Thursday, 16 December 2010

Talk, don't talk

Young people are getting mixed messages today from Barnet council, to judge by two reports in the Times series.

On the one hand they are being encouraged to stand for the Youth Parliament.
Youngsters can make their voices heard nationally as nominations open for the borough’s first ever representatives of the UK Youth Parliament.

...Councillor Andrew Harper, deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for education, children and families said: “The UK Youth Parliament gives young people an insight into how democracy works – hopefully we will see some of them become councillors or even MPs in the future.”
On the other hand they are being told to meekly acquiesce in the tuition fees rise and abolition of Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA).
THE council has been urged to give schools in Barnet a “directive” not to allow students to join in protests during school hours.

Tory Councillor Brian Gordon made the request at Tuesday's Full Council meeting after pupils from colleges across the borough joined thousands of others in the tuition fees protests in central London.

...The question was a follow-up after Cllr Harper had agreed “the sanctioning of such political activism in schools should be strongly discouraged”.
Meanwhile, staff and students of Middlesex University are saying that the forces of the state shouldn't be free to wallop young people over the head for going on a demonstration. They have published an open letter about the treatment of Alfie Meadows at the tuition fees demonstration in central London on 9 December. It is being carried on various blogs - because the Guardian and Times Higher Education supplement won't take it.

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