Tinson1 has been baton-charged!
Those of you who live in Ireland will have seen the yesterday’s TV footage of the Students’ Protest. I should explain to overseas readers that the country known as the Land of Saints and Scholars could not, of course, have University Fees, as that would discriminate against those who could not afford them. What we do have instead is a Registration Charge, using the kind of linguistic manoeuvring that got us the reputation as a Land of Scholars in the first place (both domestic rates and car tax have also been abolished in the past, and been replaced by annual charges which very quickly grew to a sum very like the tax they were supposed to replace). The Registration Charge currently stands at 1,500 Euro per annum.
Anyway, it is widely believed that the
Fees Charges will be increased in the upcoming Budget to 3,000 Euro, as it’s important that we donate as much money as possible so that the Government can keep its State Cars, Government Jet and Ministerial Pensions. The Third-level students organised a Protest March to Government Buildings yesterday and Tinson1 joined in, which was sweet of him since it is us who pay the charge and not him.
The largely peaceful, cheerful, noisy protest reached the line of policemen outside Government Buildings and then things went wrong. Some students threw eggs, some threw beer cans, some students got into the lobby of the Department of Finance. The Gardai decided to wade into the crowd with batons and horses, and it was during the ensuing scramble that Tinson1 was hit over the shoulder with a baton.
How would you react to such jackboot tactics? He was thrilled. Mrs Tin said he arrived home beaming, and when I got home from work he raced out of his room to tell me about it, almost sparking with vibrant excitement.
We watched the news on every available channel last night, the Tinkids glued to it in the hope of seeing Tinson1, preferably in the act of being thumped. I said little during this, but I looked at the savage anger on the faces of many of the Gardai as these middle-aged men lashed out at people barely two years out of childhood and felt that a better writer than I could use it as a metaphor for how our generation has treated the one to come.
The post title is in Irish, by the way. Back when I was at school and corporal punishment was still allowed teachers used to brandish their “bata fada” if we misbehaved. The words mean “long stick”.
The long stick is still around, it’s just used more selectively now.