With the launch meeting of the Cornwall Anti-Cuts Alliance this Wednesday (6:30pm, Room 71 at Truro School), the anti-cuts movement in the county seems set to grow hugely over coming months. Falmouth Labour came out in the past few days backing the student protests – a welcome symbolic gesture which contradicts much of the criticism from the movement that Labour being too quiet on the issue. That may be so in terms of national leadership, but in the Truro and Falmouth Constituency Labour Party there has been a great deal of support for the students demonstrating against higher fees and for the general anti-cuts campaign. On top of Falmouth Labour’s support, Plymouth TUC have given their solidarity and links will soon be established with the national anti-cuts organisations.
The subject is all the more pressing locally since University College Falmouth is deemed ‘high risk’ in terms of how the HE cuts will affect the university. If UCF was forced to shut down, it would be detrimental to the Falmouth economy which relies on the thousands of students studying there – landlords, shops and businesses will all lose out as well as students. But because Falmouth is a humanities based university, it faces the worrying and realistic risk that, because of the abolition of humanities funding, it could be forced to close.
On a lighter note, Daily Mail readers support the students – an incredible fact considering the right-wing paper’s victimisation of protesters and intensely biased coverage over the past month. The news follows another promising admission last week – that the Daily Mail now opposes tax avoidance. The City Editor, Alex Brummer, condemned companies’ “exploitation of rules” in relation to tax. I’m tempted to switch from The Guardian to the Daily Mail now. Joke.
Aaron Porter of the NUS also seemed to reverse his recent history of ‘dithering’ with a scathing attack on the coalition’s tuition fee rise, saying ‘I am incredibly proud of the student movement’ and ‘we stand ready to fight the next stage of this campaign together’. He may have just avoided a threatened vote of no confidence because of it.
The Vodafone website was skilfully twitter-hacked yesterday, after it launched a competition to find the best #mademesmile tweet. The result was hundreds of tweets using the tag to celebrate UK Uncuts campaign of shutting down the tax-dodging company’s stores – ‘UK Uncut closing down Vodafone for not paying £6bn in tax #mademesmile’. Classic.
This video #mademesmile too – get it to Christmas number one –