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DEMOlition 2010 - thoughts?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
DEMOlition, the student protest that took place in London last Wednesday (10/11/10), was intended to raise awareness of and express the unhappiness of students about the proposed funding cuts to higher education and increase to tuition fees.

A relevant, and important issue.

However, as the news has so relentlessly reported since then, a small minority of protesters vandalised and "invaded" the offices at Millbank Tower, where Tory HQ is located. You'll probably recognise the image below, which made it onto nearly every newspaper's front page on the Thursday. If you've seen the full image, you'll know the guy was surrounded almost entirely by cameramen.

article-1328385-0C00CDED000005DC-645_634x455.jpg

I'm just wondering what peoples thoughts are about this. Do the actions of the tiny minority reduce the credibility of the entire march? Should cuts be imposed and fees be increased?


-C
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Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    That was your mum.
  • LauraOLauraO ********* Posts: 535 The answer to life, the universe, and everything
    Hi
    Just moving this over from the Student forum. There hasn't been any threads on the student demonstrations so far and I am sure lots of you will have opinions about it.
    LauraO
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    katralla wrote: »
    That was your mum.

    Mother: she really is a naughty sort.

    Also, nice picture.

    I don't know what the student/anarchists were getting their knickers in a twist about. Education is still open to everyone as you'll be able to borrow as much as you need in order to go to uni. And as Vinnie points out, no promises were broken: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-11803719
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    To be fair I don't think the students are going to get remotely close to over turning the decisions.

    The government is on a course that will see tens of thousands of public sector workers losing their jobs, people who whilst they have protested have done so without resorting to tactics like the above. What makes the students think they're deserving of special treatment over people with families to support and bills to pay.....?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It is taking us to a more US-free-market led model of education. Good for the minority, bad for the majority.

    I think we would be better with a shift towards germany or sweden (different systems but both more 'socialist' than ours). Granted, it doesn't give as much support to the one or two exceptional institutions, however it makes it more accessible and more relevent to the vast majority.

    Consider how American top universities pump out individuals who go on to be very successful. Just look at MIT! According to wikipedia, 76 MIT Alumni have won nobel prizes. When you have to pay $150,000 or more for a degree, you can be sure that institution has the funds to pay for the absolute best education, to give those few applicants the power to become multi-millionaires.

    The rest who went to community college and the like, are they really living the American dream? How many employers in the UK take someone after their degree and say they've not learnt enough skills? The Universities sorely want to blame the government and say its just down to not enough money.

    Contrast this with the German system. Your degree is interspersed with vocational learning. Everyone who passes is forced to become competent and understand the real world skills required, alongside the academia. You come out with a comprehensive grading of skills and academic achievement that reflects your true ability. The UK system and it's arbitrary 2:1 system means employers have to rule out otherwise good candidates, just because they have no other yard stick for ability.

    So when you come out of the end of the German education system - provided you stuck it out - you will be set up for a nice job 90% of the time. Not necessarily the millionaire jobs the anglo-american model lures you to university with, but something good - a career. The downside of course is that the universities as individual centres of supreme academic excellence just aren't up to par because they have less money, less ongoing research and attract less international talent.

    Whilst in the UK, people bemoan the idea of education for everyone, saying that 'only clever people should get degrees' (meaning themselves, because if they are the only one with an engineering degree of course they're going to earn megabucks - this is what feeds the system - the prospect of 'if you work hard, it could be you'). The focus is on the individual and feeding the individuals aspirations. Abroad in the german and swedish systems, universal access to education and -relevent- education is seen as a given. In Sweden it is seen as a state obligation.

    You don't go through education being given seminars by barely competent masters students so money can be put into the world class research - you are the focus education system.

    So in summary; the UK and the US lead in producing the few elite universities and elite individuals that produce research at the forefront of their fields. But they do not well accommodate for the other hundreds of thousands going to university each year who get a cookie-cutter degree and want to be prepared not just for work but for life - which the German and Swedish models do to a much greater extent.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    To be fair I don't think the students are going to get remotely close to over turning the decisions.

    The government is on a course that will see tens of thousands of public sector workers losing their jobs, people who whilst they have protested have done so without resorting to tactics like the above. What makes the students think they're deserving of special treatment over people with families to support and bills to pay.....?

