Why the student protests are unlikely to backfire despite the coverage


9:10 am - November 25th 2010

by Adam Ramsay    


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In the morning after perhaps one of the biggest days of civil disobedience in a generation, many will reflect on what it has achieved.

On the train on the way home last night, a woman opposite – very prim middle aged and upper middle class – surprised me by expressing her heartfelt support. But she asked the same question: will this all help you win sympathy for your cause?

While kettled in at Whitehall yesterday, I had a chat with group of students from an East London FE College who had the same concerns.

They had never been to a demo before, but being black and working class, they were only too accustomed to being mistreated by the police. They also wondered whether it had been successful. They were hungry. They were fed up, and they had wanted to leave three hours earlier.

But this worry – do these actions help us win sympathy – seems to me to conflate two very different questions.

The truth is that protesters do not need to win sympathy because we are not fighting for the rights of protesters, and we are not politicians.

And students barely need to win sympathy – almost every extended family has one – whether in 6th form, or at university – whether a granddaughter, a son, a cousin or a niece.

When the issue is as close to home as ‘can my child afford to get A Levels’ or ‘can my friend afford to go to University’, this isn’t about whether or not people empathise. It’s about whether they appreciate the scale of the problem faced by the students they know.

And so the most important thing is not how the message is communicated, but how loudly.

Once they realise how this message impacts on the lives of those they love, the support will follow.

And so it was with the waitress who brought me my post-protest Pizza tonight. She was worried about her windows being smashed. She was cross with the protest. But she had decided that she opposed increases in fees ‘where will people get £9000 from?’.

To the students who spent a cold hungry day at Whitehall yesterday; to those bedding down on hard floors of occupied university buildings tonight – I say this: you are not trying to win a personal popularity contest. You are helping thousands to see that their future, or their childrens’ futures, are being stolen.

That’s a message we need to shout from the rooftops and into people’s ears. Because once enough people realise that, we truly can reclaim tomorrow.

So, yes, damn right, it worked. And the fight goes on.

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Adam is a regular contributor. He also writes more frequently at: Bright Green Scotland.
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Reader comments


Hear, hear. I don’t approve of the violence but it is essential that we keep fighting. We only need to get 40 backbenchers to rebel and we’ll have beaten the government.

2. Chaise Guevara

There’s a lot of talk about negative media coverage, but my morning Metro has a front-page article about a group of protesters who formed a human shield around a police van that others wanted to smash up. Encouraging.

What planet are you living o ?. Every cause needs sympathy if it is to succeed. In case you hadn’t noticed the Government that’s proposing these measures can not easily be voted down.

Do you think that people will readily turn against them to support a bunch of middle class kids who throw sticks at policemen, trash the police van, then complain because it’s too cold and there aren’t any toilets,

They are turning a radically important cause into a mere target for Conservative ridicule and spite.

Wise up !

This is correct. One example. Last night bumped into a friend of my son’s – he’s joining the police force. As you might (non unreasonably) assume, he’s not the brightest, nor a natural liberal – very far from it – and responds to all the usual right-wing dog whistles on race, trades unions and all the rest.

But, the first thing he asked was whether my son was at the demonstration in London (he was) and then went on to say how he supported the students. When I hoped that the police had been restrained and non-violent, he surprised me by suggesting that there was a lot of sympathy within the police force for the students.

Surprising groups of people are making large political insights.

Thank goodness.

This is absolutely true, but there is a further element to it you don’t touch on. I’m in my 30s, a lawyer, feel complete sympathy for the students’ complaints about fee rises and cuts: but I’d never even considered joining one of their protests. Why would I?

Last night the tweets from anguished parents, students trapped for hours in the freezing cold in the kettle, reports of officers (with exact numbers recorded) punching and beating young people, all sent my blood pressure through the roof. This was grotesque bullying by the police, aimed at intimidating and dissuading more legitimate, lawful protest.

I am furious about all of this. Far from losing sympathy, having seen videos on YouTube from within the kettle, I feel like getting out there and joining the next protest. When democratic protest is attacked in this high handed way it goes way further than the issue at hand. My view is whatever the right wing papers try to say, yesterday backfired royally on the “authorities” and I’m sure many middle class parents will be feeling the same. Keep protesting students: it’s your right and you have many, many people behind you.

6. Chaise Guevara

@ 4

While the police and student protesters are not natural friends, I imagine levels of solidarity are higher than usual as the police fear the impact of cuts too. The divide and rule tactic doesn’t really work on the individual level in this sort of situation.

“where will people get £9000 from?’

Well fortunately they won’t have to get it from anywhere in those terms, will they?

Nor will they have to pay anything back until they are earning more than 21k – I imagine somewhat more than your waitress earns.
While at 25k they will be paying just £30/month out of £1600 take home pay.

I assumed you explained all this to her?
And that the alternative (which I assume you propose) is that she would be helping to pay?

7 cjcjc

I know you see it as some crusade to tub thump (in virtually every post it seems) that fees are a great idea, and only cost tuppence ha’penny etc., etc…. but frankly people aren’t convinced. Not, I hasten to add because what you are saying isn’t true in arithmetical terms…..but because it’s WRONG.

However much you keep banging on about it, and how people don’t understand, you and other apologists for this policy have already “lost” the argument.

Sadly however, I don’t think it will make that much difference. Most LD’s in parliament don’t have the bollocks to vote this regressive and stupid measure down. I agree with some of the posts above: there IS a surprising amount of support for the protests – but those of us with long memories will remember that the same could be said for some previous protests.

This government isn’t going to buckle like the Thatcherite scum did in the face of the poll tax protests, and the LD collaborators aren’t going to commit suicide by voting this measure down: absent that happening all that can be done is to continue to fight these measures as far as possible, and ensure that there is a viable alternative come the next election.

Not, I hasten to add because what you are saying isn’t true in arithmetical terms…..but because it’s WRONG.

Where have I heard that before?

Oh yes.

2+2=5

That’s it.

Great argument there, “Galen”. Never mind the fact that cjcjcj has pointed out the fact that you wont have to pay back the loans until you’re earning a decent salary, and when you do it will be a small amount each month. No, he’s just WRONG and that’s all there is to it.

9

Pagar, just because you and your compadres have convinced yourself that there is no alternative doesn’t make it right. As discussed on other threads, and more generally, there are lots of diffirent ways to skin a cat with respect to how university education (and other areas of policy) are funded.

We already spend considerably LESS than the OECD average on university education, and yet no other country in Europe expects students to pay fees in this way. I haven’t noticed the sky falling in those countries, or their governments and people clamouring to introduce a similar system.

Now you can keep insisting that “there is no alternative” until you are blue in the face, but don’t expect the rest of us to accept that your lazy assumption is “fact”, still less that it is the best way to fund tertiary education.

