Saturday, December 11, 2010


Now normally in my role the word kettle would be used in a sentence that goes something like: "shall we put the kettle on?".

However, that would be far too dull to blog about so as you may have gathered this is about 'student' protests and kettling.

It seems to me that kettling has to stop. As much because it doesn't work as any issue of human rights. To use a tactic that was I suspect finely honed in dealing with football fans, really is not going to work. Some students broke off the official route because they didn't want to be kettled.

As to the violence. Not acceptable or helpful full stop. Unwise but instructive as to an underlying tension.

What became clear to me is that we actually have two issues. The media, because it reminds us of our own student days?, will major on tuition fees at higher ed level. But the anger I want to suggest is among those who have already had their EMA cut. EMA helps poorer kids to be subsidised through further education. It encompasses kids whose families are on benefits through to clergy kids!

Its cut has already unlevelled the playing field. Its cut is probably disproportionally going to affect the poor. This cut will mean that students won't be able to take up tuition fee help at higher ed level..

The education team need to get this in line. Cutting at the top (HE) to give more to the bottom is a Gove line.. he needs to get his house in order over EMA if he is not to face more violence.

From what I saw on Thursday the anger of EMA students will spill into violence again and again. They are already subject to stop and search at any time. They are already living in fear of death in the communities that they live. They are not afraid of kettling police.. They will continue to fight. When your life opportunities have been limited already then why not get into a big old fight.

I could go on. But media: ignore the actual EMA cuts that have already happened at your peril.

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