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Can't Pay? Won't Pay! #n

Wednesday 23rd May, very warm, very clear, it's going to be a hot day. I've been waiting and looking for the swifts, even a glimpse; I saw a few last thursday, early, flying high & since then nothing. And it's not just me, I've checked the usual venues, nobody is seeing swifts, where have they gone? This morning, about 9am, I heard a shrilling, looked up and saw a strange, double-winged black butterfly shape, speeding high up above the Crescent gardens, and realised I was watching a pair of swifts, mating on the wing. What a rush, eh? They must have a nesting place nearby, are they alone?

Gabriel's Student Loan statement arrives. Whoa, look at that interest! A moment's calculation, not requiring the back of an envelope, tells one that the ex-student, First Class Honours, full scholarship for his Masters, (along with many like him, the scholars, teachers, scientists), hasn't a hope. He might, might reach the repayment threshold before he's forty, but by that time the idea of catching up and paying it off will be out of sight. He can't do it. Ever, really.

I thought tuition fees as an interest-free loan, repayable when earnings reach a threshold, was a very reasonable idea. Since all this "everybody has to go to university, it will keep them off the dole figures" lark was really the government's idea (previous governments, I mean), the government should pay for it, unless those years of study turn out to have been an investment for the student him or her self. But that's not what's happening. What's happening is a weird, blindfolded aversion therapy, which will work, in the torturous end. Young people who aren't rich will learn that they can't have Higher Education, and things will settle down, the way the Tories like it, the rich and the poor in their proper places.

My son, who probably hasn't given a thought to the concept of Compound Interest since he met it briefly in a maths class when he was twelve or something, just throws the nasty thing aside. Can't pay, won't pay. I immediately start thinking how can I possibly get the money together and stop this juggernaut? NOW! Before my child becomes a serf for life, or the government, I'm sorry I mean the Student Loan Company sells off the debt to Organised Crime... But Gabriel's alien attitude is gaining on me. They told me what the rules were, and then they changed the rules... It's a prisoner's dilemma situation. Always default? Nope, you'll lose. Always co-operate seems ideal, but it leaves the field open to any determined bad guys. Tit for tat, and its derivatives; you're onto something. Can't pay, won't pay.

Mealworms continue to go down a treat. The starlings cleared out the wooden feeder before 9, but as yet they haven't figured out how to sneak into the dome feeder, and the blue tits are doing well.

Must think of some way to feed live food to the Greeks. They were bad, but they are my neighbours. Go there and spend money, I guess. Soon as I can. It's a long trip if you don't fly. And I won't fly.

Click through the keynote image for a gallery of swift photos at the swift conservation site.


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