10

cjcjc continually repeating the mantra doesn’t make the policy any more “correct” to those (probably he majority in the country never mind more narrowly on LC) who just don’t buy the policy.

It is the principle people object to, not the fact it will cost £30 a month, or that it only applies over a certain salary, or that it disappears after 30 years.

So what if other European countries run their education systems? You always protest when people suggest we should be cutting like Ireland or Greece, and I presume you think we should go down the stimulus path like the US. But then you will probably moan and gnash your teeth over how awful the US system is, where students pay much higher fees, despite US universities being the best in the world.

You cannot just ignore the arguments and the evidence, and say “let’s do what Europe does” when it comes to education, but then reject this approach when it comes to other areas of policy.

Never mind any of that, you’re just RIGHT and everyone else is WRONG, naturally.

I’m not repeating a mantra – actually that is what you are doing!

(“…because it’s WRONG”)

I’m just repeating the facts.
Which have not been well communicated by the govt. and have been cycnically distorted by the policy’s opponents.

@cjcjc

Did you go to university? If so, how much did you pay?

Given its such a small deal, I suppose you wouldn’t mind being saddled with £40k of debt right now then?

I know people who’d be put off going to university, or just plain not be able to afford to go even though they’re more than bright enough. I guess you don’t care about them then?

1.
cjcjc and pagar conveniently ignore that thanks to their idols in government teaching budgets at Universities will face enormous cuts ranging from 80 to 100%.

You don’t bang on about that, do you?

2.
The normalisation of debt.
This is an issue that you guys keep dodging.

3.
The fact that nowhere else in Western Europe higher education is going to be nowhere near as expensive. You’ll probably repeat a passage from the Gospel of Free Market Truths 14:9 and say that “oh-but-we-have-five-universities-in-the-worlds-universities-ranking”.
Who gives a flying monkeys about the world ranking? Barring those who are super rich already it aint gonna put bread on your table!
Why can the Swedes and the Germans do it and we can’t?

4.
If so many people are going to repay such a small amount how is the system going to be sustainable. Some of your mates on previous thread have been peddling the myth that the gap will be made up by those who’ll earn in excess of £40K/£50K. But how many will get to that income? Lord Browne himself said that only the top 40% of earners will pay back close to the full amount. Does it sound sustainable to you?

5.
Protests have been 99.9% extremely peaceful. This is excellent. The Daily Mail and the loonie rightists will always try and cling on to a student shouting too much or another swearing. They’ve always used this tactic. But they’ve already lost the public argument.

13

I’ve never said that cuts weren’t necessary, as even a cursory glance at previous posts would demonstrate. There is nothing exceptional about arguing that the cuts are too deep and too fast….. it’s hardly something you can present as a wild and whacky view.

As I also pointed out in another thread yesterday, there are admirable things about some aspects of the US system, and others that aren’t (as could be said for health care). Once again however, the US spends significantly more in % terms than we do.

What I’m arguing is that we should be increasing not decreasing the amount we devote to education, so obviously I’m going to disagree with the kinds of polices you and cjcjc approve of. There is no reason we couldn’t fund it; it just means figuring out where relative priorities are, and where the money would come from.

Your “evidence”, like mine, has a basis in what you believe our priorities should be, and what your ideological preferences are.

Don’t expect us to swallow the casually tossed out attack that what I am suggesting is equivalent to saying “2+2=5”, whereas what you are saying is objectively correct!

Have banged on about this elsewhere, but the other reason these protests are important is that they inspire – or, at least, spread a little boldness round where there previously was fear.

I’ve been helping organise much smaller protests round libraries etc, and these have all picked up noticeably since the first student action at Milbank. There’s a lot more ‘Bugger it – we’ll take the risk’ around. People do need courage for such protests – a small library leafleting session may not look like much but it actually is when you realise that people who participate in those things will probably be restructured out of their jobs for their trouble.

“I know people who’d be put off going to university, or just plain not be able to afford to go even though they’re more than bright enough. I guess you don’t care about them then?”

Could you explain exactly how they would not be able to afford to go under the proposed arrangements versus the current arrangements?

“Normalisation of debt”

Of course it isn’t a “debt” at all, is it?
It is a contingent tax liability, and a very modest one even at 30k.

It is essentially a graduate tax, but of limited scale and duration.

19

“Could you explain exactly how they would not be able to afford to go under the proposed arrangements versus the current arrangements?”

Yeah, sorry..this IS looking VERY much like a mantra, because you repeat it at every available opportunity – indeed one might even thing you dreamt the policy up your seem so enamoured of it!

The current arrangements may very well be an improvement for some less well off prospective students. The problem is (both with these proposals and the current ones) that they do and will put young people off. My daughter is in first year at Uni, and I know plenty of her year group who have either decided not to bother going, or are taking years off to figure out what to do, or have decided to stay at home rather than go away to Uni as it will be cheaper.

Others have changed courses or lowered their sights due to worries about the future debt they will incur, and their prospects of getting a job when they finish their courses. Some of these people don’t have much prospect of family financial support, and others do…. but either way, being saddled with a debt/loan/graduate tax is affecting their decisions.

Just WHAT is it about any of this you don’t understand?

You REALLY believe that none of this is happening? Or you just think it’s just tough, and they have to get used to it? The tax liability won’t aply to those who don’t earn enough, and won’t matter to those rich enough (or with rich parents to help them), so the burden will …surprise, surprise…. fall disproportionately on those who manage to get decent jobs, and those whose “middling income” families help them out rather than see them faced with another burden.

£30/month out of £16000 – oh the BURDEN, the BURDEN

I respect your argument from principle.

But the affordability argument is clearly bollocks.

But I can see why it is being made – rather, no, actually extremely cynically – to stir up kids who haven’t checked out the facts.

Ooops – £1600 obviously – wrong mantra there….

Don’t expect us to swallow the casually tossed out attack that what I am suggesting is equivalent to saying “2+2=5?, whereas what you are saying is objectively correct!

Apologies for that- I was merely pointing out that arithmetic is not a matter of opinion.

But nobody has addressed CJCJ’s question as to how it is equitable that Adam’s course should be funded by the tax paid by the girl serving his pizza on the post demo scoff up. Why should she be compelled to pay for the improvement in Adam’s life chances that his further education will bring?

Actually, I can’t quite understand the logic of student loans (why not a graduate tax) except that the sums mentioned focus the attention of the young people that their education is not paid for by magic money and the fact that there is a personal element to the debt tends to focus minds on the value of the course in terms of future employment. No more David Beckham studies?

My son is at university and, during his first year, he was only required to attend lectures and tutorials on one day per week. The students on his course got together and approached the Faculty to say they felt this wasn’t good enough and they wanted more eduction for their money.

