Friday, 10 December 2010

What Kind of Society Do They Want?

I watched some of the Sky TV coverage of the students' protest yesterday. I kept thinking of the Tories' insistence (backed up by Ian Duncan-Smith's research) that we have a "broken society". We certainly had quite a few broken things yesterday - a broken promise, broken hearts (whose though?), broken windows. But what kind of society do some of these "students" want? Surely not one based on the kind of mob idiocy we saw yesterday. To attack the institutions that form part of the legal and social foundation of our country is ultimately to attack themselves - it is self-destructive. This suggests that we do indeed have a broken society in which many of those who are at present part of the academic establishment and some of whom will presumably be future leaders in industry, law and government have little thought for anyone but themselves. As another blogger has remarked, this was not a protest on behalf of the poor or disposessed, this was about future bank balances. Is the country to be ruled by selfishness and avarice? Are we now at the mercy of those who prize money above all else? Am I asking unfair questions?


  1. As one who benefitted from a regime under which tuition fees were paid on my behalf by the state and who received a maintenance grant throughout five years in higher education I cannot criticise the protests. If higher education is, as is frequently asserted, the means to greater earning potential then income tax at a reasonable level should provide the funding. For young people to begin their working lives with a burden of debt seems to me to be calculated to habituate them to the credit card culture in which people spend their lives imprisoned by debt and working merely to pay off interest. Wasn't it people borrowing beyond their means to repay that led to the present financial chaos?

  2. Patricius, thanks for your comment. I also benefitted as you did, even to the extent of having a grant to help me through seminary! (my Dad fought for that). Sadly Vince Cable has not managed to get his point across, but the facts are there to be seen. I do not make this as a political point, but simply because the actual arrangements are not as bad as some students believe.
    I understand your point of view, but whatever the reason for the protests there can never be any excuse for the destruction of other people's property and physical attacks. I know the police did not get it right either, but that is no excuse. Some of the student leaders have not condemned the violence and too many of them are simply blaming the police. That is just not good enough in my opinion.

  3. On the question of violence I am 100 per cent with you, Father. And as to student leaders...well some were off the wall in my day too!