Unlike the French, the British are most definitely not a nation of active protesters and rioters. So when they take to the streets, smash shop windows, throw chunks of steel-reinforced concrete, set fires and attack Prince Charles's Rolls Royce (a smashing counterpoint to austerity, old boy) you know something is terribly wrong.
All this is caused by the conservative government's decision to cut university funding by an astonishing 80%, passing the bill on to students and resulting in doubling and tripling of tuition fees. Since most students can't afford such a massive hike, they will end up with - what else - taking up loans of up to $63,000 for three years of study (the normal course in a UK college).
I won't elaborate much on why slashing education spending is the stupidest cut of all because I consider it to be self-evident to anyone who can fog the mirror and count past ten without the aid of his fingers.
But I will say this: we have all of us in the West rolled up our manufacturing and unceremoniously packed it off to China (why else do you think China's energy use soared 100% in a mere five years?). Instead, we were supposed to become post-modern vibrant economies based on technology, design, know-how, smarts; in a word: education.
Well, Mr. Prime Minister Cameron, to quote from one of your famous countrymen, Goodbye To All That. Robert Graves was educated in Oxford just like you were, so I'm sure you understand my allusion to the needless slaughter of an entire generation of young men during WWI, and the figurative parallel with today.
The question is, will your children?