Thursday 10 June 2010

Middlesex moving to Kingston

It is interesting how mixed the responses to the CRMEP's move from Middlesex to Kingston have been. I, myself, am delighted although everyone recognises that it is by no means a victory without caveats attached and that the campaign must continue. The primary criticism seems to be one of the campaign 'selling out' because they didn't go down in a hopeless blaze of glory. The more fair criticisms note that two junior members of staff won't be included in the move and that Christian Kerslake is still suspended without another job to go to. I can see where this reasoning would come from but the campaign have made very clear that their struggle is not over! They're not just going to abandon their friends and colleagues; the suggestion is absurd.

Despite what the few come-lately naysayers have suggested, the student campaign has been absolutely brilliant and I see no reason to assume that it will be anything else now that the Centre's future has been secured. The campaign has wisely avoided what is often the downfall of student protests, which is to adopt a poise of all or nothing, us against the world -- a 'the revolution starts here' attitude. Such an attitude deflates even the most unexpected and, frankly, unexpectable victories such as the recently announced Kingston move.

A good friend of mine once remarked that ' it is important for the Left to celebrate small victories, otherwise we just become a bunch of grumpy, middle-aged, white men arguing furiously about our almost identical views in dark rooms above dingy old pubs' (I'm paraphrasing and possibly embellishing).

We have not passed from the darkness to the light and there remains a lot of work to do but if such pragmatism sours events such as this which even the most outrageous optimists would have struggled to see coming then we are in a pretty pitiful state.