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Jeff Randall: Born Bankrupt

Several students from the SU Executive have appeared in a Sky News program during the bank holiday weekend.

‘Born Bankrupt’, presented by Sky News Business Presenter Jeff Randall, was aired on the bank holiday Monday and investigated the level of Britain’s debt and its impact on future generations.

Executive Officers such as Amos Teshuva, Matt Styles, and Sian Green were interviewed by Randall and asked questions about the rise in tuition fees, maintenance loans, and the difficulties they face with debt when leaving University.

Matt Styles, Education Officer, said that Randall “was clearly passionate about the message he was trying to get across.”

But some of those interviewed were not happy with the way their answers were presented or for how long they appeared on the half an hour show.

“We spoke for a couple of hours, but actually only two of us appeared on the program saying menial things. We probably had about 50 times the amount of recording more than what was actually shown,” said Styles.

“The only part that they showed in the end was a quick pan shot of the four of us around the table outside Portland, and then he asked two questions, one about what we’re going to do after university, and then a question about kicking up more of a fuss.”

Styles appears at the start of the program and is quoted saying, “The riots that we’ve seen in the past few years, and the protests and demonstrations, are only going to get far worse.”

SU Accommodation and Community Officer, Sian Green, said: “They basically cut it to what they wanted us to say. He asked us things like were we angry at his generation for having access to free education and bursaries etc. He basically wanted us to be mad.

“He took a very pessimistic stance of it, and to me that was not constructive. The point was to give the unvoiced a voice, but he wanted us to be angry. He wanted us to be furious at the government, and say that we’ve got no hope and that we are born bankrupt. To be honest that wasn’t my view at all. Having that attitude gets you nowhere,” Green added.

The SU council has passed a motion saying they will support the NUS national demonstration in November. Both Styles and Green want to ‘mobilize’ students and encourage them to attend, but Styles states they “want to make it part of a wider campaign, as the demo is not the be all and end all. It’s more about trying to get the message heard in different ways.”

Antonia Paget

You can watch your student exec on ‘Born Bankrupt’ here

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