when being a tight-arsed "adult" is more stupid than being a young idealist...
Two weeks after delivering a budget seeking to push the cost burden onto students, a young Joe Hockey has emerged as the unlikely former leader of student protests against similar reforms.
The 48-year-old treasurer may have reason to cringe at Nine News footage unearthed by Fairfax Media showing him protesting against the introduction of a $250 upfront charge planned by the Hawke government in 1987.
Some critics say his federal budget means getting a degree could end up costing future students $120,000.
In the footage, Hockey, then 22 and president of the Sydney University student representative council, says: "We will continue to go out onto the streets and to protest, and actively encourage the public to support us in our campaign for free education."
Hockey, a law and arts student, also wrote on the subject for the University of Sydney newspaper Honi Soit attacking the kind of deregulation measure his own government is now proposing.
"The Liberal party, which released its education policy two weeks ago, promised to cut back funds to universities and, at the same time, leave the universities to charge whatever fee they wished," he wrote.
"Such a policy is suicidal for student welfare. We will have no effective voice in our own fortune."