During tonight’s scheduled debate on education, students were removed from the Oxford Union after hurling derogatory and incisive chants and insults towards Conservative Party Member David Willetts.
During Willetts’ speech defending the proposition, on the motion “This house believes that education is a right, not a privilege,” a banner was unfurled from the balcony that read, ”Fuck You David Willetts (And Made in Chelsea is shit too).”
The students were reacting to what they viewed as the hypocritical viewpoints of Willetts, condemning him for defending education whilst raising student tuition fees. In response, students were heard chanting “Tory scum out” and “David Willetts, we know what you’re about.”
Some students were keen to blame a political party for the educational malaise. On the event’s Facebook page, student Alex Powell griped about the one-sidedness of the debate.
“You have a Tory minister and the NUS president who betrayed the student protest movement in 2011, debating against a former Tory minister, a private school headmaster and champion of education for the rich and some idiot from TV,” he wrote. “I fail to see the divergence in opinion that this debate is going to produce.”
Another student remarked on the irony of holding the debate in the expensive and exclusive Oxford Union, remarking that she was, “economically excluded from attending debate on whether university should be a right because it costs £236 to join the union.”
The outburst at the Oxford Union was the tail end of a daylong protest over stagnant pay for academic staffers. Several students were escorted out of the building by guards, including by the bodyguard of Spencer Matthews, who rushed to the second floor balcony.