UK Politics

Students spend a penny for your (in)convenience

Only in the UK can you have student revolutionaries so comfortable with their own sense of entitlement that they complain on an ‘alternative media’ website that the police have failed to lay on sufficient mobile toilet facilities for the protesters.

The whinge is illustrated with a photo of a protester taking matters arising from this appalling oversight into his own hands. He is doing his ablutions inside a public telephone box. The telephone box has also been daubed with political graffiti.

Phone boxes are, of course, facilities laid on for the benefit of the public. Student revolutionaries seem to think that it is appropriate to spray-paint and piss on public facilities. This is hardly an attitude, one thinks, that endears them to the public – the same public they’re hoping to persuade to support their free education.

I pity the person who, unlike most of these students, can’t afford a mobile phone and thus relies on public phones in an emergency and would rather use one not covered in paint and splashed with human excrement.

There have also been reports that some bus stop shelters were smashed up too. Who rides buses? Old folks and poor people, mostly.

Police vans have also been graffitied and smashed. Too bad if it wastes more public money or the vehicle isn’t available later to respond to someone’s genuine emergency. The thoughtlessness is staggering.

Of course, the worst feature of these ‘protests’ is the unnecessary violence that has left police officers injured, including with broken limbs. Police officers are public servants. They play a valuable role in society – perhaps more than a graduate in media studies – and should not be abused like this. Where are their union reps?

Such a cavalier (not to mention childish) attitude to public services and public servants hardly supports their claim that they’re acting with the public’s benefit in mind. Perhaps this revolutionary vanguard should hive itself off from the main student protests and make its alternative objectives clearer.

At the moment it seems they’re opposed chiefly to public telephony and public travel. This is confusing.