Thursday, November 11, 2010

The honeymoon is over are we going Back to the Future?

How apt perhaps that in the same month that the 25th Anniversary for Back to the Future is released into the cinemas in the UK, then we have scenes yesterday rather reminiscent of the 1980's. I speak of course of the violence that erupted on the streets of London during a usual peaceful student demonstration.

No one condones violence and it is clear that those perpetratng the crimes will be punished, the police will also examine their handling of the situation. However I think this does emphasise the beginning of a more turbulent, dare I say traditional form of politics. The angry demonstration synonymous with the anti-Thatcher anger of the 1980's was on display for the first time in many years.
Certainly the heady mix, of occupied buildings, fires, mass placade waving and destruction of property had more in common with the poll tax riots of the early 90's than the anti-war demos of the last decade?

It must be a very interesting dynamic for Nick Clegg at the moment to be on the inspiration of effigies rather than leading the charge of demonstrators who tradionally burn them. The anger is real; although as NUS President Aaron Porter highlighted, yesterday won the student movement no fans. Why so angry? Is it based on the hypocrisy of the Lib-Dems switiching their anti-fees stance, one that defined them until May of this year to get into bed with a more conservative government than any really thought possible?

I should make the point of course that Clegg was never really against tuition fees / top-up fees, in fact he was minded to dump that election promise in March of this year, but was talked out of it by many in his party.

So the frustration and aggravation of students was on show yesterday, that was merely the swig of water before the starter is chosen, things will get much, much worse...

A new type of politics?
The contrary Mr Clegg a rather old type of politics is at work.


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