Mob rule at Millbank

When I was a student I frequently took part in peaceful student demonstrations against national or local policies which I disagreed with, but I always opposed protests those which looked violent or intimidatory, or were likely to give people a disgust of students.

I suspect that the National Union of Students were not expecting when they called today's demo what has just happened at Millbank. They are probably intelligent enough to realise that smashing windows, injuring policemen, and terrorising office workers at a building where most of the people who work have nothing to do with any political party, because it also houses Conservative Campaign centre, does not advance their case.

As so often, the entire body of two million students is in danger of being given a bad name by a relatively small number of extremists.

Anyone who imagines that what happened at Millbank today will make it more likely that government policy will be changed to help students - as the peaceful protest NUS was presumably planning would have - is wrong.


Visionary Emissary said…
Its always the same agent provocateurs that are undoubtedly there to undermine the valid voices of concern. Again this only annoys the public and erode sympathy, this is just one of many tactics employed by the individuals with everything to gain from such organised chaos. If only the stupid students would grab these agents all dressed in black garb with veils and make a citizens arrest, instead the sheep emulate these vile few. How convenient the agent provocateurs wait for team b the photo journalists to get into position before they kick the window in. Again another coincidental moment where the CCTV operators fail to locate these agents infiltration and evasion. Morning after the ignorant and bigoted cretins will be reading their daily flail, daily star, and sun all with sensational stories and photos full of gories.

Guaranteed these agents wont be found as they always run away unmolested by the police for they have completed their objective, to watch the students follow the piper and fall again, with the media foaming at the mouth with sensationalism. How to prevent these events from reoccurring is by the legitimate protesters to identify these concealed agents and point at them saying "show your FACE you're a DISGRACE" and "AGENT PROVOCATEUR" ! Soon they'll flee like the veil insidious people they are. Another wasted march and time organising the event, the BBC propaganda repeating the mantra of chaos riots and heavy handed thugs rubbing their hands with glee as the public demand the police go in HARD next time despite the protestors whine.
Jane said…
Looking at the reports I am convinced that the majority of students were peacefully protesting. I would defend to my last breath the right to organise civilised demonstrations. It is part of the democratic process. However, the hijacking of any cause by Trots, violent anarchists or whatever it is now fashionable to call oneself, when placing oneself outside civil society, is utterly unacceptable. Lawlessness undermines any cause, however honourable its initial intentions. It was badly done and will have served no benefit to respectable students. British people do not like civil disorder and the street fighting will now be prominent, in the minds of the majority, not the complaint.

I watched the protest and at times was terrified when plate class was smashed. It was swinging over the heads of police officers and students caught up in the protest, who probably could not get away due to the pressure of the crowd behind. I am relieved no one was killed or seriously injured. It was absolutely irresponsible.

On the political issue I would like to add. Labour introduced tuition fees and planned huge education cuts, of around 40%, to the universities, because as in every area spending was over-extended. Yet again the Coalition was left carrying the baby. The cuts were, as is familiar, not specified.

The other matter that has not been discussed is that the number of students has increased. The reason why many politicians (people in their 40's and 50's now) did not have to pay tuition fees is that the university student population for that generation was considerably smaller. There are pros and cons to expanding the student population and the number of courses available. Clearly merit should be rewarded and opportunity provided, but does everyone now have to have a degree to get any job at all? Underlying that is the return to the old problem of who pays? This is a matter the people of this country need to give a great deal of thought.
Anonymous said…
I think the following quote just about summarises Visionary Emissary's blog.

"Public opinion is a compound of folly, weakness, prejudice, wrong feeling, right feeling, obstinacy and newspaper paragraphs". Sir Robert Peel

I hope my view is the "right feeling". That this was badly done by a violent minority. David Cameron has expressed this opinion and fortunately due to his voice of reason, those who lawfully demonstrated have not been tared with the same brush.
Anonymous said…
I wouldn't matter what the students did the government policy will not be changed. It's the nature of democracy in Britain, politicians lie to get elected then immediately renege on their pre-election pledges, there should be a law against it.

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