London’s Battleground & Barricades: Students’ “Peaceful” Demonstration

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今日、論議の的だった大学の授業料値上げ案が、連立政権パートナーのLib Dem(自由民主党)や保守党の一部議員の反乱にも関わらず、賛成323・反対302の僅差で、庶民院で承認された。この法案により、これまで上限£3,290だった授業料が、上限£6,000、または特別な事情がある場合は上限£9,000に引き上げられる。メディアは「£9,000」に焦点を当てた報道をしているが、実際にはこの額が適用される可能性は低いという。授業料はすぐ支払う必要はなく、卒業後の収入が£21,000(今までは£15,000)を超えた時点で、政府に返済を始めればよいそう。返済率は年収の9%で、返済期間は最高30年(それを超えた分はチャラ)。貧しい家庭出身の学生には、奨学金の拡大や、年収£25,000以下の家庭は£3,250の補助が受けられるなど、手厚い保護が盛り込まれている(詳細→BBC保守党案参照)。

Today the government’s plans to increase university tuition fees has been approved by Commons to just 21 as 323 ‘yes’ and 302 ‘no’, despite a revolt by some Lib Dem and Tory MPs. According to this plans, the upper limit on tuition fees set to £9,000 with a lower threshold of £6,000, raising the cap from current £3,290. Though media focus on upper threshold of £9,000, it is only for exceptional circumstances and said to unlikely happen. Tuition fees will not be paid upfront, and graduates will make a contribution after they have left university and start to earn annual income of over £21,000 (raising from current £15,000). The repayment rate will remain at 9%, and outstanding debt will be written off after 30 years. There will be more support for students on low incomes, such as scholarships and maintenance grants of £3,250 (increase from £2,906) for those from families under annual income of £25,000 (see details →BBC / Tory’s plan).

それにしても、5万人が参加したと言われる今日の学生デモ!昨日も散々書いたけれども、一部学生の恥知らずの振る舞いは目も当てられない。ロシアのTV局RTは、「London’s Battleground & Barricades(ロンドンの戦場とバリケード)」と呼んだけれど、まさにその通り(写真はここ)。テレビでは一日中、デモの様子を流し続けていたが、警護に当たっている警官や警察馬に向かって、フェンスやプラカード用の木の持ち手、クラッカー、瓶、缶など手当り次第に投げる。驚いた馬から落馬した警察官が、怪我して重傷だそうだ。体に麻痺など残らないといいけれど。多くの学生が、マスクやスカーフで顔を隠しているのも卑怯。文句があるなら正々堂々とやればいい。国会審議が終わった後は街に繰り出し、腹いせに、オックスフォード・ストリートのTopShop(トップショップ)などのショーウィンドーを壊したり(持ち主のPhilip Greenがイギリスの税金を逃れているせいもあるけれど)、チャールズ皇太子の乗った車を襲ったりと、この場に乗じて、無礼講とばかりに、どこのチンピラだと思わせる行動をとる。世間知らずで現実離れしていたにしろ、政治的理想と世界平和のために戦った60年代の学生デモに比べ、授業料を払いたくないという自己都合だけで、癇癪を起こした子供のように振る舞う姿は、高等教育を受けているインテリとはとても思えない。それでいて、労働者階級の、フーリガンと呼ばれる熱狂的サッカーファンやchav(不良少年)をあざ笑ったりする。情けない話だ。

