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Students, Violence and broken promises

By Dark Politricks

Twice in one month UK students have taken to the streets to protest against the dramatic rise in tuition fees which will see any successful graduates leaving university with a huge weight of debt.

Not only are the students justified in their demonstrations they are also right to hold the Lib Dem’s who all signed a pledge to fight against fees if elected in contempt for their broken promises. The Lib Dem’s argument is that they didn’t get elected out right which is true. They also claim that as they are part of a coalition they cannot introduce all the policies they would have liked to if they were elected outright which is also true. They also correctly claim that they are having to clear up the huge economic mess and gigantic deficit that they inherited from the previous Labour government.

However despite the accuracy in these points it does not excuse in any way the nature of betrayal felt by the millions of students and potential students who are now destined to leave university with up to £50k of debt as well as an increasingly worthless degree.

The Lib Dem’s knew that they would have to make tough budgetary decisions if elected and if I recall correctly they were the only party that actually made their awareness of the tough decisions that lay ahead into a core election tactic. I remember that Nick Clegg called Brown and Cameron out on the fact that their manifesto was the only one fully costed on many occasions and it is a bit rich for them to now use the excuse that our finances are much worse than they believed as the reason for a broken promise.

There are many lessons which can be taken from this fiasco and any potential politician to be would be wise to remember the kicking that the once popular Lib Dem’s, the voice of conscience and reason are now getting from all sides because of their about turn.

  1. Never make a public promise, especially one that was as well covered by the media if you are not 100% sure that you can keep to it. Politicians have spent years avoiding giving straight answers to direct questions and I am pretty sure they are trained by media guru’s in the art of evasion when elected to office. Therefore when a politician does make such an affirmative promise rather than the usual vague, we will see what we can do if circumstances allow it type of answer we all are used to they are rightly held in contempt by the public if they go back on it.
  2. The Lib Dem’s claim that the books were a lot worse than they expected which is why they are not able to keep previous spending pledges. There should be an easy answer to this which is to ensure that all government spending plans, debt levels, projected growth and borrowing levels are publicly available at all times for public scrutiny. I stupidly presumed that this was already the case but it seems not and I cannot think of a good reason why this couldn’t happen. Not only will it allow opposition parties to plan ahead and prepare their own policies accuratley it would take away the excuse the Lib Dem’s are currently using and give the public much more scrutiny over how their tax money is being spent.
  3. The Lib Dem’s have now joined the other two parties as just another grouping of career politicians who’s word cannot be trusted. Until this coalition they had been untainted by government and therefore held a lot higher moral ground when compared to the other main parties when it came to various topics such as the war in Iraq, drug policy, student fees, fair taxation and civil liberties. Now that they have chosen to grab power with both hands it has become an unsightly experience to watch people previously held in high esteem by the country such as Vince Cable having to justify the massive social experiment and huge cuts to public sector jobs, benefits, wages and the standard of living for millions which their Tory partners are implementing and which their party has signed up to having actively campaigned against such drastic cuts during the election.
  4. Violence at protests takes away from the main message behind the demonstrations. Instead of the main stream media reporting on the peaceful students who staged sit in’s at universities all over the country during the last protest or the thousands who marched through London at the previous one they concentrated on the few who kicked off. This is the fault of the papers and their owners who are the same elitists who think up new ideas to get their fellow countryman into debt at an early age and who really have little care or concern about the wellbeing of their readers apart from worrying about how much shock value they can drum up to scare their people into buying their toilet paper rag.

On the subject of violence what actually happened at the student riots as some have called them?

On the first march through London a few students and infiltrating anarchists broke off from the main march and stormed the Tory head quarters at Millbank. A window got kicked in, the building was stormed and there was a few scuffles with the Bizzies. On the most recent protest the only really interesting thing that happened to scare Daily Mail readers over their morning read was that a police meat wagon was rocked a bit and then got trashed.

To be honest I have seen more mayhem down my local high street any Thursday, Friday or Saturday night. Hell I’ve been involved in more than that on more than one occasion, woke up in the local nick, had a free breakfast and been sent on my way home with neither a bad word said by anyone let alone a charge sheet to fill my back pocket.

To call these protests riots or even violent is a bit rich but then that is what it to be expected. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if

  1. Some of the rioters were actually agent provocateurs, either under cover cops or rent-a-mob members paid to make the students look bad.
  2. This is just what our supposedly new “pro civil liberty” government wanted at some level.

They can let a few demo’s go haywire, stand the cops back and let some windows get smashed and filmed by the journos like they always do (see any G20 protest) and then claim “well we restored your right to protest but look what happens, you just can’t be trusted to behave” and then send the jack booted blue hats in to kettle, spray and kick the living shit out of everyone like they usually do.

To be honest I have nothing against a bit of civil disobedience and the odd bit of damage to private property as long as the property belongs to the “man” and not our “fellow man”. In fact storming Tory HQ and burning out a few meat wagons is well within my boundaries of right and wrong as long as no-one is hurt and the cause is just.

We have to remember that as a country we have been totally disarmed and unlike the USA who’s populace are armed to the teeth we are not allowed to own weapons and form militias designed to keep our government in check.

However it is a well known and often undesirable fact that we are known as a nation of brawlers and pretty good ones at that. You have to learn how to stand and fight if you are expected to survive our dismal state education system and you will never go through life unscathed if you expect to drink until your full and then walk down most weekend high streets without some form of ruckus from similarly drunk yobs, tools and fools. And whilst this drunken yobbery, football hooliganism, street fighting  sink estate chaviness is most definitely a poor indictment on our society for many reasons it does mean that we are intrinsically not a people that takes shit lying down. The problem is that we have been conditioned as a society to fight amongst ourselves on tribal lines and for petty idiotic reasons rather than banding together to fight for a common cause.

Unfortunately recent history shows that peaceful protests usually achieve nothing and it is good to remind our elected leaders from time to time that if they piss us off that much, ignore our wishes, act against our best interests and chose to serve others instead of their electorate that we are likely to kick off in a big way.

If there is no threat behind mass protest, real or implied, then our leaders are likely to just ignore us, fob us off with platitudes and hope it all just dies down like they usually do. Therefore it is good from time to time to remind them that the people won’t always just take things lying down and if pushed far enough do have the numbers and willing, guns or no guns to take matters into their own hands to rectify the situation.

Maybe if the million people who marched through London against the Iraq war decided to kick in a few of Labour’s HQ windows or run through the town like maniacs like they did during the Poll Tax riots then a few more Labour politicians might have had the courage of their convictions to follow Robin Cook out of the government which might have caused a NO vote and kept us out of that disaster of a war.

Now I am not trying to say that mindless violence is justified but thoughtful violence can be when used to overturn unjust and immoral actions by the government. Our democratic system is supposed to run by the consent of the people and without that consent they lose the authority to govern. However as it has been shown throughout history from Rome to Nazi Germany and now the USA politicians are perfectly capable and willing to steal elections, take money from foreign governments to act against their own peoples best interests and break promises they made on the way into power.

When the public realises that the political process holds little if no opportunity at all to affect real change through peaceful means such as elections and are instead met with more of the same dressed up in a slightly different outfit what are they supposed to do?

Sit back and take the pain, wait five years and then vote in the other side of the two headed coin to repeat the same mistakes or actually take to the streets and wake the politicians up from their cosy ministerial beds with a loud jolt and a knowing stare into their eyes that says: “We can if we want to and we fucking will if we have to.”

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  1. Tweets that mention Students, Violence and broken promises | Dark Politricks -- Topsy.com linked to this post on November 27, 2010

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