    I should add to my previous post I also found the demonstrations to be futile and with the violence - infantile. Basically turned a valid argument about securing the future of not only the economy but society - by trending towards greater access and universality in education - into an adolescent self-serving tantrum about "we want more beer money!".
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Even more violence and shit today.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-11829102

    However, halfway down is an image of some school kids "cordoning" off the police van to stop it getting torched. So not all the students are brainless morons which is nice.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I personally kind of agree with the prinicples of storming the Tory headquaters, though I do agree that it was taken way to far...

    especailly the fact that the fire extinguisher was thrown off the roof by a guy at my college
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's been ridiculous. Watching the coverage of it, a few were saying "We had to do something, and this was all we can do". It won't change anything. It's happening. I agree with the protests, but not the violence - on both sides of the public and police.

    Another thing is how people are blaming the LibDems for this. It is not their fault. They are bound by the coalition and the Tory rules is increased tuition fees. Take it out with them, NOT the LibDems. If the LibDem's got more votes and became the majority they would have stuck to their word and not raised tuition fees. Sadly this is the future. Then there are the ones who are "fighting" over just the raised tuition fees, when it's more than that.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The fire extinguisher twat has been nicked and charged. He could get up to five years says the Beeb.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    Even more violence and shit today.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-11829102

    However, halfway down is an image of some school kids "cordoning" off the police van to stop it getting torched. So not all the students are brainless morons which is nice.
    Even without those kids cordoning off the van, I'd say the overwhelming majority of students are not brainless morons. Indeed, those actually engaged in vandalism and violence cannot have accounted for more than 0.1% of those attending.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The fire extinguisher twat has been nicked and charged. He could get up to five years says the Beeb.

    Rightly so, I hope the judge makes an example of him.

    Violent disorder though? He should have been nicked for attempted murder.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote: »
    Even without those kids cordoning off the van, I'd say the overwhelming majority of students are not brainless morons. Indeed, those actually engaged in vandalism and violence cannot have accounted for more than 0.1% of those attending.

    Never said they were all morons. Just the twats turning it into a free for all.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think a lot of people go with the 'me-too' mentality as well. It takes one or two hard core 'anarchists' as the Met likes to call them to kick off, try to stir up troubles - the police charge and then people in the mid are like "Fuck! Police are pigs!" and start throwing missiles, breaking windows, and many other infantile acts of the puerile mind incapable of making their own decision on right and wrong.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The first comment under this article sums it all up for me. It could have been written by me.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/nov/24/students-and-markets-undermine-case-for-cuts
    Blitzdonkey
    24 November 2010 9:05PM

    The government should bow to reality and accept that most students are thicker than pigshit and that a 2.2 from the University of the Outer Hebrides is a confirmation of that fact, not a remedy for it. University should be open only to those of high academic ability and rich people who can afford to pay for it. It is of course unfashionable to support the right of rich and intelligent people to retain their positions of privilege and power and as bad as they may be, the poor are, frankly, fucking horrendous.

    A girl I work with has a degree in Leisure Management yet still draws little circles above the letter “i” instead of a dot and sends all her e-mails in text speak. Undeniable proof that the doors of academia should be forever shut to vacant-eyed, slack-jawed, mouth-breathing poltroons. Another protestor I saw today had "your" instead of "you're" on her placard.

    Much better to celebrate those with academic gifts and give them grants to study rather than pedal the myth that University is an automatic right that will allow everyone to become a success even if they are a complete dullard.

    Also people who sneer at education and boast that they’ve been to the “University of Life” as though it were either equivalent or superior to an actual real university education should be publicly whipped.
    That ought to do it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The first comment under this article sums it all up for me. It could have been written by me.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/nov/24/students-and-markets-undermine-case-for-cuts

    Makes you sound pretty ignorant then.

    What part of people getting a University education is bad? We don't have to be America where it's just for the elite. It doesn't have to just be for doctors and lawyers. Why can't someone go to University, expand themselves and gain some knowledge about a field and then go work in a sports shop?

    Why do people sneer on this so much? Why not go further, and just have the brightest at 11 year old have any form of education, and everyone else can be taught woodworking, home economics or sports and told they are the working class.

    The real qualm I feel, is those with entitlement issues, who thought they were a little bit clever, went to University, and can't get a job on £150k because there are lot of other people who are just as clever. These people think everyone else should have been banned from going to University, so the intellectual division was a little bit clearer.

    edit: also, to the 'thicker than pigshit' bit, please do fuck off.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    There's nothing quite like personal insults to undermine your argument. Touched a raw nerve did I?

    Surely even you should realise that the current system is totally unsustainable. Back when university education was free, it was able to be free by virtue of the fact that less than 20% of people went on to higher education. Therefore the economics of it permitted free education and those from very poor backgrounds (including my father) were allowed a grant to study as well as not having to pay tuition.

