They say (albeit mistakenly) that if you throw a penny off the top of the Eiffel Tower then by the time it reaches the ground, and if it hits someone, that person will undoubtedly die. The resulting lesson then, if you believe this piece of information, is that throwing a penny off a very tall building would be a very stupid thing to do.

I don’t know how to translate and apply the relevant physics formulae but, as an extension of this, one would believe that throwing a fire extinguisher from a medium-sized building (Millbank Tower, for example) is similarly dangerous. Consequently, the ‘anarchist’ who did such a thing yesterday is either stupid or ignorant and, one can also assume, is not a Physics student.

The protests against the coalition’s implementation of student fees were a largely peaceful affair. Would the headlines have been generated and the whole venture been worth it if the criminal damage hadn’t been carried out and does that, perversely, justify the action? Possibly but I genuinely don’t care about that aspect despite it dominating the news agenda. I certainly hope the majority of the viewers of Newsnight who were bored witless by Paxman’s toying of Aaron Porter and the random Socialist thought the same, desperate to hear about the meat of the issue instead.

I wondered on this blog what it would take for certain people to stand up, protest and raise their objections to the direction Britain is heading in and I got something of an answer yesterday. Ironically it was Nick Clegg who was amongst the first to predict widespread, “Greek-style” protests if we cut too quickly and too deeply and that may yet come to pass, largely as a result of his party reneging on its election pledges. We have had underground workers, firemen, BBC staff, students and air staff striking. Significant of course but so far perfectly manageable. What happens if teachers, nurses and social workers decide enough is enough and refuse to go to work? Are we ready for that? Is it justified?

We have a national duty to keep our shared economy flowing but we have a democratic duty to not let our political leaders take too many liberties if we feel our opinions are being trampled over. 15,000 does not a majority make, not even close, but a tipping point could be reached and it looks like it would be timed to coincide with an AV referendum that the Liberal Democrats look likely to lose. What happens then?

Scotland may well be largely insulated from the cuts thanks to a genuinely left-of-centre Government which is already thinking outside the box to minimise the effects of the cuts, the possibility of a Nordic agreement with Norway to save Lossiemouth and prioritising capital spend for example. John Swinney’s eagerly awaited Budget on December 17th shouldn’t spark widespread anger but it will be painful nonetheless, I predict continued strikes and protests in England & Wales and more of a pulling together in Scotland.

Of course we should protest if we’re not happy and of course the Government should feel free to ignore us, just let’s not get bogged down by the mind-numbingly dull philosophising over the rights and wrongs of lobbing a fire extinguisher from a building. A penny’s worth of thoughts on the matter will tell you it’s wrong but irrelevant.