Call me old fashioned, but I always thought the idea behind protesting about something was to garner support for your cause. Silly me. Because the way that students are rampaging around London today is achieving the very opposite. Listening to LBC reporters, who are following, the students on their tour of the capital (they're now by Waterloo Bridge apparently) it is apparent that they are offending just about everyone - pedestrians and car drivers alike.
There has been very little violence today, thank goodness, but I just don't see the point of a protest which is designed to hack everyone off and doesn't actually do anything to further their cause with those who will be voting on tuition fees in a few days time.
Most MPs haven't had a single student lobby them in Parliament during the course of any of the protests.
What a bizarre way to lobby. They may be very good at getting on the TV or radio, but I don't know of any MPs who have been persuaded by the manner in which they have conducted their protests.
And while I am at it, what on earth is Vince Cable playing at? He goes on TV to talk about his position and ends up coming across as a doddery old fool. Is it really possible that he won't vote for the legislation which he, as Secretary of State for universities, has drafted and proposed?
Protests normally please the protesters and no one else.
There is a debate to be had on university funding. Why not channel it through participation in political parties, or public meetings to which government spokesmen can be invited (asbestos underpants optional).
Maybe it is just less taxing on the brain to chant slogans, in which case, why are they at univesity?
Get a grip please, they're students not vikings.
I shudder to think what patronising drivel you would have written about the suffragettes.
Agree little point in this method of protest. Did you see last night's episode of "Coppers" which shows how police handle these events. I found some of it disturbing. Coppers able to freely use the F word at protesters yet arresting those who swear at them. A riot officer saying he could do "anything he wants" to a protester as long as he could justify it afterwards. Who decides what is justified? Some of the impression given might have been selective editing, but I was left with a rather poor view of the riot officers featured.
Iys like when Labour ministers all supported the Post office closure program in private, but rushed to demand that the government kept them open in public.
You can tell Vince is a socialist.
Its the hypocrisy of the left they believe that they can morally disagree with their own legislation.
Their thinking must be, 'It worked in France'.
I find it strange that students do not want to debate the issue, that fees though they will be higher but will ONLY be paid back after completion of the degree when they are earning enough money to pay off their loans but I guess that is why the protests have been hijacked by the people who wish to cause mayhem, who will stand around with their fingers in their ears shouting, ‘La, la, la,’ to drown out any opinions that do not suit their excuse to go on the rampage. When the Police respond to their violence of course the students will say they have a right to smash windows, attack Police vehicles, and attack Police Officers because they are angry and cannot think with their narrow minded young minds.
Last weekend I saw a student being picked up at a Cheshire rail station by Mummy and Daddy in their brand new Range Rover and I overheard student say to M&D,
‘Yah it was great fun, lots of damage and lots of Police getting hit, we were really angry about the fees,’ as he disappeared into the leather lined Range Rover.
The ultra left have hijacked the debate, wanting only disorder which is not helped by some lecturers and some Labour MP’s supporting and inciting spoilt brat like this to demonstrate without the full truth of the fees being known by your average student who will still waste lots of Uni time on beer tokens and little study.
You only have to look at extreme violence thuggery at Grunwick in the 1970’s to see that demos that sometime turn violent are a stepping stone for lefties to be at the centre of the Labour movement or to becoming a Labour MP.
Vince Cable? A doddery old fool? Now there's surprise.
Although the real surprise is how such individuals can ever be in position to wield power over us (cf: Huhne, Brown, etc...)
It's understandable that many people are dubious about the value of the MPs Lobby process. Just one possible reason to offer might be the outrageous cynicism displayed by the LibDems on the issue. In general, few people now believe the words of politicians. The fact is that politics is increasingly moving onto the streets. Worrying times but understandable.
Vince Cable is a failed businessman that has gone into politics. Need I say more.
Cable's position is laughable. Presumably he will give up his department if he doesn't support the government's policy.
The tactic of kettling seeks to discourage demonstrators by making it an unpleasant experience. Demonstrators are confined in a small space, for most of a day, without food, water, heat or toilet facilities.
The demonstrators' first choice would probably be a traditional demonstration with reasonable comfort and the ability to leave when the cold gets too much. But that choice isn't available, so mobile protest probably seems like a better alternative than the kettle.
Note that the EDL have also changed their tactics to small, rapidly-assembled "flash mobs" after getting fed up with being kettled.
Keep using the same tactic, and your opponent is likely to develop a countermeasure.
Cable's position reminds us that British democratic process relies on a number of fundamental tenets and principles that are so self-evident that they are both unwritten and seldom even discussed. They are woven into the fabric of the nation and the parliament. So let's be clear. If Cable does not vote for draft legislation that he - as a member of the executive - is responsible for, then he is an ass, the executive is an ass and the legislature is an ass. In that single act he would prove himself unfit for senior office, however much he may enjoy its trappings and kudos. Should he not resign, then he must be sacked. If he is not sacked then the coalition is a lame duck. This isn't a time for sophisticated games, Cable, you ass. Lead, you fool, or get out of the way.
How can you 'rampage' and yet simultaneously there not be any violence or damage?
If you followed events in real time on Twitter you'd know that Police blocked off agreed route and have spent the entire day trying to kettle people and clearly the protesters are not going to go along with that.
Your forced outrage is starting to look Mary Whitehousian and thoroughly buffoonish.
Tory cuts policies are wrong, people are clearly not accepting it, deal with it.
