A curious piece in today’s Telegraph about a speech by the Princess Royal’s being ‘disrupted’ (their emphasis). She was in town to take over from her dad as Chancellor and was presenting JKR with some award or other for gifting the university 10 million pounds of the book-buying public’s money for a research centre – generosity which I do not disparage. The paper reports that the protesters held banners stating:
If you can afford a Princess, you can afford my degree
Education, not educatianne
Whilst the second of these is just baffling – particularly the comma – the first is more intriguing. Presumably there were no Scottish (or EU) students in this protest as they don't have to afford anything so un-cool as tuition fees, so maybe it was the (increasingly) disgruntled English students, who do. However, given that Edinburgh proposes to charge English students £36000 for its degrees (because they are 4 years long) it will be intriguing to see how many now actually volunteer to be fleeced in this egregiously cynical fashion – particularly as the fees are clearly meant to compensate for the inadequate funding that universities in North Britain receive from the Scottish Executive. Thus, perhaps the incoherent cry that emanated from round the corner of the university's Old College (the protesters were kept well out of sight) was the death rattle of a very endangered species indeed. I, for one, rather hope so: it is no more than this shameless nonsense deserves.