have been extremely unusual and probably made headlines in "The Glasgow Herald".

      Delete
  8. It is damned unfair and both of my children have loans just as your daughter does.....but I try to 'park that thought' over there in the distance somewhere..there is already enough going on in the world to worry about everything.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you "park that thought" you will probably earn yourself a parking ticket Libby!

      Delete
  9. Oh boy. I don't know if I want to wade into this "us" and "them" debate! (We have too many of those going on in the world anyway.) But I share your pain about student loans. Dave and I paid off one of his loans and let's just say, we won't be making a downpayment on any housing anytime soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not going to retreat into the shadows and pretend that there aren't significant inequities when comparing Scottish and English societies.

      Delete
  10. It seems to me that the people of England have already got their revenge on Scotland by making them live with the most hideous building in all of Europe: the Scottish Parliament. The Scottish people will have to live with that hideous pile long, long after your daughter has paid off her student loan. I'm from America where urban ugliness is a way of life but even I was astonished by the gruesomeness of that building when I first saw it, and every time I go back to my favorite foreign city the thing just gets more and more repulsive. Be thankful that your tax dollars keep it away from Yorkshire.

    Love your blog. I found you via The Weaver of Grass and Going Gently.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for calling by Vivian and for leaving an interesting comment that made me chuckle. I think the Scottish Parliament building should be best judged from the inside, not the outside. That is often the case with modern buildings.

      Delete
  11. 'Taint right, 'taint fit, 'taint fair, 'taint proper.

    ReplyDelete
  12. As an ex Yorkshire lass now living in Scotland I will throw another in we get free prescriptions....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ans specs. I came to Scotland as an eye test tourist and stayed. It has beautiful views made all the better seen through free specs.

      Delete
    2. And as I have said to someone else - free parking at hospitals! Scotland truly is the land of milk and honey... and midges! Shame it's led by Jimmy Krankie in drag.

      Delete
  13. She could always do what my son has done and emigrate to Australia or New Zealand. They have jobs other than sheep shearing these days.
    Bloody Labour, dumbing down A-levels then charging for further education. Cheeky red devils.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Come off it Adrian, surely there's nothing else but sheep shearing in that distant part of The Empire.

      Delete
    2. Listen to what I say "other than", tons of high tech jobs. Melbourne is great for work. Black Magic and Fusion. A different Fusion to Cad design Fusion are based there. Cad Fusion software is still US based and costs an eywhatering £2,578.99p Per year or A year as we say.
      It is still the new world for folk with marketable qualifications. A bit shit socially in parts or whole maybe. My son's bill was massive a he had to be tutored for the Cambridge qualifications in maths for a year having been accepted to Aston. Cheeky devils
      You where a teacher and must have noticed that single stream didn't work.

      Delete
  14. My Yorkshire grand daughter is married to a Scotsman - I had no idea of these advantages.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These advantages are probably what attracted her to him.

      Delete
  15. For many years before my retirement, I was Director of Graduate Student Services at a large, private university. American students were mostly denied scholarships and had to resort to huge student loans. Foreign students, on the other hand, were given most of the scholarships because they were unqualified for loans and could not work here on student status. Talk about unfair! There are some students who graduated from that expensive school who got master's or PhD degrees in areas (for instance, Social Work or Art) where they will never be able to pay off those loans. So, they will declare bankruptcy and, therefore, I will pay off their student loans with my tax money. I am so glad that one of the first things I taught my children is that life is not fair! I don't complain much, however, because I am one of the lucky ones in this life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You might be lucky but you can't grow courgettes (zucchini) in your luxury mountain abode Donna! sounds like you had a very responsible job just before you retired. Where was this private university by the way?

      Delete
  16. This gets complicated. I'd admire the Scots if they paid for this on their own. Why are the English subsidizing this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because we have big handles on our backs. In other words we are mugs Red! I think it was all about appeasing Scottish Nationalists... but it didn't work

      Delete
  17. You got all the income from our oil. Stop bellyaching.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's Shetland's oil... not Scotland's.

      Delete
  18. "Injustice"...."Unfair"....Perhaps England could take a few leaves out of Scotland/s book. I bet the Scots think it's neither unfair nor injustice :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Addemdum to your courgette/zucchini quandary...try this site....

      http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a43641/zucchini-parmesan-chips-recipe/

      Delete
    2. I've just read your last response in your previous post. Panko bread crumbs are Japanese bread crumbs..."What You Need to Know About Panko

      Panko is a type of flaky breadcrumb. It's commonly used in Asian cuisine, although it has become more popular and widely available in Western cooking.

      What sets it apart from standard breadcrumbs is its texture and the type of bread that's used. While breadcrumbs can be made using a number of different types of bread, panko is made using white bread. There are two varieties of panko: white panko, which is made from white bread without any crust, and tan panko, which is made from the entire loaf. The bread is processed into large flakes, rather than crumbs, and then dried.

      Panko has a light, airy, and delicate texture that helps it crisp as it cooks. The texture of panko makes it especially wonderful for fried food because it absorbs less oil than breadcrumbs, keeping food more crisp and crunchy.

      On its own, panko has little to no flavor. It can be used as a crunchy topping to add texture to baked casseroles, like macaroni and cheese, as a breaded coating for fried foods, or as a binder for meatballs. It's also commonly used in Japanese cooking."

      They are available in Tesco and Sainsburys...and probably at all other supermarkets.

      Delete
    3. Thanks for the explanation Lee. Much appreciated.

      I don't know what you mean about taking a leaf out of Scotland's book. Our politicians have agreed the funding inequities that mean poor parts of England like South Yorkshire, Teesside and The Black Country are underfunded in comparison with the poor areas of Scotland.

      Delete
    4. "Our daughter Frances still owes the Student Quote: "Loans Company £26,000. If she had been Scottish and had attended a Scottish university she would owe nothing, not one penny, zilch! etc."

      I guess your comment confused me, Yorkie. I guess I'm easily confused.

      I read your comment to mean - if your daughter, Frances, had attended a Scottish university she wouldn't have been lumbered with having to pay the fees that she had to pay and is still paying off.

      Delete
  19. My cousin and her English husband who live in Wales have mentioned these unfair parallels to us many times ( and with some venom !!) when we stay with them. It will all finish if Scotland ever go through with their separation plans....and then they'll be sorry !!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup! Then they'll be back to The Dark Ages but some people - like Jimmy in Kirkcudbright recognise which sifde their bread is buttered on.

      Delete
  20. I wasn't aware of this situation.

    And I didn't know you have a daughter!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She's 28 and the best daughter anyone could wish for.

      Delete
    2. Do you have any other children hidden away, or just the two?

      Delete

Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.