Apparently, anyone graduating these days with a Desmond is no longer employable, so we are reduced to awarding a piece of paper that means no more than "(s)he didn't make so much of a nuisance of her/himself that we feel inclined to blight his/her life".
In my day ...
In my day, less than 10% went to university anyway. Now it's approaching 50% (bloody John Major, that was), what do we expect ?
The answer, of course, is that an undergraduate degree course is just the backdrop for a low-risk growing-up experience (of sorts) in much the same way as it is in America, where first degrees have long counted for almost nothing. Post-grad work is what matters: and indeed all the best UK establishments are mostly concerned these days with attracting the best researchers and post-grad students, ideally from overseas and paying top-dollar. (Or indeed some very dubious overseas post-grads, see the LSE Gadaffi scandal.)
Not only are undergraduates being allowed to twiddle their thumbs, they aren't even revolting, in the good old sense of getting noisy on behalf of free speech etc. This chilling piece from the Speccie would be enough to indicate the whole game should be wound up, were it not for the strong suspicion it is somewhat overstated.
Prima facie, there would be scope for a major clear-out here, except that one would need first to figure out the economics. Hundreds of thousands of kids are being suckered into borrowing tens of thousands of pounds, to support - what ? A major employer of middle-class pseudo-academics and adminstrators, that's what. NHS mk2, in other words. Tamper with that at your peril.
Oh, and of course loads of these kids (a) will never repay the loan anyway - so it's just a taxpayer funded, public-sector merry-go-round: (b) will, however, have learned at least one thing - a very dangerous blasé attitude to debt, the macro-outworkings of which won't be felt for a few years, but could be very bad indeed.