Italian Universities have been “occupied” by students. The nation-wide protest is against the “Riforma Gelmini” and the students, together with the University professors are trying to draw the attention to the crisis that they claim is gripping the country’s education. It is a question of Quality in Education – a protest that the government is not investing enough and that the University system in Italy is risking a mega-collapse. A professor in Bologna University clearly stated that the situation regaring tertiary education in Italy is even more worrying than the financial crisis.
It feels like we are observing the unravelling of a series of footnotes in this interesting epoch. The Credit Crunch is the main theme but we would be silly to focus on it as the result of the problems. Worryingly it seems more like the cause of a domino-effect of problems that we are still not prepared to face. Education, health care, energy – not necessarily in that order are under threat. In the Western “civilised” world we have been pampered enough to feel the crunch even more once these luxuries vanish.
In the pseudo-debate between the heads of parties Gonzi did ask Muscat the question as to what his priorities would be – where would he save money. Which subsidies would Muscat stop? Are stipends an investment or a burden? In today’s Times Aaron Farrugia interprets Austin Gatt’s reasoning regarding electricity bills as a prelude to more changes in other sectors. Aaron asks if the pool owner will now be forced to pay for services at Mater Dei. Interestingly (and very Labour-ly) Aaron stops short of saying what Labour would do and thinks that by causing doubt about what a PN government does then it is enough for a voter to choose labour.
Of course he does. What other choice does a voter have? The duopolistic system of options that narrows down voting to a straightjacket Either/Or exercise has neutered the opposition’s capacity to create credible alternatives. See Muscat in the debate. Did he give options? Nope. When asked for what he would do he stated clearly that he can say what he would NOT do. Bingo.
Interesting times. Education standards and quality will be called into question. So will health services and their affordability. Count on the Nationalists to keep telling us that everything is under control. Count on the Labour to tell us it is not and not to offer a viable alternative.
This has been j’accuse… serendipitously mulling so you don’t have to!