I've long been a supporter of students and have frequently voiced not just my opposition to tuition fees, but the very idea of student loans in the first place. However, following the violence and disruption caused yesterday during their protest march I can no longer support them.
As far as I'm concerned they have forfeited any moral high ground they may have occupied and from now on they deserve whatever rubbish the government wants to heap on them. I don't buy the assertion that it was a small minority either - the number actually involved in the violence may have been small in number, but it was apparent that the majority were at best ambivalent and at worst encouraging towards the violence.
As for the police and the Met's Paul Stephenson admitting that he wasn't expecting violence - he must have been the only person in London who wasn't which suggests that maybe he isn't the man to lead the Metropolitan Police. I certainly wouldn't want a man who was unable to see the blindingly obvious in charge of anything as important as the security of a city and its people.
I would hope that all those identified as taking any sort of part in the violence and invasion of private property will now be kicked out of their university and receive a life ban from attending any state run education establishment - this is, after all, a similar punishment to that a rioting football fan caught doing the same sort of thing would receive. That is what should happen - but I doubt that it will.