Student Protests

December 10, 2010 at 11:11 am 2 comments

Australian mounted police officers on standby ...

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Idiots. I suspect that when the student protests first began there will have been considerable sympathy from the “man on the London omnibus”. But, no longer.

While I concede that much of yesterday’s violence in the so-called student protests against the vote on the increase in transition fees may have been caused by fringe groups, anarchists, and morons with little if any interest in the cause, the refusal of student leaders to condemn the violence, or, the manner in which they chose to blame the police, will have alienated the silent majority as well as many who are less than silent – such as myself.

I was a student once and I too demonstrated against many of the policies of a Tory Government then ruled by Margaret Thatcher and in a time of violence with riots on the streets of Handsworth, Liverpool and London, and in the mining towns of northern England. Yes, I was a student of the era of full grants and free tuition. But, so what. Our protests were entirely peaceful.

Please tell me how attaching the car of Prince Charles and Camilla served the student cause? Please tell me how defacing the statue of Winston Churchill served the student cause. Please tell me how throwing sticks, rocks and bottles at mounted police horses served the student cause? Please tell me how all of the graffiti and the smashed windows and broken property served the student cause. People viewing those crazy scenes yesterday would be forgiven for thinking they were in France for Heavens sake….. 😉

Now, I have heard the tirade of students on Radio 5 this morning (mostly with Scouse accents – but I am sure that is just a coincidence) blaming the police for aggressive tactics such as kettling and being too free with their batons and charging the crowds with their horses and riot shields. Oh come on. The protestors had fashioned riot shields of their own – they just wrote political slogans on theirs. The protestors fashioned batons of their own. And, as far as I can tell, the kettling only began when the protestors attempted to divert from the agreed protest route. The baton wielding only began when protesters started to break down the barriers and use them as weapons against the police. The horse charges only began after protestors had injured police that needed to be evacuated. Of course, The Prince of Wales was clearly provocative and deserved the attack on his person too!

It is also clear to me that most of the “students” haven’t taken the time to consider why the changes in tuition fees have been brought in – the credit crunch and the global recession and the huge deficit. It is clear that the “students” have failed to examine the detail of the proposal that was voted for yesterday. But, even if they have, they have thrown away any moral cause that they may have once had by resorting to juvenile and violent tactics and bringing shame upon the country.

Idiots.

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