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Thursday, 9 December 2010

With rights come responsibilities

Today marked another day of violence as students, young and old, and professional rabble rousers took to the streets of London protesting at the proposed increase of tuition fees.

The Brown Commission, set in place by the previous Labour administration gave its report proposals and these were broadly increasing tuition fees from the current £3000, to £6000 per year (in some cases up to £9000).

The new proposals state that students will pay nothing upfront, but repay on graduation the fees that have been accumulated, unlike now. Also at present students repay their loans once they receive an income of £15,000 or more, whereas the new proposals have a starting threshold of £21,000 and the repayments are lower - this of course means the debt is backloaded, and takes longer to pay off.

The incoming Conservatives stayed with the Brown Commission, The Labour Party whose manifesto committed them to supporting the Brown Commission now in opposition vehemently oppose it - despite their Manifesto being written by the now Leader of Opportunism Ed Milliband. And of the course the LibDems are falling off their fences in all directions with their arms and legs flailing.

News reaching Hornet is that the vote on these proposals was won, with a Government majority of 21.

Now, that brings us to the student protests in the centre of London.

Our country has a rich and proud democratic history, one that our forebears have fought and died to preserve. We, as citizens, have the right to protest and make ourselves heard if we disagree with anything our politicians say or do, or dont say or dont do.

With that right comes the responsibility to use it responsibly. A small number of professional protesters whose sole aim is to disrupt and engage with police, and to hijack what would have been peaceful demonstrations is an affront on our civilised society.

It is a disgrace to see violence on our TV screens, more so students rioting on our streets. We should be rightly shocked to see students and police injured in the course of demonstrations. But we should not condemn the police who, while carrying out their proper duty are protecting the innocent from these rabble rousers.

To coin the phrase, you cannot "substitute the rule of the mob for the rule of law" and the students must learn this, or it will compromise everything wrong they seek to right.

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