Today’s student protests against the plan were horrendous. As I wrote yesterday, some students’ behaviors were obnoxious and unacceptable. Russian TV station RT described today’s protests as “London’s Battleground & Barricades“, and it is perfect expression (more photos here). TV has been showing the protests all day today: students throwing missiles, anything from fences, wood sticks cans and bottles to even fire crackers toward policemen and innocent police horses on duty. One of the horse got scared with a thrown fire cracker, and a police officer fell and seriously injured – hope he wouldn’t be paralyzed… Many students cowardly wore masks and scarves, hiding their face. If you believe you are doing the right thing, be brave and show your face! These uncontrollable brats went out on a street and destroyed store front of shops including TopShop on Oxford Street (partly because CEO Philip Green avoids paying UK tax), and even attacked the royal car containing prince Charles. They are no better than thugs or gangsters, taking advantages from this chaotic situation. These students’ angers are quite selfish, in compare to student’s movement in 60s, when they fought for their political ideal and world peace though it was quite naive and too idealistic, but at least not about paying more money to YOUR education. I can’t believe that those ‘intellectuals’ in higher education behave like a kid with tantrum. And these are the same people, making fun of Hooligans and Chavs – that’s a laugh!

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11 responses to “London’s Battleground & Barricades: Students’ “Peaceful” Demonstration

  1. everydaylifestyle

    Thanks for your comment! I do try to put an information of contemporary art, but this blog is more like my diary & note, and I don’t focus only on art. So please bare with me even when I talk something else :-)

  2. I do like your photos so please keep posting London art exhibitions, events and anything which is related to contemporary art.

  3. everydaylifestyle

    First of all, I am not from “Cina” (you even misspelled it) – it is like a confusion between Sweden and its neighbor Russia.

    I don’t necessarily believe whatever news say, and I know sometimes media is biased on either side, but at least what I saw on the news was the part of the reality (and quite ugly). But if you shut down all the news, you may make yourself quite ignorant. If you are smarter, you should know the risk of media coverage and should know what people would see, and behave.

    I completely agree with you that education is the key of quality of life. You need a lot of determination, sacrifice, and effort to make yourself educated, and could cost high price. But it will pay off if you work hard. That’s why USA is the top of the world even higher tuition fee than UK, because education is their own responsibility, not the government, and they are encouraged to work hard and make an effort, and so does to Jewish and some Asian countries, even though tuition is not cheap. There are much more resources and helps available to poor students in UK, and if they don’t take it, it’s their choice and responsibility. British are so dependent on the government, and at the same complain that UK is the nanny state – it’s a huge contradiction.

    You have to face the fact that UK has huge debt. It is mainly the Labor government’s fault that they spent a lot for welfare so they can get vote. Have you heard of great PIIGS? If you don’t know, check Wikipedia or google. National debt cause social unrest and economic instability, and you better fix it if the country want to be competitive in the global competition. If UK becomes like Greece, forget about social welfare and education – you can’t afford it and I don’t think even Germany (poor Germans have to pay all the debt of “those” countries) can help it.

    In order to make British higher education competitive and high standard to their rivals, therefore UK can keep strong in the international stage, money and investment is crucial, but somebody has to pay for it. If the government can’t afford it, students have to, unfortunately. Education in Sweden is free, because Swedish pay HIGHER TAXES, which British probably hate. You can ask anyone here if you want to pay more tax so that students can study free. It is a different social structure, and Scandinavian countries are known for welfare states. UK is, for my eyes, socialistic, but not as much as Scandinavian. It may work for smaller countries but not for bigger population.

  4. It seems you are making up your mind about the student protests from the news you read/see on tv. You’ve been living here for a while now so one would think you’d learnt by now to never trust the news here?
    If you had actually been at the protests I don’t think you would have written this post quite the same.

    I have been to all the protests, even though I am not a student, as I fully support what they were “fighting for”. In a country like England, where the general population is becoming (sorry to say this) more and more stupid – hence having more babies at the age of 15 and living off social benefits – I’d say a good education is the one thing this country needs right now.
    They seem to be able to afford fighting pointless wars in the east (for the sake and safetly for the eastern people), but they claim to not be able to afford education for their own people. That doesn’t make sense.

    To claim that they get more financial help to help pay for these new study fees doesn’t make sense either as it will only create a nation with the highest dept ever. Try to, first of all, get a job after graduation; then try to pay off your student fees as well as your morgage, and for your kids, bills and food.

