Where were you on 31 March 1990? There’s a good chance that at least one of you was in Trafalgar Square protesting about the Poll Tax – a demonstration that turned rather icky.
Yesterday’s demo in London saw 50,000 students marching against the increase in tuition fees – that screeching handbrake turn that will haunt Nick Clegg for ever. It’s quite right that they should demonstrate. University education benefits everyone and slapping the cost up will, despite Cleggy’s sugary words, inevitably and inexorably restrict it to the sprogs of the better off. (What do you want to be when you leave Eton and Oxbridge, son? Chairman of the BBC or Prime Minister.)
What is sad about yesterday is that, also it seems inevitably and inexorably, it turned into a smash-fest at Millbank Tower. (I digress momentarily to suggest that, as this is one of the ugliest buildings in London, was Cameron’s campaign HQ and had previously housed the egregious Mandelson, it should be bulldozed forthwith and the site ploughed with salt.)
No. What is REALLY sad is that the violence and thuggery lets the Boy David off the hook. He managed to take five minutes out from his first big international freebie to talk about it and he can concentrate on the broken glass and the spray tagging rather than why so many people are so dreadfully pissed off with his policy. (I discount Cleggy at this point – that back-flipping little runt has gone feral.) Even Baroness Warsi – the Dolores Umbridge of modern politics – jumped on the wizard night bus and went straight for the platitude potion.
We are, at least, back in the pattern. Tory government = riots in the streets.
This is not the first and it will not be the last.
You have been warned.