Wouldn’t have happened in my day!!!!!!

21

You may find it easy to be blase about £30 a month from your salary, you might find most students somewhat less sympathetic to your argument if you sat down and tried to survive when they graduate and (hopefully) get a job. Of course, the other thing is that whatever they say about the amounts now, they will inevitably increase, particularly for top flight universities.

No doubt all the apologists for this policy will crawl out of the woodwork then to insist it is inevitable, and still worth the money, and come out with the same obfuscation that measures will be taken to promote access to top flight uni’s …. yeah, right.

No-one is being blase about anything.

But are you seriously suggesting that £30 out of £1600 take home is a (capital letters) BURDEN?

#23
“Why should she be compelled to pay for the improvement in Adam’s life chances that his further education will bring?

Because one day she will need doctors to look after her and her family or well-trained carers or social workers. She may need lawyers and advisers, tax experts and consultants. Her children will need good and well-qualified teachers. They will need a dentist and so on.
That’s why.

By the same token, why should I -healthy person, non smoker and casual drinker- pay towards the NHS for all those alky layabouts, heavy smokers and binge-eaters who scoffs pie after pay day in day out.

Can you see why that logic is warped?

By the way I still see you’re glossing over the massive cuts in university teaching departments.

Are there no teachers, doctors or dentists in (eg) the US?

(NOT that I support the US system of student finance…)

And how on earth do they manage to have 13 / top 20 world universities?

It’s a mystery.

“By the way I still see you’re glossing over the massive cuts in university teaching departments.”

They won’t be cut if the student demand is there, will they?

23 pagar

“But nobody has addressed CJCJ’s question as to how it is equitable that Adam’s course should be funded by the tax paid by the girl serving his pizza on the post demo scoff up.”

Perhaps nobody addressed it because it’s just such a load of old bollocks?

Most of us wage slaves have to pay taxes. Some of that money goes on things we might not individually approve of, like personal photographers for David Cameron, or any number of other things. Everyone’s list would be subtly different.

Who knows though, perhaps there are even some pizza servers out there who can see the value of art for art’s sake (or quantum physics for quantum physics sake, etc., etc).

Students will already be paying for their education through general taxation, much as I am doing for mine.

I’d be a tad more convinced by this argument about teaching students the value of their education, and showing them that there isn’t a magic money tree etc., if the government was already spending enough on education.

It isn’t.

When it starts doing that, and if it STILL isn’t enough, then maybe I’d be more persuaded that some form of top up is either necessary or justified. Until they do that, and stop mis-allocating our money in other areas, and stop simply not being diligent enough in collecting more via taxes and closing loopholes for the rich and large companies, I will continue to oppose this policy.

Now you can keep insisting that “there is no alternative” until you are blue in the face, but don’t expect the rest of us to accept that your lazy assumption is “fact”, still less that it is the best way to fund tertiary education.

One alternative is that people who have never been to university subsidise those who do go even more than they do already. Which is soooooo much fairer, obviously.

21

FFS! It’s £30 they won’t have to spend on something else, whether it is on beer, a pension, a mortgage, transport, holidays etc.

From £1600 a month most will be paying several hundred a month in rent, another few hundred in transport costs, food & general living expenses another few hundred, and they keep being told they have to save for the future and have a pension, they’ll need a HUGE deposit to have any hope of getting a mortgage in comparison to when we started out. And of course many of them (particularly from poorer backgrounds) will probably have some debt to pay off from their time as a student.

Now tell us again how easy it is to pay.

#27
Are there no teachers, doctors or dentists in (eg) the US?

Yeah and it may have escaped your notice that 700,000 people go bankrupt because of health costs and 14 per cent (32m) of adults lack basic literacy skills, in the US of A.

I’m not sure many people would want to live in a system like that.

Yuo do, because like hormonal kids, you get all excited when you read they have Universities in “the top 50 ranking”. And my brother is stronger than yours.

Galen,

You are correct there are such things as public goods. However, I’m sure you’d agree that there is a disproportionate good enjoyed by the student graduating. His/her direct benefit dwarfs that enjoyed by the non-uni-going bricklayer down the road.

The question then is what proportion of the cost of a degree should be borne by the student? I’m assuming we agree the answer is not 0% or 100%? So out of interest, what would you regard as fair? That’s ‘fair’ to both the tax-payer and the student?

Less on beer and holidays?

THE HORROR

27

Part of the reason they have more of the world’s top universities is that they spend more as a % than we do; same applies to the standard of hospitals in the USA. I wouldn’t want their health care system any more than I would want their education system however.

If we spent more like the OECD average, no doubt we could propel more of our uni’s into the top league in the world. It’s hardly likely to come about as a result of Coalition policies in my view.

There are lots of reasons why US (and other anglophone) uni’s predominate in league tables, not all to do with money spent.

Indeed they do.

The difference in both cases being extra private spending.

32 Ted

I refer you to the last para of my post #28 above.

I’ll accept the necessity for the amount to be > 0% when this or another government increases the % we spend on education to more like the OECD average.

It’s a perfectly defensible position thet the amount should be zero. As you say there are certain public goods, and if you are going to single out provision of university education as one of the few (or only?) things which requires a direct contribution, why not go the whole hog and do it for other areas? The reason of course is because it wouldn’t work.

Why shouldn’t smokers or the obese pay a premium for the extra burden they impose on the health service? Why should people who aren’t interested in sport subsidise the Olympics? Why should people outside the SE subsidise commuters working in the home counties?

33

Ah yes… “let them eat cake”. We might have expected as much.

Excellent article, Adam. The government is clearly becoming desperate and will use any tactic available to discredit student action.

Kate makes a very important point. Yesterday’s fantastic protests (and the ongoing occupations) will definitely galvanise people; both those involved and the broader public. Its impossible not to be impressed by these students and schoolkids; how engaged they are, their commitment, and, frankly, their more-than-justified anger.

From what I’m reading many of the school pupils are acting with the full support of their parents and the tacit support of their teachers. I’ve also heard that security staff at at least one of the university occupations are being warmly co-operative with the students, not least since the defence of working conditions of uni staff are prominent in the occupiers demands.

Everyone involved is showing the public that the cuts do not have to be accepted. The mood amongst the students may well soon spread to the other parts of society facing Osborne’s axe. By the time austerity really bites in 2011-12, the popular backlash could be massive.

In the immediate term, the increasingly marginalised NUS leadership will have to respond to the anger coming out of the grassroots that they have so far failed to effectively communicate. Union and civil society leaderships elsewhere will face similar challenges from the mounting anger of their own members in the coming months.

