When students become functionaries of the state, the situation is truly desperate.

Pulse, the Labour Party’s student organisation, has this morning organised a “silent protest” at MCAST. They are not protesting for freedom of speech or for the rule of law. They are not demanding better learning conditions or improved access to education for students from low income families. They are not even protesting against the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel or for the rights of Rohingyas in Myanmar. None of these topics are on the agenda of left-wing, proto-socialist students in our educational institutions.

They are protesting against industrial actions ordered by the Malta Union of Teachers in an ongoing dispute with the government.

When socialist students protest against the right to industrial action, collective bargaining and strike, you know that the “socialism” these people have in mind is the national socialist type.

These brown shirts should be protesting indeed today but in solidarity with their teachers. Even on purely egoistic grounds, students should have the enlightened view that they need their teachers to be happy at work and that they need to be on their side if they are to expect teachers to be on their side in their own issues.

Instead, like Mao’s students in the cultural revolution, Pulse turns on teachers and bashes them for raising their heads against their great leader.

Pulse said this morning, students are concerned with industrial action so close to internal half yearly exams. They need not worry. In the half-yearly examination of life, they have failed already.