John Walker's Electronic House

Gnomes Against Tuition Fee Rises

by on Dec.06, 2010, under The Rest

Well, why not. Here’s me on ITV News, looking like an angry garden gnome, saying “Errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr” for a really long time. Huge thanks to Andrew for helping me with the clip.


17 Comments for this entry

  • Alex Bakke

    I messed up, ranted about the lower classes for a bit, I meant to talk about how education is being turned into a commodity, but ended up rambling about culture. Oops.

  • James Campbell

    “…he’s backing down on it without shame!”

    John Walker – Student

  • Flameberge

    It’s John! John in a hat! I’ve never seen a photo of John not in a hat…

    To be honest, the demonstration couldn’t have had a better be-hatted spokesperson to say “errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr” in such a sophisticated and erudite manner.

  • Drug Crazed Dropkick

    At least it didn’t involve any occupations of university buildings *grumbles about idiotic students stopping me going to my lectures*

  • Commander Fabulous

    To completely ignore the seriousness of this whole debacle and the liberal democrats as a party generally being a bunch of lying, traitorous backstabbing so-and-sos that the students are right to protest against, albiet maybe not in such a way that promotes the minority of violent idiots getting majority press coverage… Eeee! John Walker looks so huggable when he is angry and in a hat! I think it’s the hat that helps his huggable qualities really.

  • Xercies

    I find the student protests at the moment a bit well self defeating. Let us show that increased student fees are a bad idea by not going to our lectures…meaning there spending money on nothing…er great logic there!

  • Alex Bakke

    “I’m absolutely horrified, err-”


  • Blackberries

    Lovely hat, John. Looks very snug. Are you happy to have been implicitly tagged as a student?

    Xercies: Demonstrations and occupations are where most of the student activity is going at the moment, but walkouts are legitimate too. It’s about trying to raise awareness.

  • mister k

    @Commander Fabulous… I was actually thinking exactly the same thing…

  • km

    I’m shocked to see a politician in the middle of a protest. I don’t know that I’ve seen that in America.

    Errrr….you look warm.

  • George

    When the guy asks “which way are you gonna vote, Don?”, it sounds very sinister.
    ‘C’mon, Don, don’t make me do this’
    *picks up baseball bat*
    ‘Which way you gonna vote, huh? You know which way to vote.’
    *taps bat on table*

  • Tom Camfield

    I know what students are protesting against, but what do they want as an alternative? … do they want higher taxes? … less people in higher education? … Universities to be more efficient with the money they have? …

    I don’t really understand why politicians don’t throw open the problem to the students themselves and see what they can come up with… indeed, the NUS proposals are incredibly similar to the government ones, briefly summarised here:

    So what do you want from the government that’s really that different from what they’re already proposing?

  • John Walker

    This is Nick: We were able to fund Universities for decades – even when we were much poorer. Yes, there are more students going to University now, and that number may have to be limited (fewer junk degrees). Generally, however, getting a few billionaires to pay a bit more of the tax they probably already owe would do it. But God forbid we should press *them* to make any sacrifices for the common good – much better squeeze students and child-benefit recipients. And the homeless.

  • Wednesday

    Not to mention Tom, as a recent graduate, I can tell you students already pay far too much. You get, what, nine contact hours a week, for twenty weeks in a year, for £3000? All to recieve a degree that’s massively devalued in the workplace(save in a very few select subjects.)

    Perhaps the British student shouldn’t be expected to pay for the activities and research of British academia. If society wants and values that, it can pay for it.

  • Tom Camfield

    Do you agree? Higher taxes for the billionaires and less places at universities for potential students?

    (The following may seem a bit aggressive but I’m not in the country so I’m genuinely interested on what you and others at the rally think…)

    In the first instance, is that something Clegg could force through, and wouldn’t the billionaires avoid it? In the second, should we really be happy that only 35% of young people get a degree compared to 50% in Poland (where I teach)?

    I don’t see how students are being squeezed, because they pay nothing, and even graduates will have to pay back less each month…

    As for child-benefit recipients, that’s being cut for those who earn over the 40% tax threshold. That may seem like a lot of people, but at least 75% of Britons earn less than £30,000, so it really is hitting the richest.

    I would say this if I wasn’t so drunk:

  • Nick Mailer

    I quite agree, Tom, that Clegg wouldn’t be able to force that through. More sadly, he probably wouldn’t want to.

    Yes, I would be happy that “only” 35% of young people got a degree, since we seem unable to provide 50% of people with anything resembling excellence. Better that 35% receive free gold than 50% receive expensive manure.