Permitted discrimination

We all know that we’re not allowed to discriminate against almost anyone these days, even though discrimination is, when you get right down to it, someone just making a choice. It might well be a choice that I think makes them an arsehole but the point is that it’s their choice. Still, when it comes to people who might look different, have different body parts in their underpants, worship a different sky-being or even worship the same one in a different way, it’s a choice you’re expected not to make anymore.

No, not even if they are ginger.

Not a bitch, okay?

However, the operative word in that opening sentence up there is ‘almost’ because the other thing we all know is that discriminating against the English is just fucking fine by everybody.* And so I see that Scotland have discriminated – in the sense of a choice and in the spirit of take and take – to take the fifteen hundred quid a head extra they get under the Barnett Formula and at the same time charge English students the thick end of ten grand to go to a Scottish uni.

But only English students.

Education Secretary Michael Russell this week announced that Scottish universities would be allowed to charge students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland up to £9000 (A$13,500) a year from 2012-13, after England and Wales raised their own tuition fees.
But Mr Russell reiterated his commitment to keep higher education tuition-free for Scottish students.
This means students from the other 26 European Union member nations can study for free too, because EU laws essentially preclude members from discriminating against citizens of partner nations, but leave them free to discriminate within their own country.

So there you have it. England and Scotland, not partner nations. The Act of Union is over 300 years old and the Union itself a century older, the two countries have benefitted from each other down the years, and currently one derives a not inconsiderable financial benefit – not just the Barnett Formula but the large public sector north of the border – but whatever that makes them they’re certainly not partners because the EU says partner nations’ governments can’t screw each others’ citizens. Screwing their own is okay, and of course that’s a principle function of government. And therefore screwing different groups of citizens is presumably a domestic issue that the EU isn’t too interested in. It’s discrimination, sure, but it’s officially sanctioned discrimination which means it’s perfectly fine and above board.

So suck it up, fellow countrymen, and pay up without complaining. And please remember not to take it out on any gingers even if it seems like they deserve it.

No, look, it doesn’t go up your nose, it’s … oh, nevermind

* Presumably not fine by English students wanting to study in Scotland, but I imagine they don’t really count anyway.

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Posted on July 4, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Permitted discrimination.

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