The radical nature of the student demonstration began to filter through my antennae about lunchtime when visions of the unwashed storming Millbank flashed across Sky News. Any riot forms an interesting counterpart to a quotidian day at the office, especially as public reaction to the cuts has been quiescent up to now.
Hindsight confirms that the police did not anticipate the number of demonstrators or the possibility of anarchist violence. The graffiti of scarlet A from wannabe revolutionaries on Millbank property gave the game away. Was this a minority? Interviews afterwards from some of the students attending the University of March with Banners ineffectually did bring out their views: bashing police around is worthwhile if it reduces my debt levels when I graduate. They are demonstrating for themselves.
A vicious minority reflected wider sympathy amongst the student body, whipped up by a hysterical union leadership.
The NUS president told protesters: "We're in the fight of our lives. We face an unprecedented attack on our future before it has even begun. They're proposing barbaric cuts that would brutalise our colleges and universities."
After today, we can conclude that they have managed to brutalise themselves. Without harping on about the lazy hyperbole that disfigures political rhetoric from "The Best Student Protest in the World...Ever", we have seen the first sign of the privileged constituences battling their entry into the world of price.
As student loans and grants still remain, even after the current reforms, a redistribution from the working class to the middle class, my sympathy for this faux right to subsidised education at my expense is nil. Give it a few years and the student body will adjust to thinking rationally about career and degrees. Those who don't will find their own level.