It was a successful policing operation, according to the Metropolitan Police. No students died!
We are entering a fascinating period in the political life of the UK. The Government have lost control of the streets. Tens of thousands of students up and down the country are being politicised by the Lib Dems collusion with the Tories and radicalised by the heavy-handed policing tactics being deployed against them.
It is like the poll tax protests all over again and very different from the inner city riots of the early 1980s. In the 1980s it was alienated youths, often black youths, who had no hope for the future and who were being treated heavy-handedly by the police. In 1990 it was working and middle classes uniting against the unjust Poll Tax.
As now, a popular cause was targeted by a political elite, fortified by their deluded self-belief and secure in their Westminster Palace, that made an enemy of the country as a whole. The sight of police horses charging young people on the streets of London will have appalled many people, not least middle class parents whose children were the targets of the horses and the victims of police batons. The students are being politicised, and so too are their parents.
The Met Police appear to have just one tactic – kettle to contain. Not only is it not working, it has already undermined public confidence in th police. There is anger at the increase in tuition fees, and it is right that it is aimed largely at the Lib Dems. If the Coalition Government had hoped that that level of anger would now receded, they are to be disappointed. The betrayal of the pledge by Lib Dems, including Norman Baker, coupled with the treatment of student protesters (the majority of whom were non-violent and law abiding) will see this run and run.