Although presented as entirely separate stories, it seems to me that these are linked. What choices do young people make at 16 or 18? New Labour's university tuition fees and abandonment of young people has managed to achieve something that should be very unlikely indeed: it has made being a killer more attractive than being a thinker.
I was particularly struck by one Army recruit who felt that this was his only option to escape from a life of gangs and guns. He appeared not to have realised that the Army is a very big gang with lots and lots of guns. But the worst thing is that in Blair's Britain, he saw these as the only two paths in front of him.
In Wales, where tuition fees have not increased, university applications have risen. You don't say.