    However, a generation of people, combined with manipulative politicking, have fallen hook, line and sinker for the myth that to get anywhere in this life, you need a degree. This is frankly bullshit. I can't remember the exact figure but the ballpark percentage of people currently attenting higher education from the school leaver population is somewhere in the mid-40% range.

    Are you seriously suggesting for one minute that our school leavers have become that much more intelligent and academically able that 20% more of our school leavers warrant a place at higher education? Or would you possibly concede some traction to what business owners have been saying for the past decade that school leavers and graduates still have massive
    problems with basic literacy and numeracy. It's no wonder graduate unemployment is what it is.

    So I put it to you again, university should be for the elite - the academically elite. We should be paying for bright people to study rigourous academic disciplines. I have no qualms if my tax pounds go to support a bright kid studying a worthwhile subject at a Russell Group university. I do resent having to pay for someone to piss away three years studying media studies at a former poly undeserving of the name of a university.

    So if you want to study a BA in Lady Gaga at the Unversity of the North Circular then fine. Just don't expect me to pay for it as it will be of absolutely no benefit to society.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    There's nothing quite like personal insults to undermine your argument. Touched a raw nerve did I?

    You said you were supporting the comment, the comment called students thick as pigshit, I'm a student; therefore you started the mudslinging. Being called thick as pigshit does offend me. Of course, feel free to recant the agreement with the thick as pigshit slur and I will withdraw my retort.
    Surely even you should realise that the current system is totally unsustainable. Back when university education was free, it was able to be free by virtue of the fact that less than 20% of people went on to higher education. Therefore the economics of it permitted free education and those from very poor backgrounds (including my father) were allowed a grant to study as well as not having to pay tuition.

    It depends what you want out of a higher education system. If you want to produce a tiny minority of world class academics with everyone else funding it, great. If you think it should be accessible to all and that actually - everyone has something to gain - then you can move towards a system like in Germany. Compared to many other developed economies - we underprovide in terms of higher education and skills. We give out less. And yet here we are saying it's too much.
    However, a generation of people, combined with manipulative politicking, have fallen hook, line and sinker for the myth that to get anywhere in this life, you need a degree. This is frankly bullshit. I can't remember the exact figure but the ballpark percentage of people currently attenting higher education from the school leaver population is somewhere in the mid-40% range.

    I'd be all up for it being towards 100%. You don't need a degree to get on in life, but it certainly gives you a different perspective on things. I know lots of people simply love to bash on the 'mickey mouse' degrees and 'david beckham studies' (all practically invented by the media, btw) but you cannot deny that for the average person going to University enriches their life. It does contribute to GDP which is the typical measure of utility in society - but even if it did not add a single penny - there is something more important going on here.

    Someone should not be compelled to go to University. But if people want to, if people want to learn about Shakespeare or Foucault or biochemistry or whatever - let them. We already have the institutions here. They benefit themselves, their children, their friends and those around them, and ultimately, society, in being better educated.
    Are you seriously suggesting for one minute that our school leavers have become that much more intelligent and academically able that 20% more of our school leavers warrant a place at higher education? Or would you possibly concede some traction to what business owners have been saying for the past decade that school leavers and graduates still have massive
    problems with basic literacy and numeracy. It's no wonder graduate unemployment is what it is.

    With the increase - I think you're drawing the wrong parallel. Why is it a bad thing that more people are continuing their education? If this was 50% of people going to 6th form to do A levels and get a little bit extra, instead of hopping straight into the career machine, surely that would be a good thing? Yet with Universities, people have this aversion to the idea that it's a good thing more people are getting a better education.

    Again, we underprovide in our higher education. It's about getting the numbers in the doors, so they have money for research projects which give the institution a big name and attract researchers, so we can say we're world class at research. Contrast with Germany. Germany's higher education system invests a hell of a lot in giving people from different backgrounds more out of their education, so not only do they develop specific academic knowledge of an area like in our degree systems - but also spend time in the necessary industry(ies) to develop the necessary skills. The consequence? Look at the world top 200 universities. Count the number of German ones. Then look at the German economy and labour productivity.

    To get special prizes and good ratings, you need to dump a bucketload of money into research, which is withdrawn from 'education'. It very much is the case already, that it's mainly the elite who get something out of it with PhDs and then research roles. People aren't hired for Universities in the UK for how well they can teach, but how well they can do research. The problem with literacy is endemic to the lack of focus in educating and the emphasis on research.