I was concerned a couple of weeks ago that a 50,000 strong demonstration intended to draw attention to the marketisation of Universities had ended up drawing more attention to a few broken windows and an idiot throwing a fire extinguisher. But these protests are so clearly spontaneous and emanating from real, popular anger, that press smears will lack all credibility. And as Adam points out, millions of people will know someone directly affected by this issue. Their sympathy for the cause will come directly from their own experience.

And whilst I don’t think the tiny few who took to smashing things up have helped very much, not least since provoking the police is a very dangerous business, it is the sight of the state attacking kids and young people – via brutal police actions yesterday, and via the cuts themselves – that really turns my stomach. I suspect that will not be a minority reaction.

@ Claude

By the same token, why should I -healthy person, non smoker and casual drinker- pay towards the NHS for all those alky layabouts, heavy smokers and binge-eaters who scoffs pie after pay day in day out.

Like you, I’m in favour of abolishing the NHS for this very reason.

@ Galen

Who knows though, perhaps there are even some pizza servers out there who can see the value of art for art’s sake

And if she doesn’t? Why should she be forced to pay for Adam to study it?

And how did Shakespeare manage to write all those plays when there was no Arts Council in the 16th Century?

Most of us wage slaves have to pay taxes. Some of that money goes on things we might not individually approve of, like personal photographers for David Cameron, or any number of other things.

So why don’t we agree to all spend our money on things we DO approve of? Is that really such a bizarre notion?

Actually I know the answer to this one.

It’s because we’d probably squander it on things that we don’t really want. Inherently, we lack responsibility and the Government knows better than we do ourselves what is good for us.

Don’t they?

thanks cjcjc,

you just gave me some inspiration. a href=”http://mymarilyn.blogspot.com/2010/11/why-should-i-pay-for-their-university.html”>”Each for himself and god for us all”

#40
I’m not in favour of abolishing the NHS. Mine was a paradox.

This is what I was trying to link earlier. See I went to Uni and I can’t even link properly.

Each for themselves and god for us all

Why should people who aren’t interested in sport subsidise the Olympics? Why should people outside the SE subsidise commuters working in the home counties?

More excellent questions.

40 pagar

“So why don’t we agree to all spend our money on things we DO approve of? Is that really such a bizarre notion?”

Perhaps because we live in a complex 21st century society and not some bucolic 17th century arcadian fantasy?

Spare us the pseudo-anarchistic reductio ad absurdam. Your original position is ridiculous enough.

@ Galen10:

Smokers do pay a premium in terms of tax on cigarettes. There’s a strong argument for taxing fatty foods too to reflect their social costs. You’re arguing that the existence of graduates in the professions is an externality for which pizza waitresses should be paying. There is, perhaps, an argument which says that a sufficiently skilled workforce which produces enough wealth to allow people to buy pizza is an externality for which that waitress should be paying, but that’s not the same thing as saying that higher education should be free and paid from by general taxation. It is, however, an argument for funding more economically useful courses, where the externality can be demonstrated. You’re still not going to get media studies paid for by the taxpayer.

Congratulations to the students and especially to the younger set. It is heartwarming that you are finding your voice.

As a longstanding supporter of changing the voting age to 16, this surely has got to be an excellent argument against all those who claim kids wouldn’t know what they are talking about.

It is about the future.

Well all those *are* good questions.

Again, to be clear, I fully respect the argument of those who say that general taxes should pay for tertiary education just as for secondary, though I may disagree.

What I do not respect is being told that £30 out of £1600 is an unbearable burden!

At the risk of sounding controversial, if anything the most reasonable argument over Universities was what the Tories proposed in the run-up to the 2005 Election.

They argued for a massive expansion of vocational qualifications and apprenticeships and much much stricter admission criteria to University – BUT- that’s what they said at the time in exchange University would be free and all tuition fees scrapped.

Of course the Tories were being as opportunistic as the Lib Dems were and Labour are being now (keeping up with the tree parties’ stance on university fees in the last five years will give you a migraine).

But I think that while we all agree that Tony Blair’s old 50% target was mental (as well as counterproductive) you’re not going to improve higher education by massively cutting teaching budgets and trebling tuition fees.

45

What I’m arguing is that if you are going to change the way education is funded to make students pay in this way, then logically you ought to be supporting just those kind of measures….. but of course those on the right (and their dupes in the LD’s of course…and yes, I do count New Labour as being on the right and I do know “they started it”) who are most strident in pushing for this policy wouldn’t dream of doing it…..why not? Because they have an ideological agenda.

As I said above, convince me that we are actually paying a fair whack, and that we aren’t wasting money elsewhere and/or letting fat cats off the hook, and I’ll accept that there ought to be an element of direct payment. Until that is done, it just looks like more right wing obfuscation making the little people pay taxes.

pagar – right-winger says we shouldn’t be funding any sort of welfare state shocker. And then you sound shocked when lefties say the opposite. How about saying somrthing original for once?

“But I think that while we all agree that Tony Blair’s old 50% target was mental”

I’m not sure everyone does agree.

“They argued for a massive expansion of vocational qualifications and apprenticeships and much much stricter admission criteria to University”

cf. Germany – how’s that approach (taken before uni I believe in their case) working out for their competitiveness….?

Still, imagine the protests if people outside the top 15% academically were told they had to learn how to *actually make stuff*.

47

“What I do not respect is being told that £30 out of £1600 is an unbearable burden!”

What I don’t respect is a mono-maniac one trick pony who can’t see that:

1) £30 a month might be the difference between being solvent and not being solvent, and

2) it is a racing certainty that the £30 will soon be a lot more as the fees keep going up.

i grew to detest the middle classes during the labour years, but ive never been so disgusted with them.

rioting to protect labour’s status quo. and they say its is ‘solidarity’ with us who were fucked over repeatedly by labour. fuck off and stop using us to protect privileges we never had.

im sick of hearing that ‘its going to put poor people off”. how many ‘poor people’ do you think go to uni every year anyway? how many make it thrugh labours shitty schools, even? this isnt about us. its about protecting the entitlements of the few.

It’s hardly “monomaniacal” to refer to the facts.
You need to look that word up, along with “mantra”.

“£30 a month might be the difference between being solvent and not being solvent”
You are getting desperate.
The payment as you know will be 9% of any *additional* salary.
Salary rises, even if you can only keep 93% of them, rarely contribute to insolvency.

Yes, I’m sure fees will continue to rise, as will salaries.
There is no clear reason why the *proportion* of salary paid will increase.

God, I can’t bloody count myself.

I mean 91%.

@Galen10:

I think you misunderstood my point. You’re making the claim that making students pay towards their education because they accrue a net benefit from it is equivalent to claiming that smokers should pay more towards the NHS because the accrue more of a benefit from it. Furthermore, you’re arguing that the lower-paid should pay towards the cost of higher education because they too accrue a benefit from it. My point was that your last move doesn’t work; not all higher education courses will actually provide a benefit to the lower-paid in terms of economic or social outcomes, so claiming that every course should be paid from general taxation doesn’t work. There will be cases in which the benefit accrues entirely to the student, so they should bear the costs.

