Thursday, November 11, 2010

Higher Education Cuts Demo

On Wednesday the 10th November 80 students from Loughborough University travelled down to the demonstration against the higher education cuts organised jointly by the NUS & UCU. We joined a march of 50,000 students and lecturers, many of whom had got up early to travel down to show their support and March against the coalition governments plans.

The march was a tremendous success with students and lecturers travelling from all parts of the England, Scotland and Wales, there was a real sense of community in the crowd with a united purpose. Nearly all the students that I went with had never been to a demonstration before but felt strongly that they should support this. We were all amazed at the numbers and ingenuity of the students there. My favourite banner, it was hard to choose but I personally liked one that read. "We want Ed at least he has Balls" genius and it summed up the general feeling on the banners, in the chants and in the discussion. The majority of students felt betrayed by Nick Clegg, it was generally understood that we expect the Conservatives to act like this, but the 'U' turn of the Liberal Democrat party has showed a complete lack of integrity and it was what everyone was talking and chanting about. I would share some of the chants but I'm not sure the language was appropriate. But here's one dreamt up by one of the Loughborough students.

"Nick Clegg is a liar, he deserves to be fired, for raising the fees on all our degree's, living in a Tory wonderland'

However unfortunately this was not the message that was delivered by the media, who only seemed to be interested in the damage caused by a handful of individuals who many doubt are even students over 2 hours after the march officially finished. People are responding with shock and condemnation, personally I am frustrated and very angry with the British media, who instead of reporting on the constructive effort of 50,000 students, decide instead to report on the drama and destruction. The British media should be ashamed of themselves; they have sensationalised the damage and given weight to the riot instead of supporting the efforts of committed and dedicated students. When there is such a large demonstration there is always a strong chance that the usual rent a mob, yobs wll rock up and the Police should have been prepared for them. The law abiding students however should not miss out on the publicity that should have been given to their grievances and concerns.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Politician's not telling the Truth

Yes I know no-one is particularly surprised, but I was astounded by the lack of evidence and overall personal bias by this Green Party Counsellor, see below:
"Wednesday, 3 November 2010 The fees disgrace - blame LABOUR
Let's be very clear. It was LABOUR who opened the floodgates to the university tuition fees debacle that is now being imposed on our country. The LibDems have allowed it to happen; the Tories made it happen; but it was Labour who commissioned the Browne report, and it was Labour who set the whole thing up in the first place, by imposing top-up fees. As soon as the argument had been made by Charles Clarke that it was right for students to pay a substantial amount toward their higher education, and that higher education free at the point of delivery was going to be a thing of the past, then full-scale marketization became inevitable. It was only a matter of time. I made this argument at the time, as did Ian Gibson. We have, sadly, been proven right by today's news that the ConDems are going to bring in variable fees of up to £9k.
It is LABOUR who need to take the blame for having created the conditions for this dreadful outcome. (And it is only the Green Party (and the Nats, etc.) who come out of this with clean hands: see!/TheGreenParty)
So: come the next election, let's all be clear about that. If you want to punish the LibDems over this, then there is no point in voting Labour."

Its very inaccurate in several places and just sheer self promotion based on half truths, so I have put him right.

"As usual for a politician you are missing out some vital information here like the introduction of the tuition fees originally in 1998 by Labour was based on the recommendations of the Dearing inquiry see: Commissioned by the Conservative government under John Major, so I think you'll find is has been driven as part of the ideological conservative (protect the rich screw the rest) agenda for the last 14 years. I don’t believe labour would accept the recommendations of the Browne report in the way that the conservatives have because they were committed to seeing more students going to universities unlike the conservatives who only want it for the privileged few. Claiming that the Green Party would do any different is hollow as you won't have to carry through on your promises, just like the Liberals never thought they would so they too promised the world and surprise, surprise once they are given to opportunity to stand by their promises they show that they have the least integrity of any party in this country.
Rupert why don't you show you have some integrity, put your money where your mouth is and come on the demonstration against the cuts and Browne review next weds will you, I will be there in the midlands camp, why don't you come and say hello.
Matthew Watkins BSc MSc PGCE"

Please do check on the accuracy of reporting of your local MP's and Counsellors, this example of defamation is even more extreme than that from those rats in power.