Another Wednesday, another set of student protests but am I alone in thinking everyone has missed the point of this ?
In Kingston, there was no sign of protest outside the University and my guess is the bulk of the 18,000 students are more interested in working hard to get a degree and to get a good job either here or (regrettably) overseas. It is typical of the poor quality of media reporting that a few anarchists and troublemakers in London are portrayed as being representative of all students.
Of course, students are angry but the world has moved on and as I resent those who have retired with huge redundancy and pension pay-offs in the past ten years to which I will never be entitled, there is for me that recognition that the world has changed. The student of 2010 cannot expect the same as the student of 1980 if, for no other reason than the sheer numbers of young people going into University has increased exponentially.
The anger achieves nothing, Nick Clegg has railed at the victimisation and it was politically naive to advocate the ending of tuition fees at a time of national financial austerity but the argument has been lost and student life will have to adapt much as it hears it has adapted to prosperity. If the well-heeled students of Kingston are any guide and the large number of expensive cars at the Halls of Residence are any guide, it appears student life has already moved on.