There’s an interesting debate around how this should be cashed out in practice – I wrote a piece on it a while back here: http://www.libdemvoice.org/opinion-educating-mr-cable-21590.html

Two things:

1. do those in favour of tuition fees support fees for A-levels? If not, why not?
2. those saying “but you’ll only have to pay it back when you earn £X per year” forget that “£X” will not be worth the same amount as it is at present.

Good article OP, more please (articles and protests).

53

Talk about shooting the messenger…..

It isn’t a sin to be the dupe of the ruling class….it is a sin to be proud of it.

Sorry, forgot take tax into account.

21k = 1390 take home
25k = 1616 take home

226 increase
of which 30 payment triggered is 13%

so you end up with 87% of the increase not 91%

still the point holds

@ Galen

£30 a month might be the difference between being solvent and not being solvent

Are we talking about the tax paid by the pizza waitress because I think it’s rather more than that?

61. Cynical/Realist?

cjcjcjcjcjcjcjcjcjcjcjcjcjc – I don’t know entirly where you get your figures from. On earnings of more that the £25k you quote, people already come away with less than £1600. Then there is the fact that £1600 wouldn’t be disposable income anyway – there’s more tax (council at the least) and bills to come from that.

In most areas of the UK £30 a month from a £25k salary would make a very noticable difference.

The ‘graduate tax’ as you put it will also be subject to interest payments (not just inflation as it is now).

I’m not against students contributing to fees in the slightest. My university fees came from a student loan which I was happy to take out, and am happy to pay. I come from a council estate and without that loan uni would have been out of my reach. I don’t believe my further education should have been free, and I am happy to contribute. But its the scale being proposed that is all wrong.

56

Even at the end of your own piece on LibDem voice you admit that since it has no hope of ever getting anywhere near policy, let alone implementation, the best that can be hoped for is “demanding that higher education be paid for by raising capital gains to equal income tax – or simply protected from the cuts entirely”.

The problem with this type of approach of course is who is making the judgement on what courses are seen to be providing a benefit, and how do you quantify such benefits? People can be sold on the utility of funding for medical degrees, engineers etc…but how many classics degrees = 1 medical degree? What is the relative value of different subjects? A first in English from Oxford might easily be seen as worth more than a lower second from an ex-poly, but how about the relative value of lots of other courses?

I’m not quite ready to give up on the concept that there is a place for art for art’s sake, or to roll over in the face of right wing carping about mickey mouse degrees, as though there weren’t similar issues in industry and commerce. It just isn’t as simple as saying we should only subsidise certain degrees and not others.

As I said, I’m willing to be convinced that there is a place for some measure of the student bearing the cost…. I’m just not convinced this is the right way, or that we have adequately explored other avenues.

@ Galen

the Government knows better than we do ourselves what is good for us.

Come on. Let’s reduce this to the key question.

Answer the question.

True or false?

64. Cynical/Realist?

Also, last least on a take home salary a touch above the £25k you mentioned, the student loan repayment worked out at £90 a month – based on a loan well under a third the level now being proposed.

If on a loan of more than three times what I took (as is being proposed), I very much doubt any institution can find a way of making a payment £30 a month on £25k.

65. Chaise Guevara

@ 63

“True or false?”

Depends on the person, depends on the government.

my entire 4 person family lives on close to £1000 a month and will lose more than £30 a month as welfare reforms kick in.

get some perspective.

60

We’re talking about the £30 figure quoted by cjcjc, which as the post @61 points out is probably more of a burden than some people seem to think.

To paraphrase Mr Micawber: “Monthly income 1600 pounds, monthly expenditure 1599, result happiness. Monthly income 1600 pounds, monthly expenditure 1630 pounds, result misery.”

I’m told the students reached boiling point yesterday in that kettle.

also – none of us have degrees. because degrees are not a ‘right’ and have never been a ‘right’, they are a privilege which mostly benefits the relatively wealthy and which themselves act to both create and perpetuate inequality and a class divide.

while people are trying to defend this massively unequal status quo- claiming they do so in the name of ‘solidarity’ with those who experience more negative effects from it than positive- there is a serious lack of honest and intelligent discussion about what universities are and what they do for some people at the expense of others.

i do not believe the hype.

It’s a perfectly defensible position thet the amount should be zero. As you say there are certain public goods, and if you are going to single out provision of university education as one of the few (or only?) things which requires a direct contribution, why not go the whole hog and do it for other areas? The reason of course is because it wouldn’t work.

But education isn’t being singled out and this system works in plenty of other spheres. The National Theatre is subsidised. So is the RSC and every museum you go into. But the person who goes to watch The Nutcracker still pays for a ticket. If I’m sitting at home watching ‘X-Factor’ I don’t have to cough up as well, do I? Rather, I’ve already coughed up through the subsidy but it’s accepted that those accessing this particular public good pay a premium for so doing. Anyone who argued they ought not to would be laughed out of court. But you think in the case of HE a 0% contribution by the student is defensible? Go figure.

Which is not to say that I reject the idea of pure public goods. I think the NHS is a good example where a premium shouldn’t be necessary. The smoker and obese patient examples don’t fly as health is an area where such distinctions are genuinely unworkable. You couldn’t stop at smokers and over-eaters. What about car drivers, and scuba divers, and people who spend their working lives sitting down and are therefore more likely to be unfit and develop back problems, etc., etc.? HE funding does not suffer these same complications. I believe in the subsidy for the public good arguments proffered above, but there’s nothing remotely unworkable about a system that says those who directly access this good (and therefore benefit disproportionately) should pay a premium. Just like our theatre, ballet and opera-going friends.

63

What Chaise said @65.

It’s obvious from your posts that you actually believe in some fantasy society where the itsy witsy teeny weeny government does the bare minimum, and you get to keep as much as possible of your money for yourself.

Meanwhile, those of us who don’t think life would be better lived in some Hobbesian nightmare of “all against all” will try and deal with the world as it is, not engage in fruitless Bog Society fantasies.

@Galen10:

It’s clear that is the problem – but by refusing to put in place a mechanism for doing that the problem doesn’t go away. That was the purpose of the consortium of research councils, industry and the public sector I identified in the article – to actually make progress. As brutal as it sounds, if you’re taking away money from poor people to pay for the education of middle class kids, you better make sure those poor people will see some results. Given that, while it’s not the case that we should subsidise some degree courses and not others, it is the case that we should fund some combination of adequately talented students and appropriate courses.

While it’s clear that you’re not convinced with the implementation of costs for students (and neither am I, as is obvious), it’s also clear that this implementation is preferable to some others – the graduate tax, for example, which will hit badly-paid graduates more heavily than the system currently espoused by the Government.

