November 16, 2010

Student fees protest: Stick-wielding yobs? Not the nice boys I met at the pub | Mail Online Having failed to predict a riot, we now have a lot of blather about the full force of the law being brought down on these ‘seasoned anarchists’. This from Bullingdon boys who used to leave huge tips because of the damage they caused. The full force of the law did not look that impressive on the day and is, indeed, itself subject to cuts. Perhaps the police are like the rest of us and have bought the myth that all students are middle-class and the middle class don’t do this. Perhaps they believe we have been so groomed for austerity that we will go quietly. Perhaps they did actually learn a ­lesson from the G20 protests when a man died after being struck by an officer. Certainly, since the Tory coup there has been fuzzy talk of unrest. Why is it a shock it should come from students? They are mobile and able to organise as a group unlike, say, defenders of council housing or the ‘workshy’. They could wait until the next Election to show their dismay, but in the meantime they don’t have a lot to lose. Financial independence, decent housing and employment are being taken away from all but the very privileged. Tertiary education is no longer a right but a purchase. As Labour intro­duced tuition fees and would also have increased them, this leaves little opposition to coalesce around. ... A peaceful demo is a long, slow trudge and these boys were ambivalent but excited about...

Jodi Dean

Jodi Dean is a political theorist.

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