Selfish students with nothing to say..... in my h opinion. http://www.tolpuddlemartyr.blogspot.com
Well I suppose they could lobby MPs, but that would be the same MPs who promised to abolish tuition fees and are now attempting to make universities the preserve of the rich. So I'm guessing noone thinks asking liars for some meetings is going to do anything.
Anyways, you're completely different to the public on this. the students have got loads of public support (something the coalition could only dream of!).
The protests have worked in Wales. Their increased fees are being met by the Welsh Parliament.
I think you are being in some ways a tad old fashioned in that there's a militant element that just want to trash stuff and now we have twitter etc it's much more sectional. (Not that i've any idea what's going on).
When has a government ever listened, and acted upon, a protest of any sort, let alone a student one. It is therefore understandable that since they will never get the result they want that they don't care about garnering our support.
With regards the issue of tuition fees, if those who are proposing them, and already have degrees, think tuition fees are so vital for the future of further education, would not repaying the cost of their degrees show how fully they support the idea? Thought not!
It's always funny watching Tories pontificating about protests. Have any of you ever been on one? Do you know anything about the dynamics of crowds, the feeling of solidarity with others, the fear police could baton charge you at any moment? No? Then shut up.
The students probably realize the government isn't going to change its mind, so they are going on the rampage just for the hell of it. Nice memories for when they're old and grey.
My understanding is that there will be no cutting.
The tuition fees policy is about raising revenue to meet the cost of higher education.
Therefore these are anti tax protests.
He's Cable, and clueless, that's why.
"The protests have worked in Wales." Yep, and the only conclusion we can draw from that is that the Barnett Formula settlement for Wales is over-generous.
To answer some of you, governments have acted on protests in the past. I hate to say it, but these were usually only when the protests were particularly violent. The poll tax riots being the most infamous example in recent British history. Portillo always used to deny they had any effect, but he admitted on This Week some time ago that it was only the sheer violence of the protests that persuaded Margaret and him to back down.
In a democracy, this shouldn't be needed, but of course many of the policies of governments over the last decades have not been in the interests of ordinary people but of a small group of corporations (mainly banks and financial) and certain wealthy individuals.
Thanks for the thread Mr Dale - the responses enlighten us to the dozy nature of the left wing. Again.
The IFS press release on the Browne Report pointed out that 30% of students, the poorest, would be better off (pay less) than previously. And all students will get more in grants. Yes thats worth protesting about. Ha! We must question if its ignorance or maliciousness.
Phil is also a laugh a minute. Its the demonstrators who are throwing flares into crowds and overturning police vans. Gee that's some dynamic.
Perhaps Phil and others can explain just how they would fund university education for 50%+ of the school leaving population. Can they explain why Labour introduced fees and put them up?
The protesters I've sense interviewed are poorly informed and just plain ignorant about what is being proposed. Its good to see Cameron and Clegg tackling them more directly. ( And appalling to she shameless #RedEd trying to back the bandwagon for proposals his old government asked for and would have been implementing now in the national disaster of their being returned to office.)
The real question is what sort of education system produces such innumerate ignorance and gullibility en mass ?
The idiots are campaigning for poor people to pay for their education whilst trying to claiming to being doing it for the poor.
PS Hasn't anyone told the children yet that Labour have sold them into debt slavery and the tuition fees are just the tip of the ice berg ?
Cable ? Maybe because he IS a doddery old fool ? On R5 he kept going on about Liberal arty solidarity. Funny, I would have thought GOVERNMENT solidarity - joint responsibility - was senior ?
In any case, these fools who rabbit on about the LDs not honouring their manifesto, or even their MPs who say in conscience they HAVE to vote against, are both wrong. They collectively offered to form a government, based a manifesto. The country soundly rejected this. Since they do NOT form a government, their manifesto is so much cat litter lining, no longer relevant.
I am a bit puzzled about how the Welsh Assembly can subsidise their own Welsh students but English ones will have to pay the full amount yet students from Europe will appear to pay the same lower rate as the Welsh students i.e. they are discriminating against English students.
I was rather disappointed in the foul language being used by police on Coppers last night.
I think the comment about being able to do anything was when one of the mob said "you can't do that", the plod said that he can do anything but will be accountable for it afterwards and could have to justify it. That seems reasonable for a court to decide but it often seems to be decided by their own disciplinary procedures which also seem to back up whatever the officer does.
It was noticeable on the Coppers programme last night much of the time that the EDL had stewards who were trying to keep some sort of order and stop their people pulling down the fences though there were not enough of them. The UAF did not seem to have any equivalent and were more aggressive against the police. Towards the end of the day about 200 Asians joined the UAF. As the police said, they were not there to protest but just to cause trouble.
PS - just looking at TV coverage in Oxford and its just kids (kids playing truant) and hooligans running riot.
@ trevorsden said...
"PS - just looking at TV coverage in Oxford and its just kids (kids playing truant) and hooligans running riot."
I noticed that, they are all well under 18 years old and it looks like they are merely out to cause damage and not much else.
We really could do with the police cracking some heads.
The point is probably not "lobbying", or demonstrating as most people understand it.
It is an article of faith for the socialist worker party - who appear to be a big chunk of this group - that demonstrations will build momentum and snowball into The Revolution. They're not trying to change policy or gain support, they're on a holy mission to overthrow capitalism, and using excitable students as cover. I expect more stupidity to come.
Vince Cable is a doddery old fool.
I feel that the best tactics for the police would simply be to beef up security around vulnerable buildings, such as Lib Dem and Tory offices and government buildings, and then just let the protesters get on with it. And if some of them want to behave like idiots and smash up police vans and bus shelters, then so be it. All it'll do is damage their own cause.
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