Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Oh no! Whatever shall we do?

I used to like the sitcom Malcolm in the Middle, I especially enjoyed the episode where Francis, the elder brother, incited his classmates at the military school he attended into participating in a hunger strike. The reaction from the Commandant in mocking tones was, 'Ohhhh, make it stop.' He then went on to tuck into a nice big dinner.

Resistance is not futile. But you have to be a bit smart about what form your resistance takes.

Students occupying a University of Kent building to protest at education cuts and the rise in tuition fees say they are prepared to continue their sit-in over Christmas.

Ooooh, ouch. That'll have Dastardly Dave and Nasty Nick feeling very morose as they tuck into their organic, ethically sourced, environmentally sustainable turkey on Christmas Day.

The university, which is shutting for Christmas on Wednesday, said earlier it would seek a possession order.

Some of the students who originally took part in the sit-in have now returned home for the Christmas holidays but those who remained said they would stay put.

They've started to cut and run.

The students demanded that the vice-chancellor Julia Goodfellow should publicly condemn, through the university website, the Parliamentary vote for the rise in tuition fees and the proposed cuts in education.

They also demanded that she retract herself as signatory of a letter published in the Daily Telegraph on 8 December.

But maybe she doesn't agree with your point of view? What would your reaction be if the VC witheld your degree certificates until you publicly declared your support for the budget cuts and the increase in tuition fees? You'd be up in arms, wouldn't you? So what gives you the right to hold a gun to the woman's head?

If you disagree, then fine. But that's life, there's plenty of stuff this government is doing that I disagree with. What you are demanding is that people have their money taken off them, under threat of prison, and given to you. Why? Because you feel you are entitled to other peoples' money? My only demand is that the State gets the hell out of my life.

Anyhow, word has reached me from contacts at UKC of some very depressing news. Apparently, this sit in does not cover going out of the building for a shower, they've been doing that, and security have been letting them back in to resume their protest. And the same has held true for going for a cigarette.

Yes, smoking.

They've occupied a building, and so annoyed the university authorities that they've had to apply to the courts to resolve the occupation. But they've gone outside for a smoke?

Give me strength. Did the stormers of the Winter Palace wipe their boots before going over the threshold? Did the leaders of the Solidarity movement moderate their language to stop the communist government of Poland getting their feelings hurt? Did Bolivar use wooden swords and pop guns so his imperial overlords wouldn't suffer any nasty injuries?

For God's sake, when did our students become so supine and spineless? Where's the devil-may-care attitude? Where's the 'fuck you, I won't do what you tell me' sneer? Where's the passion?

I could weep for what our students have become. I may not agree with them, but if you're going to break the rules, then break them.

Just for that, I hope they stay in over Xmas, and I hope the VC cuts off the heating, electricity and water in the building.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Probably so fucking "right-on" they took a vote and the anti-s decreed to stay within the ban.

What a bunch of spineless wankers!