Later, my return journey proved decidedly more difficult as I tried to make my way through this dense throng of baying ‘students’ to make my way back to Victoria to catch the train back to Wivelsfield.
Did the underground stop at Victoria? No of course it didn’t, the driver made an announcement informing us that some ‘students’ had set fire to part of Victoria Station so the train would not be stopping!
How I returned to Sussex is unimportant but I was grateful to catch a lift from one of my sons who later headed in that direction. Later as we discussed my earlier experience I told him that had he been amongst that crowd which I had witnessed in The Strand, or if he had set fire to Victoria Station, broken windows at the Treasury, daubed pain on the statue of Sir Winston Churchill, climbed upon the Cenotaph, attacked the car carrying the prince of Wales or done any of the damage which was reported, I would have disowned him and recommended that he never again receive state support for his education or anything else for that matter.
I believe the so called ‘students’; (I suspect many were not) who behaved in this thuggish manner should have their state support withdrawn, be made to get a job and pay for their own education. This would then demonstrate just how serious they are about learning.
It is partly the fault of our system but the British on the whole do not appear to appreciate what a privilege it is to receive tax payers money which pays for their education. It has for too long been taken for granted and people now believe it is their ‘right’.
When I witnessed the aggression on the faces of many of those in the crowd pushing towards Parliament and saw the worried looks on the faces of the police and stewards who were trying to control them, it was clear that there would be trouble.
The pity is that few have taken the trouble to study the detail of the new deal. If they had they would understand that a graduate earning £21,000 a year will pay considerably less than is the case today, and those who in due course achieve a much higher income will over a life time of work repay a larger contribution for the education which helped them to achieve it.
Few have taken into account what a privilege it to have a good education. Families in many countries around the world go without basic needs so they can send their children to school to gain an education for which they must pay. In some countries where people have almost nothing and live in mud huts, their children have no shoes but they are prepared to walk miles to school every day so eager are they to gain that precious gift ‘an education’.
The scenes which we saw on the News on Thursday evening were disgraceful and had any of my children been amongst them I should have been highly embarrassed and furious.
*Last year I had a gentle rant about the House of Commons Speaker John Bercow. I have always taken a particular interest in the Speaker as a relative of mine once held the position of Deputy Speaker to George Thomas. I have known and admired many previous Speakers including George Thomas, Jack Weatherill and Betty Boothroyd, all of whom brought their own brand and dignity to this position and were accorded, quite correctly, the respect of the entire House of Commons.
Regrettably the current incumbent of this post is apparently treating the position with scorn and distain. Far from being impartial and dignified as the position requires, his conduct is disappointing, his manner petulant and he is blatantly bias towards the opposition who voted him into this office against the express wishes of his fellow conservatives, who knew him well.
Within the Palace of Westminster the Speaker supersedes the Prime Minister in pecking order. It is disappointing that the dignity of the office can be sullied by the appointment of one who lacks both good judgement and the dignity that this ancient position deserves.
*I hope that anyone who has bought their Christmas crackers will remember that these items are now classed as ‘highly dangerous explosives’, which must not be handled by anyone under the age of 16! A new EU directive has recommended that stores should not sell Christmas Crackers to anyone under the age of 12. However, as usual the UK has decided to gold plate this dictat and go for a more draconian limit of 16! Check-out staff have been warned that they could face a £5,000 fine or six months in jail if found selling these ‘dangerous explosives, to children under the age of 16. What is wrong with these people?!
Carola Godman Law