70 Ted

Sorry, your argument doesn’t follow: seems to me there is actually very little difference between maintaining that the NHS ought to be free, and that HE ought to be free. If on the other hand you see no way that HE should be free, the same ought to hold true for the NHS…?

my entire 4 person family lives on close to £1000 a month and will lose more than £30 a month as welfare reforms kick in.

Moreoever, you have no choice in the matter. The last time I checked, going to uni was not compulsory.

75. Cynical/Realist?

@69

So we should scrap higher education to achieve a more equal world? Or we should restrict it completly to the upper classes and not help anyone further down the order get in? Not sure of your point.

I’m against the cuts because I believe the fees structure proposed will make it very difficult for people from poorer backgrounds to access the full level of funding they need and so will block them accessing higher education.

And if you want to engage in ‘income top trumps’, when I went to uni our family income was much less than £10k per year (4 person family, so you don’t feel we were living the high life). And I even then only just made the sums work to keep me in uni.

I was happy to work part time while at uni. I was/am happy to pay a proportion of the fees back from my salary. But not at the levels proposed now.

Sorry, your argument doesn’t follow: seems to me there is actually very little difference between maintaining that the NHS ought to be free, and that HE ought to be free. If on the other hand you see no way that HE should be free, the same ought to hold true for the NHS…?

Not sure why you’re asking a question that I dealt ewith head-on in my previous comment.

Not all public goods are identical. Based on the fact that nobody deliberately gets ill whereas going into HE is a voluntary act, and given the benefits derived in each case are (in the case of treatment for an illness) return to the health status quo versus considerable personal and professional development with a not inconsiderable leg-uo the careers ladder, I’d say you have apples and oranges.

Do you think it’s unreasonable that those visiting our subsidied theatres are asked to contribute more of the cost (through ticket prcies) than those who don’t?

69

Rather than revelling in your victimhood, perhaps the way you should look at it is that it isn’t middle class freeloading on university costs that is your problem, it’s something a tad broader than that?

There are as the post @ 75 said plenty of examples of people from poor backgrounds who have gone on to get degrees: not enough of course, but the fight now is to ensure the situation improves, not gets worse.

You sitting on the sidelines chucking rocks at the bidding of a bunch of neo-cons might make you feel better, but don’t expect them to help the poor anytime soon except if you’re prepared to wait for some crumbs to trickle down.

My grandfather worked in a foundry and was invalided out. My parents grew up in council houses. I’m the first generation of my family (probably like Mr Kinnock the 1st in a thousand generations) to go to university and get not one but two degrees. My daughter got a place at Oxbridge.

I’m not about to pull the ladder up after me. Now tell me all about how much holier than thou you are.

My daughter got a place at Oxbridge.

Is that just down the road from Camford?

When tuition fees were first introduced in 2007, we were told this was end of the world and no-one who wasn’t the son or daughter of a Duke would bother with HE anymore.

The result? Record applications.

76

I don’t agree you dealt with it head on.

Yes people should pay a contribution for theatre tickets.

Your aples and oranges example doesn’t really advance matters. On the one hand you say people should pay a contribution directly for HE, because as well as being a public good they derive personal benefit. Fair enough. What about A levels then? Aren’t they a choice too?

I accept that getting ill isn’t a choice, but does that then mean that if you go through life never getting ill, you should expect a rebate for not using the NHS?

“You sitting on the sidelines chucking rocks at the bidding of a bunch of neo-cons might make you feel better, but don’t expect them to help the poor anytime soon except if you’re prepared to wait for some crumbs to trickle down.”

im arguing for me and mine, mr two degrees who wants to hold a ladder ‘down’ oh so patronisingly. guess what, i dont believe in ‘social mobility’ fairies either. social mobility requires inequality. you want me to explain it to you?

as for neo-cons – you are arguing in favour of Labour’s system. hypocrisy and self delusion does not even cover it.

So @80 anonyperson, are you saying that University should be abolished, or kept only for the very rich, or what?

see thats part of the problem, people with so little imagination, that have bought so completely into the status quo, that they see only three options:

– abolish higher education
– keep higher education only for the ‘elite’ (wealthy or most academic, take your pick)
– keep the status quo

in reality there are endless other ways we could be doing things. but it hurts to think, doesnt it?

@82 quit being so hostile. If you have ideas then why not share them? rather than beating up everyone in the thread.

78 Ted

I don’t particularly want to be specific as to where she’s going; it isn’t really relevant to the story.

She is however a good example of the kind of student they like: from a state school, passionate about her subject.

Your observation about applications is just trite. There are commonly 9 qualified applicants per place for Oxbridge (more in some subjects like medicine and vet science). Just under 50% of students who go there are from public schools.

We are lucky enough to be able to help our daughter out financially, tho we are by no means wealthy. At least she hopefully won’t leave with crushing debts. However, if you think that fees don’t have an impact you aren’t very well informed.

Do you honestly think that more students from poor, or even realtively modest backgrounds, are going to get into Oxbridge or Russell group universities as a result of current or future policies on HE funding, or that fewer will get in? The likelihood is of course that it will be less…and even worse that fewer will even bother to apply because they can’t (or don’t think they can) afford it.

Of course that may not matter to many people. They either don’t see the need for it at all like our friend anony above, or they simply don’t think it’s a problem, or something we should be bothering about.

Tangentially I have only just noticed that the author of the OP is from “Bright Green Scotland”.

What will happen there, and who will you hang in effigy?!

80

Jeezus, if it wasn’t enough having the usual cadre of Tory trolls, now we have a left wing troll!

I’m not arguing for New Labour policy at all. Anyone who knows me on here will attest to my hostility to the whole nauseating New Labour project.

Carry on being a hopeless dupe for the system you purport to despise so much though; you’re like one of the proles in 1984, too short sighted to see how your knee jerk hostility plays into the hands of ruling class.

I accept that getting ill isn’t a choice, but does that then mean that if you go through life never getting ill, you should expect a rebate for not using the NHS?

Nope, because a significant part of the public good is the knowledge that we will receive medical care if we do become ill. I’d go further that the essence of the public good in this case is the *existence* of a free at the point of delivery health-care system available to all (non-rivalrous, non-excludable). Whether any one of us has cause to avail ourselves of this service is pure chance, but no-one will be doing so voluntarily.

However, if you think that fees don’t have an impact you aren’t very well informed.

Well if you mean the fees that are already in place, then the facts are that they did not depress applications followig their introduction. This is a matter of historical record. If you mean the fees proposals, then truth is that neither of us knows for sure. In any event, “informed” has nothing to do with it. What you really mean is you disagree with my assessment. With respect, I’m not seeing anything from you that hints at your being more informed on this subject.