    You compare with education fees in Cina. I’d compare with my homecountry of Sweden where universities are FREE.
    Don’t make up your mind before you’ve viewed it from all angles next time.

  5. I’m not sure how scotland can afford it. We tend to be more left leaning in politics (in my area even more people voted for labour than last year dispite labour government getting a beating in the media!) so i think the scottish government is more willing to absorb any extra costs because the scottish public is very much against raising the tutition costs.

    I guess it is because there are less students in scotland (even though the number of students is increasing) and we get alot of overseas students who all have to pay tutition.

  6. everydaylifestyle

    I am sorry that I caused misunderstanding. I didn’t mean that British students and parents don’t work hard for tuition. I just wanted to say that education is for yourself (for society is just secondary), and you have to pay for whatever necessary – of course the government offers support for students who cannot afford in shape of loans and scholarships though. As foreigners, I and my friends just don’t understand the level of British students’ anger. British universities seems to need more funding for better facilities and teachers in order to compete schools abroad to maintain high standards, but hope they are conscientious and don’t abuse the new law. I don’t like the media emphasis on up to 9000GBP for fear factors but I assume it is only for extreme cases.

    I don’t think Tory MPs are happy to put students in miserable positions, and they say that poor students are better off with new system. If they decided this measure is necessary, I guess they have thought carefully, and under this mounting government deficit, everyone has to share its pain from budget cut.

    I am always wondering, that Scotland government seems to be more generous for social welfare (NHS, education etc) – How can they afford it?

  7. “In my country, education is on your own responsibility, and many students work while they are at school or family save up money for their children’s education.” Thats pretty much the same here except like you said we defer the cost of tutitions untill after uni. :) My partents work hard to help me cover the costs of going to univsity (housing cost and textbooks). Many of my friends worked for years to afford to come to uni and still work during uni. It still costs alot even though in scotland we get a grant for tutitions. But i see your point :)

  8. everydaylifestyle

    I am not sure if tuition fee rise is the right decision or not, as I am a foreigner here and not 100% familiar with the matter + there are different opinions which I understand both sides – so I will stay away from my comment about it. But now 45% of young people in UK go to university, in compare to 5% in 1960, and I am not sure if the government with huge deficit can afford to pay for all the cost. In Japan,t a patient used to pay 10% of total medical bills under the national health insurance, but as the number of elderly has been increasing, the rate has gone up 20% and now 30%. There is no other choice but we all have to fee pain, if the system cannot pay for it.

    British students are still lucky since you don’t have to pay tuition upfront and can pay back later when you start to earn. In my country, education is on your own responsibility, and many students work while they are at school or family save up money for their children’s education. After finishing my BA in Japan, I went to a graduate school in US but I worked 5 years before and saved money for it, and even had to work 20 hours/week at my school as a graduate assistant to supplement my study.

    Yes it is tough, but I guess everyone has to share pain more or less. Hope economy improves soon and government deficit shrink, so that people can get better life again.

  9. everydaylifestyle

    コメント、ありがとうございます:)おっしゃる通り、大学生なのだから、もう少し落ち着いて冷静に行動した方がいいと思います。そうじゃないと、他の人の反感を買い、言いたいことも聞いてもらえませんよね。

  10. I’m so undesided on this subject. I myself am at university, but in scotland so this doesn’t effect me (alot). I am deffinatly against rioting, it’s just the anarchisted taking avantage of a protest. But i don’t think they should be raising the cost of education. Education should be for everyone, not just for the privlaged. Even though they say they will help the underprivlaged…… it is hard now for people to afford uni fees! Your prespective is good though. Love your blog :)

  11. 最近、このブログに出会いよく読ませて頂いてます。(とっても面白いです♪)

    あなた様の意見に大賛成です。昨日ピカデリーからオックスフォードサーカスへ歩いてる途中で、この輩に会いました。。なんとも同情し難い。
    もっとマトモな手段でものを言って欲しいものです。

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