It was a Friday, I was feeling the 5th Week blues heavily and was settling down to a seven hour overdue essay with a large whisky. Nothing untoward…
Then some intolerable racket began outside my window which overlooks the beautiful St Peter’s College. A bunch of lefty types with very good but utterly misplaced intentions were shouting and screaming as if it was still 2010.
Let me make this clear, I don’t disagree per se with them: I was kettled on Westminster Bridge and charged by Riot Police at the Fees Protests in 2010. So this is not written from the perspective of someone who disagrees with their basic intentions. What I do disagree with though is the lumbering, ham-fisted and blundering way they express them (and most of all the fact they chose to do so under my window).
For the sake of all that is holy and good, the slogan “Students and Workers, Unite and Fight”? What? The working man is so keen to subsidise our opulent Oxford education is he? Incurring another £6,000 per year in debt to be repaid gradually is the same as job losses, benefit cuts and working poverty? What sort of bourgeois imbecility is this? It’s bourgeois bullshit, that’s what it is.
Let’s move onto another of their mantras: “Willets, Willets, Willets… Scum, Scum, Scum” Mr Willets was at St Peter’s to talk about ‘Politics and Language’ – I wonder what he and the audience, keen to engage in reasonable debate made of this. After all, we know that the best way to affect change in a democracy is to refer to people you don’t like as ‘scum’ while they talk about something utterly unrelated.
People often criticise our dubious coalition government as ‘a stuck record’ of austerity that doesn’t work – I would say that if this is the alternative then the Coalition is doing pretty well: There were all of eight chants which they repeated ad nauseum. Stuck records had nothing on these self-important ‘middle class guilt’ protestors who thought they would interrupt my evening with their moral hand-wringing and repetitive, nonsense, forced rhymes.
Their chants were set to the tunes of nursery rhymes – a fitting genre for the content which was childish and facile at best. Now I am opposed to financial disincentives to education for anyone who wishes to access it, but the argument cannot be expressed in rhyme or through a megaphone without sounding like a rabid, unbalanced person who would try to avoid in the street.
They’ve been outside my window for over an hour now and show no sign of stopping. Now they’re demanding Willets give them back ‘their fucking money’ – the money THEY HAVEN’T PAID HIM YET. They are deluded and making me ashamed of my political views. They’ve also given me a headache.
Please, no ‘ifs and buts’, I’ve got an essay to write. Now shut up and behave like it is 2012 and protest about something that matters.