Protest students lead by example
PUBLISHED: 14:27 17 November 2010
Like many teachers in Islington, I was given a big lift last week by seeing 50,000 students – many from our own borough – marching to Parliament and occupying the Tory HQ in Millbank in protest at the Con-Dem government’s plans to make massive cuts, introduce £9,000 tuition fees and slash Educational Maintenance Allowances.
The media is making a great fuss about some superficial damage done to Millbank Tower. But the real criminals are the posh millionaires in the Con-Dem cabinet who are waging war on our education system.
Comprehensive state schooling, free higher education and maintenance grants allowed tens of thousands of working class kids like me to be the first in their families to go to university.
Now Cameron, Clegg and their friends want to kick away the ladder. Once more, as a senior government official stated in the 1980s, our children need to be “educated to know their place” in society.
If anyone is going to be locked up, it should be the fat cat bankers who caused the economic crisis we are in – and who are about to pay themselves another round of multi-billion pound bonuses this Christmas – not students angry at their futures being shattered.
The students have given heart to all of us in Islington determined to defend our public services. Next time they march on Parliament we should all be with them. – Ken Muller, assistant secretary, Islington Teachers’ Association.