Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Your tax pounds in action

If you want to see what a real-life near-billionaire tax dodger looks like in the flesh, turn up at The Hegemon's sorry excuse for a Students' Union on Friday November 26th, where Lord Paul (who has plenty of time on his hands, thanks to his suspension from the House of Lords) will open the Ambika Paul Student Union Centre (2.30-4.15).

The APSUC is an area with sofas and a coffee machine. The Union used to have a bar and put on events. The Ambika Paul foundation diverts profits from Caparo Plc, not Lord Paul's personal stash of £800 million.

It's currently unclear whether and from whom he'll claim expenses for this trip. Do feel free to inquire about his tax status and his views on whether the poor (for him, anyone with less than £100 million) should pay for their own education fees.

Last night, I was continually disturbed by the sound of big groups of students wearing matching t-shirts, marching in the street, banging drums, chanting slogans and blowing whistles, following some kind of leader. "At last", I thought to myself, the Revolution's here. Or perhaps the students are protesting the evil and socially damaging Tory Scum plans for education".

Alas no. Commercial, organised pub crawls have appropriated the signifiers of protest and these students were being herded like sheep from one corporate alcohol-monger to the next, on a strict timetable. I found it profoundly depressing.

In my day, we organised our own pub crawls, but that's a side issue. There's a nationwide student protest on November 10th: do you think more Hegemon students will attend that or the pub crawls?

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