Friday 9 March 2018

#467 Mob mentality

The strike action outside the uni had been scaled up. At first, I'd first received timid invitations to listen but now I was being told not to cross the picket line in the morning. Careful, bud. Trying to tell me what to do, or what not to do before 9am isn't a smart move.

As if I'd listen to some mindless protest babble anyway. It's not that I had or didn't have a view on the issue itself, I just considered myself insusceptible to mob mentality. In fact it bothered me. So did the constant car horns sounding loudly as they passed the uni gates.

If the protesters were sitting calmly with a set of accounts or some decent analysis to disprove Universities UK's legal duty to address the deficit then some discussion might have been warranted but the crude signs and memes put out by the rabble did little to educate me.

What was going on here? Universities were supposed to be academic institutions and yet there was something very unacademic about the manner in which these people were making their arguments. If they handed out essays on the matter, I might have read one. Even if they were cheerful and handed out cakes it would've been better.

To be fair, yesterday some of them were cheerful and it did look like they'd stocked up on sweets. When it came to making a convincing demonstration though, they still had a long way to go.


Fizzfan said...

“Oxford University has reversed its support for pension cuts, which have sparked strikes at 64 universities”.

Sometimes mob rule is the only way. Civilised reason is sometimes just too civilised and I’m sure if they who never want to listen to reason had listened in the first place everyone would have been more than happy to get back to work.

I’m rather pleased reason has been forced to prevail. A glimmer of light that workers rights haven’t been completely eroded.
(I’m a product of the 60s n 70s)

Profound Familiarity said...

Have you been reading about it?

Fizzfan said...

A bit, but I’m defo no expert.....
There does seem to be quite a lot of things wrong with life behind the scenes at Unis though.
Short term contracts for profs and lots of insecurity. Uni presidents having their very own experiences scandal. Students not getting value for money. Pensions being shifted in shifty circumstances. All in all, strings being pulled that the puppets have just had enough of.
Those at the top need a bit of a jolt sometimes (in fact quite a lot of the time)

The people are revolting and I’m reassured to see it at long last!

Profound Familiarity said...

The short term contracts for profs surprised me. That would annoy me too if I was that highly qualified.

Fizzfan said...

Yeah, you’d expect a large degree of respect and security for those in the education business wouldn’t you.

Oops, I just reread what I wrote and it wasn’t an experience scandal, it was an expenses scandal.
Vice Presidents spending thousands on first class travel n 5 star hotels and the like.

Profound Familiarity said...

You'd think that because they're well qualified, they'd be in demand and would therefore be able to secure decent contracts - I mean things like tenure.