ON MONDAY night, on a live television panel show rarely watched by ordinary people, some uni students stood up, unfurled a banner and chanted.
“No cuts. No fees. No corporate universities,” they yelled from the audience of the ABC’s Q&A program that, like brussel sprouts, is an acquired taste.
“Chris Pyne, get out. We know what you’re all about. Cuts. Job losses. Money for the bosses.”
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But from the shock and anger their loud but non-violent protest incited you would have thought they had pulled out AK-47s and started firing.
Being the ABC, there was no money for security guards so host Tony Jones sat there like a bunny in the headlights.
“You’re not doing yourself no favours,” he fumed impotently.
The ABC eventually did what ABC radio usually does when there is a problem and cut to some music while the naughty protestors were pushed out of the building.
“We had a little musical interlude there while we got democracy back on track”, said Tony triumphantly.
“Apologies to the Minister, apologies to everyone on the panel, apologies to the wider audience watching.
“That is not what we want to happen on this program. That is not what democracy is all about and those students should understand that.”
Well, first up, that is exactly what democracy is all about.
Whereas Q&A is not democracy in action – it’s just a television show.
And don’t apologise to me buddy, I thought it was the most interesting thing to happen since the Barry Humphries rampage of 2012.
The protest was directed at Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne who is leading the charge to deregulate university funding and make students pay more for their education.
The same education Mr Pyne got for free.
The next day there were news stories and columns written about the stupid kids who, many in the mainstream media pontificated, were damaging their own cause.
Well given the news agenda is dominated by a few elite and usually their only chance of being heard is if they are pretty, have a famous parent or are prepared to be photographed in a bikini then I think they did damn well.
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