My great friend Jeremy Brier was spot on in his piece yesterday about fees, and as a good debating partner I don't disagree with a word of it. All I'd like to add about the rioters is this:
* Did they think that they would change the minds of the relevant decision-makers by doing this? If so, I am sure that they were wrong. Does anyone disagree?
* Did they think that they would convince us that they need educating? If so, they were right - but I don't think that they advanced any case that others should pay for it. On the contrary, I think that they undermined their claim that they deserve anything - in this case, to have their education subsidised by non-graduates. It is difficult to make anyone who benefited from tuition-feeless free education dislike them so much that one overlooks their fundamental point, but with me at least they have succeeded.
* What should they think now? Well, this is a very old-fashioned word. I think that they should feel ashamed. I don't imagine that they will. But I cannot help but make the point that their timing is exceptionally poor. Today is Remembrance Day. I know that this is little more than cliché, but - my grandfathers fought, as did so many we remember today, to preserve freedom. Was it for this? How do these ambassadors of this generation think that they weigh up in the obvious comparison with those ambassadors of that generation?