Thursday, 9 December 2010

How not to do it


I have a deal of sympathy with those protesting over student fees. But this doesn't help.

The Countryside Alliance put 450,000-odd in the streets of London; they made their point effectively and marched silently past the Cenotaph. I should declare a disinterest at this point: I wasn't on that march, nor am I a CA supporter. But they evidently believed that if you're going to protest about something affecting your country, it's a good thing to observe a little respect for the memory of those who died to preserve for you the freedom to make your protest.

There are some things you don't have to go to university to learn.


  1. This guy is apparently the son of Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour and has apologised profusely for the incident saying that he just got caught up in the moment.

    I too don't think violence or this sort of incident helps the cause but then a million people demonstrating peacefully against the plans to invade Iraq (of which I was one) didn't make any difference nor did the CA's march against the hunting ban, whereas the very violent poll tax demonstrations did.

    Unfortunately, it often seems to be the grabbing of headlines with these sorts of scenes that makes politicians sit up and take notice in a way that peaceful demonstrations don't

  2. I'll agree with your last para without in any way liking it; our politicians are too easily swayed by mass media coverage, and that mass media only looks for a simplistic headline. I wouldn't say that the peaceful demonstrations against the hunting ban and the Iraq war didn't make any difference - I'm sure both did - but not an overnight step change, granted. I suspect that the students' genuine grievance will be totally lost against the media fascination with pictures and footage of violence, firebombs, broken windows and broken heads. Peaceful protests have happened all over the country, but the London ones have been hijacked, and the student leaders would, I suggest, do well to abandon any further events.

    I hear that Charlie Gilmour been arrested on suspicion of violent disorder and attempted criminal damage. I've seen a report that he's alleged to have been involved in the attack on HRH's car, but have no idea of the credibility of that report. He would also appear to have been largely off his face on chemicals of some kind. But credit where it's due: as you say, he's issued a public apology.