Friday, 23 July 2010

National Citizen Service not national.

There was nothing wrong with Cameron's aspiration to offer the chance of a rite-of-passage experience to all 16 year olds; many from middle-class homes already organise their own (like my nephew's recent solo trip to Spain).

However, yesterday's announcement makes grim reading. Every year around 700,000 young people will reach the trigger age of 16; Cameron's scheme can afford to fund just 10,000 places a year, just 1.43% of 16 year olds. And I'll bet the sharp elbows of the articulate middle class will manage to snaffle most of the available places.


wildgoose said...

It's also not "national" in that it applies to England only - just like most things dealt with by Westminster since Devolution gave away as much of 90% of governmental responsibilities to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and implicitly broke the Union.

(The 1707 Act of Union explicitly stated that henceforth Great Britain would be represented by one and the the same Parliament).

Weekend Yachtsman said...

I'm not sure the middle classes will necessarily be keen on this.

It depends on how it comes to be perceived. If it's seen as a freebie for poor folks, with dubious political overtones - as it very well may - the middle classes will shun it and it might even become a badge of shame, like free school meals.

It'll need to be pretty cool for the (self-appointed) cool people to take it up, and the history of State nanny projects doesn't suggest it will be.

Wildgoose is correct, too.

Curmudgeon said...

I agree with Weekend Yachtsman - the middle classes will avoid it like the plague.

Bucko said...

Off topic but you might like this one

Anonymous said...

Didn't the scouts do something like this. Getting badges and things.