Bonkers Cameron listens to no one

Students up and down the country are set to rally against the coalition government’s plans to raise university fee caps next Wednesday.  With so many students against the idea, why is the government not listening?  Georgie Campbell reports

The National Union of Student (NUS) has launched a national demonstration against the cuts under the title ‘Fund our future: Stop the education cuts’, which will see students at universities across the country strike against the new plans on Wednesday November 10.

The appalled reaction Lord Brown’s review received after revealing his plans last month should have given David Cameron some indication of public response, yet he seems to have ignored all the signs and steamrolled his policies through.

Having recently left university and currently working off the £18k of debt accumulated over a three-year course, I am disgusted at the new plans to charge students for an education that was formerly free.

Students rallied against the introduction of fees, the change in the ‘pay-back’ system and now that latest changes, yet no one seems to be listening. 

A career without a degree is near to impossible in today’s lightening market, suggesting government plans may leave many young people unemployed due to lack of education.

Lord Browne’s review has been criticised for splitting classes, challenging the working classes entitlement to further education and creating a competitive market for good education, yet no one seems to be able to solve these troublesome queries.

The strong interest from the press and the continuing challenge presented by the NUS should speak loudly enough to state the public’s lack of support. 

The BBC today questioned whether there will be market for university fees or whether the great majority will simply go straight to the suggested maximum of £9,000 a year further highlight key flaws in the government’s plans.

The next generation needs to take charge and stop these ridiculous charges taking place.  If young people can no longer afford to go to university the level of skill needed in certain traders will fall. 

Something needs to be done to put a stop to these ridiculous policies.

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How did that happen?

The plans have changed – slightly.  After some major back tracking from the relatives I was left doing the race on my own.

Instead of tackling the 5k race alone I’ve taken one giant leap by entering myself into the 10k run instead (I haven’t gone completely mad, I promise!)

So training starts now.  With my trusty Asics, wrap round head phones and good selection of tunes of the SansaClip, there’ll be no stopping me.

Planning training routes around Birmingham is proving harder and harder.  Although the trusty Google Maps program is helping to measure distance, actually tackling the routes provides an unwelcome surprise every time – who knew there were so many hills in the West Midlands?

Trying to build up my fitness levels, I have spent the last two weeks running every day.  The routes (mapped out in previous posts) ranged between 1.6 miles and 2.7 miles.  I know, I know I have a lot further to go, but I can already feel my speed increasing.

Now two weeks in, I’m relying on an 8 week training program to get me through to the 6.1 mile race.

Day One – Rest… I like this training malark already.

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Race for life

Stepping the running up to another level I’ve managed to talk my mum and auntie into taking part in the Race for Life this year. The 5 kilometre track round Cambridge city centre is designed to attract women of all ages and abilities, perfect for us.

Having participated in the event two years ago I’m looking forward to it already. The excitement on the day was enough to push anyone around the route and the array of costumes kept us all amused. (Yes that is me and my best friend dressed as 118 runners… oh dear).

Aside from continually convincing mum and my auntie that they will be able to do it, my current route has grown. The weather is slowing warming up and I’m actually enjoying it!

Pounding the streets of my hometown is a far better experience than being in the hustle and bustle of Birmingham’s suburban life.

Running through the somewhat quieter streets listening to my favourite upbeat songs certainly pushed me a little further. A whole 2.7 miles now!

Now, how do I encourage the others to get out in the fresh air?

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Run Goldie, Run!

So I’m still running (sort of!). The route has expanded, just slightly, but the diet has slipped into the slow lane for two reasons, one being my birthday and the second my boyfriend’s birthday – simples.

On the plus side – the running is progressing, slowly. The Asics are still the best trainers since sliced bread, but being a final year undergraduate has finally taken toll on my social life, hobbies and existence.

Working on my final year project, The Grade, a graduate website for students looking to stay in Birmingham post graduation, I have lost all sense of contol, time and personality. Although I’ve started running again this week (staying on the somewhat harder route might I add!) it is so much harder!

The 7am starts are a no-go area having dedicated the hours of 10am – 6pm to the library/computer rooms, so my new dedication time slot falls just before dinner. I think it makes me run faster too – there’s food at the end!

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Task One – Check!

I am now the proud owner of some beautiful shiny white running shoes!  They are beyond comfy, beyond cool and certainly beyond my normal trainer price range… but what the ‘eck.

Asics are for the real runners, the dedicated types you see out first thing in the morning.  I may not be at that level yet, but I will – soon!

Having been out pounding the streets of Birmingham (at 7am might I add…) I can now confirm they are the best trainers I have ever brought.  No more blisters, rubbing or other sore bits – heaven has arrived, in the shape of a shoe.

Taking my lead from the real running fanatic, Dave Harte, I’ve constructed a quick map to track  my progress.  I know it doesn’t look far now – but even Paula Radcliffe had to start somewhere.

I would say give me a toot if you see me out – but in this area of Birmingham perhaps best not to hey?


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Diary Entry…

Two things – headaches and new clothes!

In a weird way I think this may be the diet that actually works.  Say goodbye to these crazy ‘fad’ diets that claim to make you lose pounds simply by reading a book (you’ll lose more pounds buying the silly thing!)

Although its sometimes hard to work out exactly how many calories are in your food, I really would put my hand on heart and say the 1200 Calorie Diet works!!

Thanks to useful online calorie counters I’ve managed to stay on top of things.  Inches (literally inches) are falling away from me.  With 7lbs already lost (the weight of a new born baby!!) I’m actually looking forward to the next weigh in.


Related or not… I have a headache most nights.  Dehydration? Hunger? Madness? I’m not really sure.  I will opt to drink more for now and report back.

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The new me…

My new life has begun.  Granted it’s a little late, but today marks the day of a new me.  One of fitness, fruit and fun.

Task One: Buy new comfortable trainers to begin training in.

Task Two: Begin the wonderful new diet as advised by Channel Four’s The Big Fat Diet Show.

Task Three: Catch up with friends.

Well it’s a plan at least.  Having watched the first episode of Anna Richardson’s latest dieting fad I’m fully convinced I can trim my waistline without too much difficulty.

The gist of the diet is that you can only eat 1200 calories a day.  I know what you are going to say – it sounds impossible as our Daily Guided Allowance (GDA) is 2000 to maintain a healthy diet, but it honestly doesn’t look that bad.

For example, the first episode included a KORMA!  What other diet includes that as a weekly meal?  The wonderful Matt Dawson was able to cut the calorific contents down to just 475 calories including rice!

Don’t get me wrong , this isn’t going to be some sort of Bridget Jones-esq charade to get fit.  This is a test of advertised diet regimes, sportswear and self control.  So, today… it begins.

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