Do you honestly think that more students from poor, or even realtively modest backgrounds, are going to get into Oxbridge or Russell group universities as a result of current or future policies on HE funding, or that fewer will get in? The likelihood is of course that it will be less…and even worse that fewer will even bother to apply because they can’t (or don’t think they can) afford it.

I accept that this could be a problem., Of course, the plans include provisions that mean the poorest won’t pay any fees at all. But there is a risk that people from poorer backgrounds – who tend to be more debt-averse – may be put off. This is why it’s incumbent on everyone taking part in the debate to be straight about the facts. Touting horror stories of £40k debts is just irresponsible scare-mongering. The repayment terms need to be clearly laid out so all prospective students can make their decisions. Off course, we know that you regard such tranparency as akin to repeating some sort of “mantra”, but I don’t see that prospective students will make worse decisions the more facts they know.

On the one hand you say people should pay a contribution directly for HE, because as well as being a public good they derive personal benefit. Fair enough. What about A levels then? Aren’t they a choice too?

Absolutely they are. The point is that we have to draw lines somewhere. Given ‘A’ levels tend to be taught in the same education establishments that deliver compulsory secondary education, are delivered by the same teachers and last 2 rather than 3, 4 and 5 years, I’m going to guess that they cost the tax-payer considerably less that the subsidy for HE. Factor in that ‘A’ level students aren’t allowed to take a full role in society (cannot vote, for example) and funding their education seems reasonable to me. That said, I have no issue with the logical coherence of an argument that said we should stop funding at 16, albeit I’d oppose it.

What exactly is your argument? It apears to be:

“Here’s an example of a public good with full subsidy; therefore any form of public good no matter how dissimilar and no matter how disproprotionate the benefit to person directly accessing that public good should likewise receive a full subsidy”

?

It’s a nice idea, but then so is my marrying Davina McCall and living in a castle in the highlands.

@ Galen

Rather than revelling in your victimhood, perhaps the way you should look at it is that it isn’t middle class freeloading on university costs that is your problem, it’s something a tad broader than that?

Whatever happened to caring socialists?

You find the first person in months on this site to complain about his “relative poverty”. By way of response you tell him to “grow a pair” because your daughters going to Oxbridge and he should be proud to pay for it.

Priceless…………….

“This is why it’s incumbent on everyone taking part in the debate to be straight about the facts.”

Yes, you would think so, wouldn’t you?
“Touting horror stories of £40k debts is just irresponsible scare-mongering.”

Quite.

“The repayment terms need to be clearly laid out so all prospective students can make their decisions.”

Indeed.

Om mani padme hum
Om mani padme hum

Not really want to join this fascinating debate but would like to point out couple of things:

1 – Despite all the claims UK still has more universities in the top 100 other than that of the US. And that includes all the OECD countries and all the ones everyone seems to tell us to follow.

2 – Higher Education in the US is far better than anywhere else in the world and when people work out Pell Grants, Student Loans as well as University financial aid – in the US at least, no poor student does not go to university because s/he has no funds. In fact, a large part of the most expensive Ivy League schools’ freshman intake come from the public school system and many come from under privileged background. Remember Clinton nor Obama came from privileged backgrounds. So Galen equating US higher education and US healthcare is like equating apples and oranges.

3 – Way before the election and even before Tony Blair’s departure as PM – there has been some serious policy debate about how to fund higher education and keep it world class. So, saying that if Labour was elected, then University funding would remain the same is just lying.

Secondly, one of the reasons I supported David Miliband’s candidacy was his opposition to the half baked idea of graduate tax. While some would call it progressive (which I do not) there are various problems with the idea:

a) What happens to foreign students who pay full fees and then become a resident in this country?

b) What about those EU students who complete their studies and go back?

c) What about people like me who got educated at an American University?

Most problematic of all is the graduate tax does not empower Universities or Students – it empowers bureaucracy. How? The graduate tax pot goes to Whitehall who then would have to decide how much money which University gets? Not a very good way of funding innovative research or teaching is it now?

On student protests – although commentators have been trying to paint them as idealism and a bit romantic, it is going to mount to nothing. No Government worth its salt can change policy over protests – that is called mob rule and it won’t happen.

Everyone is having to cut corners and the solution the Government has come up with actually works for everyone. Only those universities that can demonstrate they are actively pursuing social mobility would be allowed to raise fees to £9000.. So what is so wrong with the policy?

Budget cuts in teaching are taking place but many areas have been ring fenced and as people like Sunny Hundal, Mehdi Hasan and even jeremy Paxman would agree – you really do not need a journalism degree to become a good journalist.

I am sorry but may be I am thick but I don’t see much valid reasons for protest except for raising Aaron Porter’s profile and quick rise into the Westminster village. Yesterday and today, thanks to the TV in my office, I got to watch a lot of students being interviewed including Newsnight and sorry the reasoning for the protest was best given by Paxman and not the students.

Before someone says I don’t know about student power – I did serve as student body president of an American University for two years in a row and managed a budget of over $2 Million during that time – so I understand student power – what I don’t understand is thinking protesting in the streets can bring about policy change? Even in France it stopped happening – remember Arthur Scargill.

So what’s the fuss all about again?

88 pagar

I’m not a socialist, so it’s rather a moot point.

As for our chum anony, he was the one with the atavistic itch to scratch, done in terms that others found just as over the top as I did……. so your point is?

Ah yes, as usual you don’t have one.

90 Shamit

1. Depending on which studies and tables you look at, it is true that US universities dominate, along with the UK and a few other anglophone countries. The reasons for that are pretty complex, not least the fact we “lucked out” by being the de facto global language, as well as other factors like political stability and that many of the institutions concerned have long histories, big endowments and huge and affluent alumni pools. If you took Oxford and Cambridge out of the equation, our performance wouldn’t look as impressive.

The fact that other OECD countries don’t perform as well does not ipso facto support your point that we shouldn’t follow their lead with respect to other areas of HE policy. It’s a tad more complicated than that!

90 Shamit

2. I have some experience of academia in the US too, and actually think the analogy with their health system is pretty apposite. Although much of it is amazingly good, some of it is pretty mediocre both in terms of teaching, and the academic quality of the students.

Whilst it is true that many students from poor backgrounds get bursaries and lots of help to go to Ivy League schools, many many more do not. Further many from middle income backgrounds end up depending heavily on their parents (who save for years and years), on working during their degrees and on student loans. You’ll find many in the US both students and HE professionals who think we are crazy to be going down the same path, as they don’t think it works that well there.

So…. the analogy still stands I reckon; I’m not saying they are directly comparible, but there are certainly enough similarities. Their system reflects a different social, political and educational history….. I don’t think we should be sleep walking into implementing the same thing here is all!

