Friday, December 10

Royal riots

Our last full day in London has dawned with news that a car carrying Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall was attacked by protesters last night. The heir to the British throne was on route to the annual Royal Variety Performance when a mob, protesting against higher university tuition fees, set upon his car. The rear passenger window was cracked, the doors dented by kicks and the vehicle splattered with white paint. The couple were understandably shaken but unharmed.

All week the capital has been gripped by increasingly violent protests as the Government prepared to vote on higher fees. Parliament approved the fee hike yesterday in a vote commentators are calling the first real test of the nation's coalition Government.  Twenty one Liberal Democrat MPs eventually voted against the measure, reducing the Government's majority by 42 votes. 

The increase is yet another unpopular measure set in place as part of the Government's growing austerity program. Such protests and their depressing headlines are increasingly a sign of the times in Europe. It's hard not to feel that perhaps Garry and I have chosen a good time to return to Australia.

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