    Go to Oxbridge, find a physicist or a mathematician undergraduate on a first, and try to read their writing. And be shocked. This is across the system, so it doesn't make sense to try to pin it on lesser institutions with people 'not worthy' of a degree.

    [/quote]So I put it to you again, university should be for the elite - the academically elite. We should be paying for bright people to study rigourous academic disciplines. I have no qualms if my tax pounds go to support a bright kid studying a worthwhile subject at a Russell Group university. I do resent having to pay for someone to piss away three years studying media studies at a former poly undeserving of the name of a university.[/quote]

    I think I've touched on these already - it already is mainly for the elite, catering for researchers and academics, and people misrepresent degrees such as media studies as mickey mouse degrees all the time. It's ignorant, ill-informed, media-fueled vitriol.
    So if you want to study a BA in Lady Gaga at the Unversity of the North Circular then fine. Just don't expect me to pay for it as it will be of absolutely no benefit to society.

    Though I've touched on this; define 'benefit'.




    Now to summarise: the more we increase fees and move towards an American system, the more the skew will increase. For those who just want to better themselves - who want a satisficing education - will get a worse deal. For those who are truly exceptional and can rise to the top, they will get a better deal. The system is fuelled by the American Dream - the prospect that it could be you. But, as with playing the lottery, how many people end up millionaires?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Well, yet again the students and their associates decided that peaceful protest is such a Bourgeois sentiment, and in highlights of yesterday decide to urinate on Churchill's statue, grafitti and vandalise the cenotaph, attack a riderless police horse and throw a paint bomb in the eyes of a cop who thought he could get away with not wearing his visor.


    Really outdoing themselves this time.:mad:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm gutted that as of 2011/12 the nursing diploma will be changed to a degree course and i probably won't afford to do it :/
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    Well, yet again the students and their associates decided that peaceful protest is such a Bourgeois sentiment, and in highlights of yesterday decide to urinate on Churchill's statue, grafitti and vandalise the cenotaph, attack a riderless police horse and throw a paint bomb in the eyes of a cop who thought he could get away with not wearing his visor.

    Really outdoing themselves this time.:mad:

    Hmmmmm. :chin:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11987395
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru


    Doesn't alter what the students were doing.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thing is, as I read today and thought it made sense, all the police have done is scare away peaceful protesters, and making the ones who actually cause this damage to come back for more.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    JavaKrypt wrote: »
    Thing is, as I read today and thought it made sense, all the police have done is scare away peaceful protesters, and making the ones who actually cause this damage to come back for more.

    How does that work?

    Unless you're saying that the thousands who turned up the other day were all spoiling for a fight and not just the minority.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    Doesn't alter what the students were doing.

    Agree. I just wanted to add a little perspective before we went and got all teary-eyed on the police's behalf.

    EDIT: I'd like to add that I'm not taking sides as clearly both parties, the police and the protesters, have been pretty cuntish during the latest spate of protests.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Agree. I just wanted to add a little perspective before we went and got all teary-eyed on the police's behalf.

    EDIT: I'd like to add that I'm not taking sides as clearly both parties, the police and the protesters, have been pretty cuntish during the latest spate of protests.

    Fair enough. Just thought I'd throw this in the mix, nothing to do with protests but fairly relevant I'd have thought.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1338860/Police-officers-stabbed-Christmas-shoppers-look-horror.html
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Sorry but you've said this thread has been a link farm to just post negative stories of the police. But at least they were related. You've posted that on the basis you're a cop and you're taking this personally.

    And my other post, it works that way because the ones who WANT to cause chaos and want to cause trouble for the police - or even anger them to the brink of breaking the law [which they should still be investigated for, even if the person is purposely trying to get that reaction], will continue to turn up to the protests. Yet the ones who want to peacefully protest are still branded into the same boat. You seem to think thats fine in the public for the aim of policing, but not when it comes to the police themselves - or at least that is how you bring it across.

    Plus Theresa May keeps changing her bloody mood. One minute saying police can use cannons, even though we don't allow them, then a few days later she says the police shouldn't be using them at all. Police have even been saying they are trying to ban any protest in London - they can't do that, but they will still try.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    As an update the lad who threw the extinguisher has just been sentenced to 2 years 8 months imprisonment.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    As an update the lad who threw the extinguisher has just been sentenced to 2 years 8 months imprisonment.

    Good. That guy is a seriously lucky fucker.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I guess his coming forward at a very early stage made a difference to the sentence, but yeah very lucky, or unlucky depending how you look at it....
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