Galen –

Thank you for your response.

And I agree with much of it. However, I do not think its that bad an idea to let mediocre students to go to University. But I also do not think its appropriate for the tax payer to fully fund such studies.

I really do not think we are going down the US route – in fact the very good things about US universities seem to have escaped us even though there is now more collaboration between business and academia. One of the main reasons US has the most Noble Prizes is the private sector funding of research.

But in essence I do agree with your points especially the point about middle classes. And that is so true in this country as well – if entire education were to be funded through the public purse, it would be the middle – middle classes that get hurt most. Because their disposable incomes would drop considerably but won’t affect the rich or the poort.

Coming back to the higher education policy as laid out by this government – I do not see any alternatives being floated out there.

The biggest argument seems to be its unfair – yes its unfair for asking the next generation to pay for excesses of the previous generation. But thats where the unfairness stops.

This over blown rhetoric about ruining futures is simply not true. Society is still subsidising – because cost of educating one graduate is far higher than £27,000 in 3 years. So society is not putting all the burden on the students.

Second, the loans are being underwritten by the taxpayer and hence society is taking a risk on these students – and while we hope many of them would be able to pay them back – we also know some of them would not be able to.

Third and most importantly, EDUCATION REMAINS FREE AT THE POINT OF DELIVERY

Fourth – we are an island nation and innovation and our knowledge and skills would be the only way we can compete effectively in a global economy. And we should aim to build world class businesses based on innovation as their competitive advantage – to do that you need good and well funded universities.

But all of the funding should not be coming from the state – universities need to commercialise its research, raise funds through its alumni and effectively use auxilliary enterprises which could be profit making such as consulting etc. Some of the Universities in the UK do the last bit very well.

The reason the government had to come up with this policy is because of the concept of universal benefits – otherwise why in our right mind would we subsidise education for someone wearing designer jeans and driving Porsches or BMW’s etc etc.

95. Daniel Factor

“And so it was with the waitress who brought me my post-protest Pizza tonight. She was worried about her windows being smashed. She was cross with the protest. But she had decided that she opposed increases in fees ‘where will people get £9000 from?’.”

So this pizza waitress is worried about getting her windows smashed in but she opposes increases in tuition fees. Should she decide that if the protestors smash her windows it is only part of their justified anger towards tuition fees?
No!

Didn’t even have a working class friend to make an anecdote from, this revolutionary had to consult the help.

Oop sorry, there’s my unfriendly tone again. Problematic, isn’t it.

cjcjc: “But are you seriously suggesting that £30 out of £1600 take home is a (capital letters) BURDEN?”

You appear to be missing the point. The point is not the repayments, it is the *risk* of the debt, and the interest mounting up on that debt. What if interest rates rise dramatically? What if inflation devalues the earnings threshold such that you have to pay back your loan even when you’re earning barely enough to live on? What if you suspect you won’t easily get a job, and the interest mounts?

That’s what will deter people of limited means, especially from subjects which either require a long course or don’t end in a job that pays well quickly. People don’t like the idea of being saddled with an unpayable debt until they die.

And as for the argument that people not earning much don’t have to pay – how long will that actually last? If, as Browne predicts, a lot of these debts won’t get fully paid, how long will it take before right wingers start directing their ire at low paid former students, insisting they have a moral responsibility to the taxpayer to take any higher paying job? What about people in debt to the taxpayer having the nerve to claim benefits!? It won’t take long before lowering/scrapping the income threshold is right wing orthodoxy, to incentivise repayment.


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    Why the student protests are unlikely to backfire despite the coverage http://bit.ly/hqXznU expla …

  22. willo madeley

    RT @aaronjohnpeters: @UCLOccupation
    Why the student protests are unlikely to backfire despite the coverage http://bit.ly/hqXznU expla …

  23. UWE against cuts

    RT @aaronjohnpeters: @UCLOccupation
    Why the student protests are unlikely to backfire despite the coverage http://bit.ly/hqXznU expla …

  24. Nishma Doshi

    Valid points by @AdamRamsay, as ever – Why the student protests are unlikely to backfire despite the coverage http://bit.ly/hqXznU

  25. DrKMJ

    RT @aaronjohnpeters: @UCLOccupation
    Why the student protests are unlikely to backfire despite the coverage http://bit.ly/hqXznU expla …

  26. DrKMJ

    Why the student protests are unlikely to backfire despite the coverage http://tinyurl.com/39zq38w Worth reading!

  27. ashley

    RT @AdamRamsay: RT @libcon Why the student protests are unlikely to backfire despite the coverage http://bit.ly/hqXznU <<by me

  28. Noxi

    RT @sunny_hundal: Why the student protests are unlikely to backfire despite the coverage http://bit.ly/hqXznU explains @AdamRamsay #demo2010

  29. Noxi

    RT @sunny_hundal: Why the student protests are unlikely to backfire despite the coverage http://bit.ly/hqXznU explains @AdamRamsay #demo2010

  30. Demsey Abwe

    RT @aaronjohnpeters: @UCLOccupation
    Why the student protests are unlikely to backfire despite the coverage http://bit.ly/hqXznU expla …

  31. Sarah Duff

    Excellent post >> RT @sunny_hundal Why the student protests are unlikely to backfire http://bit.ly/hqXznU explains @AdamRamsay

  32. Deb

    RT @aaronjohnpeters: @UCLOccupation
    Why the student protests are unlikely to backfire despite the coverage http://bit.ly/hqXznU expla …

  33. Tony Dowling

    RT @June4th: RT @sunny_hundal: Why the student protests are unlikely to backfire despite the coverage http://bit.ly/hqXznU explains @Ada …

  34. earwicga

    Why the student protests are unlikely to backfire despite the coverage | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/1XRlTYs via @libcon

  35. Assonga

    RT @AdamRamsay: RT @libcon Why the student protests are unlikely to backfire despite the coverage http://bit.ly/hqXznU <<by me

  36. Rachel Hubbard

    Why the student protests are unlikely to backfire despite the coverage | Liberal Conspiracy: http://bit.ly/eCUu7g via @addthis

  37. Syed Choudhury

    RT @sunny_hundal Why the student protests are unlikely to backfire despite the coverage http://bit.ly/hqXznU explains @AdamRamsay

  38. Political Dynamite

    Why the student protests are unlikely to backfire despite the coverage | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/mG6ndoe via @libcon

  39. Greener London

    RT @PolDyn: Why the student protests are unlikely to backfire despite the coverage | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/mG6ndoe via @libcon

  40. MarinaS

    Best refutation of "tone arguments" yet; replace "students" with any group facing cuts and the equasion stands. http://tinyurl.com/3yg4dak

  41. Uloma

    Why the student protests are unlikely to backfire despite the coverage | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/yTNDy64 via @libcon





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