THE BLOG

The Tories Don't Care About Equality - Only We Can Create A Better Society

09/07/2015 20:24 BST | Updated 09/07/2016 10:59 BST

Before we start, the answer is yes. Yes, post-Budget 2015, we are officially living in a Conservative dystopia. Welcome, get cosy, have a biscuit. No, actually wait - before you do - can we just double check you're rich? Like, filthy rich? No? *Ignores you because you don't exist*.

Our great leaders have come up with an incredible plan to curb future generations' access to higher education in one fluid move: axing maintenance grants for poorer students. And truly, it is a tragedy.

The talent that will potentially never surface as a result of this is heartbreaking, as for many - the majority - going to university is now basically financially impossible.

But creating this hopeless situation for lower income families is mission accomplished for the Chancellor, George Osborne - a petulant finance-bot intent on destroying equality and solidarity.

He doesn't want us to dream. He doesn't want us to think grandly. No, no - stare into an abyss of "living wage", that's enough for us. As a side note, history will record this as what happens when The Bullingdon Club is elected to run a country.

Are you angry about this - the most recent evidence our government only values the wealthy? Good - be angry. Be furious. Be incensed. And then say no, because it's time we all locate our inner activist and refuse to accept the society being created in our name. It's unbalanced, us vs them, polarised, divided. It discourages empathy and compassion, tells us not to help our vulnerable and less fortunate. It's decides what you deserve via your bank balance.

Whether you're rich, poor or somewhere in between, we all know turning higher education into something only the elite can afford is wrong. The way £9,000 a year fees are wrong. The way bedroom tax is wrong.

And rather than turn on each other - as this wretched ruling party almost baits us to - we must unite. If the government refuses to provide a system allowing everyone the same opportunities, we must create our own. Screw them, their ideas are stupidly predictable anyway. We can do better.

Let's start by asking how we can create more scholarships for those from poorer backgrounds. Let's pledge to consider more than an individual's education when it comes to recruitment. A degree is the least you need to get a job right now, but perhaps we should place more value on demonstrably understanding social media, having volunteering credentials and excellent A-Levels. Now that we live in a country where very few can afford university, we have to stop using it as the only measuring stick for intelligence.

Personally, I'm helping out at an education start-up called Faculti which provides bespoke seminars from the world's best universities online to anyone who is interested. We're at the beginning and following the Budget, such content has never been more crucial.

At the end of the day, if you want to learn, you should have the opportunity and if the government won't protect the right to higher education for future generations, we must. So figure out what you can do, and do it.