I met three bright young men this morning, two representing students at Bucks New University and one representing FE students at Amersham and Wycombe College. Our conversations covered tuition fees, Education Maintenance Allowance, social mobility, life chances, career prospects and related subjects. It was a real pleasure to have thoughtful, measured and insightful conversations about these difficult and sensitive subjects on this controversial day.
I thought all three young men were inspiring.
However, stepping out of the tuition fees debate for a meeting, I turned on the news. The first thing on screen was a report of missiles being thrown at police, right outside Parliament. I understand officers have been injured.
It’s a real pity some are spoiling these protests. I took this short video of Parliament Square: note the fires and communist flags:
David Willetts is just wrapping up – here comes the division…
Tags: Communism, Democracy, Fiscal policy, Higher Education
I notice you don’t say what the students you spoke to said, or where you stand on this issue.
I fully agree though that these protests are being spoilt and their impact negated by some very dubious actions by some protestors.
Last week I was in Trafalgar Square the day after the protests, and noticed that Waterstone’s bookshop had had windows broken, and been pelted with eggs. Today in the last few minutes Channel 4 are reporting that attempts have been made to burn down the Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square. To target a book shop, and a gift from a foreign country (Norway) in thanks for wartime assistance, is guaranteed only to win negative publicity, and it strikes me as pathetic.
I’m not sure that’s a communist flag per se by the way – is it a Chinese flag ? Either way it doesn’t exactly drum up sympathy for the cause – but I think you’d have to concede that Communists have as much right to protest as anyone else does