Archive for September, 2010
By the wonders of technology and the Labour Party website, I tuned in to see Ed’s speech. It contained very little that actually grated, but at the same time, very little that could be called ‘impressive’. Certain parts, including his paragraph on Iraq felt like the right message 5 years late, and the Palestine section was perhaps the only one to mark a significant shift. But what did he leave out, and where does this leave those contesting the cuts in their own communities?
I wrote this as a detailed flier text for the demonstration on the 3rd October – its going to be discussed at a meeting convened for this week, but either way, its my own writing, so why shouldn’t I let you see it? It’s also posted on York Stop the Cuts’ new website, which I’m gradually turning from generic wordpress.com to fully functioning hub of information.
So I guess half the blogs in Britain are talking about the Pope’s visit right now, whether supportive of the protests or the Pope himself. I’m now going to attempt to sum up the energy to address my personal feelings on the Pope’s visit.
As I have already written, these cuts could create strange bedfellows. Its odd to think I could defend the rights to work of a desk admin who has processed the stop and search forms from a demonstration I have attended. But is there a reason Cameron and Clegg might be happy to lose a front-line police that shows they have, in fact, learnt from the history of the 1980s and the miners’ strikes?
Today has been a big day at the TUC. So big that the York Press rang me for a quote from York Stop the Cuts – Right to Work campaign. My response on the spur of the moment was that I “welcome” this announcement, but actually, I think that was too weak, but Union action can only be one part of the picture, and must not prevent a critique of modern Trade Unions from being put forwards. (more…)
As you might imagine, the cuts aren’t just occupying a lot of my campaigning time, they’re also occupying some huge number of hours of discussions in pubs, cafes and at meetings. I really don’t think a good enough strategy has emerged for dealing with the cuts, and I feel that a lot of groups are far too hesitant to bring out a full scale debate in the public arena, despite a clear need to break the ideological consensus behind the program of cuts that is being unleashed.
Some of you (those who actually spend time watching television) may have noticed that the Tax Payers Alliance are getting a lot of air time lately, supposedly representing the honest man in the street who pays taxes and demands an end to money wasting. Who are these people, and what’s really going on? And shouldn’t this all sound eerily familiar from the United States right now?
This last week I, like everyone in the UK, have been forced to encounter once more the face of Tony Blair beaming from shops, newspapers, TV sets, and even from my own computer. I’m no less convinced that the man is a murderer and a war criminal than I was, say, 5 years ago. But I’m becoming aware of the need to let go of some of my loathing for him as an individual, before it gets the better of me.
Whilst I’ve written quite a number of posts blasting the British government lately, I thought it would be good to return to a wider viewpoint and write something pointing overseas. Yesterday (Saturday) saw two notable sets of protest coverage (Blair in Ireland being the other), but the marches in Paris and elsewhere caught me eye, because they speak of a topic largely unmentioned in Britain: racism against the Roma peoples.