Having muttered about the student “demo” previously I find myself returning to the subject due to comments made by other commentators and people that were there. From the title of this post you can probably gather that I disagree with their points really quite strongly. But of course it’s not just supporters of the student demo’s advocating violence, elsewhere there are green candidates whose response to the cuts impacting “a genuinely shocking number of important animal welfare initiatives” and thus creating the kind of world they don’t wish to live in, is not to look at how they could fund or support those initiatives themselves but to instead suggest that they’re
“going to hack David Cameron’s nose off and make him live in a cage, only removing him in order to whip him, make him dance, kick him about a bit and then cut his throat while he’s still half-alive.”
Which obviously in line with the two recent twitter cases is a serious threat which as an up standing citizen I should probably report to the police.
Back back to the demo/riot first off via Harry’s place a musical response to the student idiocy:
Now back to the idiocy, despite the NUS claiming it was a small minority of bad sorts causing trouble and spoiling the demo others seem to disagree, with a group called “We need unity – defend the Millbank protestors” claiming that it was a peaceful demo and the people arrested need to be defended with a united front. (H/t Harry’s place). The Guardian is claiming that the cuts are the real vandals as putting up university fees is a “great injustice”. Apparently it seems that ignoring one demo of maybe 50,000 students shows no commitment to legitimate process, yet I suppose ignoring multiple demos involving many times that number is fine to pursue a war of aggression. And heaven forefend that maybe they’ve looked at the costs and decided that maybe the rest of us can no longer afford such an inflated university system. As commentators over at Harry’s place have observed more and more jobs now require a degree, which I can’t help but think is due to the larger numbers now going to uni, if only 10% of people go to Uni, then lower qualifications count, but as that number increases to the much sought after 50%, then lower qualifications count for less and even a university education becomes worth less. Thus the value of education is inflated and devalued in the same manner as our currency has been by successive governments. Surely it can’t be long before we’re all millionaires with PHD’s fighting over who gets first dibs on the rat stew?
Anyway back to the idiocy, and I’m going to force myself to comment on someone I generally avoid commenting on (I probably need to sacrifice some of my social scene sometime soon, ah well). The ever coherent Laurie Penny has two article of actually increasing idiocy on the new statesmen about the student demo of which she reports herself as being an active participant. I’m not going to fisk both articles properly because it would be really too easy. First up Inside the Millbank Tower riots.
The students she admits were armed with sticks and smoke bombs, so certainly no peaceful protest in mind, having been on a few peaceful protests before one generally doesn’t go to them armed.
Of course whilst celebrating sticking it to the man, the statist in Laurie creeps out when a fellow miscreant offers her a cigarette she notes that:
“he is at least two years too young to be in possession”
Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought there was only a restriction on age to the sale of tobacco not the possession – still can’t keep a good statist down. She seems impressed that there are school children there, but then she won’t recall the poll tax riots and demo’s through the years where there’s always a school element as any excuse to bunk off for a day and cause mischief is a good excuse.
But the point from this article I really want to pick up is to just brink these few sentences into closer proximity:
“What unites them? A chant strikes up: “We’re young! We’re poor! We won’t pay any more!””
“A shy looking girl in a nice tweed coat and bobble hat ducks out of the way of some flying glass”
““It’s a party out here!” one excited posh girl tells her mobile, tottering on Vivienne Westwood boots ”
So about that poverty thing, couldn’t those better off students maybe organise to help out their less well off brethren, or is only the state allowed to help those that need it. The thing I’m left most puzzled over from this article is she states repeatedly that the youth are angered by repeated broken promises, and being repeatedly ignored by the government through out their young lives and yet despite being only in shared power for not even 6 months it’s the tories fault.
And on the subject of that 6 months in her next article Laurie compares the idiocy of the student demo’s with the suffragette movement. Presumably because they both broke windows, though of course (if I recall correctly) the suffragettes then stood politely by to be arrested so they could make their point in court, likewise the only people they ever endangered where themselves. The same cannot be said of the student protesters, if they are so sure of their point, why not stand by their actions, get arrested, hand themselves into the police, and like the suffragettes stand in court and make their point. Can they imagine the power of such a statement if even just 1,000 students turning up to hand themselves in to stand together in court to make their protest. That of course isn’t as much fun as smashing things up with your mates. Laurie seems to also neglect that the suffragettes only started taking direct action after trying other avenues of protest over a considerable time, which given the afore mentioned 6 months and very recent announcement of these proposed cuts (remember they don’t come into effect for a few years) can hardly be said to be the case here. It would seem that despite Lauries claim that property damage is “the last resort of citizens” it’s the first resort of students who want a day off from lectures. Violence against persons it seems was avoided due to luck, as it doesn’t count if you miss, and not that many police got hurt. The property damage, against a third party, is ok as it’ll be covered by insurance, which the insurance companies will recover by upping the premiums, and yet again the wider populace will pay for it – unlike her much hated Bullingdons who when they caused damage paid for it from their own (or at least their families) pocket. Sadly it seems as many people have observed the left still don’t seem to be able to grasp the awkward fact that everything has to be paid for by someone – it’s all just from magical taxes/insurance and the evil rich.
Laurie reports that “Sources on the ground have suggested that the Millbank protests are just the beginning.” which I’m sure is true for as Albert Einstein observed only two things are infinite the universe and human stupidity and he wasn’t sure about the universe.