The Left’s March on London

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Protesters thronged into the streets of another capital this weekend to protest government spending cuts that will reduce the power of public-sector unions — and nanny state services in general. This time, the capital in question wasn’t in the middle of America, but in the heart of the United Kingdom, as hundreds of thousands marched through the streets of London to protest austerity measures that the coalition government has imposed.

The UK now owes more money as a percentage of GDP than any time in recent history since it paid off its World War II debts. Excluding the financial sector, the UK’s national debt is running over sixty per cent of GDP. According to Conservative delegate to the European Union Daniel Hannon, the UK currently spends more money servicing that massive debt than it does on national defense. Clearly, something needed to be done and the coalition government of Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron and Liberal Deputy PM Nick Clegg moved to start chipping away at that mountain of red ink shortly after taking power in 2010.

Much like Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s, the government’s plan to fix the island’s economic woes included a mix of tax hikes and spending cuts. It is the $130 billion in spending cuts that has the left infuriated, and no one in Britain seems quite so angry as those people who are members of or are at the head of the nation’s labor unions.

Len McCluskey is general secretary of Unite, the largest labor union in the UK and Ireland. He used the march this weekend to attack the Cameron government with the kind of hysterical hyperbole that has become the default mode on the left whenever someone tries to rein in out of control government spending. According to the story in The Independent:

[McCluskey] told the protesters they were bearing witness to services closing, old people going without care, libraries, swimming pools and parks going to ‘ruin’ and young people heading for a life on the dole. ‘But you represent a spirit of resistance in every workplace and community that says we are not going to have our way of life killed so that the rich and greedy can live as they please,’ he said.

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  • Gary W


  • JosephWiess

    But then don't union thugs always cause devastation wherever they march?

  • tagalog

    Yes, the government must confront its careless profligacy that has been exercised since 1945.

    But the government must also do what is necessary to help the society reinstitute values of self-reliance and hard work, things the people of the United Kingdom have been famous for in the past, so that when the government cuts back the ordinary people don't suffer any more than absolutely necessary.

    But I have to admit, when I'm confronted by freeloaders who tell me I'm being greedy if I don't give them the money they need to pay for their amusements, my first impulse is to refuse to give them a handout and tell them to go scratch like a barnyard chicken picking out dough.

    Suppose the welfare class succeeds in making a revolutionary impact on the socio-political structure of Great Britain; it would be a historical first, but Great Britain's culture has withstood similar blows in the past. It wouldn't be the end of the world.

  • LindaRivera

    In dealing with Britain's huge financial problems, does anyone know if the UK government has stopped giving welfare benefits to Muslim males for their harems – MULTIPLE wives and their large number of children?

    Although polygamy is against the law in Britain and is punished with jail, MUSLIMS ARE ALLOWED TO BREAK THE LAW if they married their wives in another country. One law for inferior non-Muslims and special rights and privileges for Muslims.

  • Tim B

    Linda please provide evidence of this assertion. As for the national debt, yes it is high and cuts are needed, but kindly remember that much of it was incurred by the previous government bailing out the banks whose speculation led to their failure (without which action, it was advised, the recession would have been much more severe and systemic).

  • ebonystone

    Despite all the well-publicized problems facing the European economies — the looming failures of the Greek, Portuguese, Spanish, and Irish economies in the Euro zone, and now the problems facing the U.K. and the pound sterling — still the Euro and the Pound have steadily increased in value relative to the Dollar over the last year. The Pound is up by ca. 5%, and the Euro by ca. 4%. This tells me that currency traders believe: [1] that the U.S. eonomy is in even worse condition than Europe's, and/or [2] that the U.S. government is less capable than the European governments of taking effective action to rectify the situation.
    Considering just how bad the situation is in Europe, that means that the situation in America is REALLY SCARY.

  • Eddie

    Is that London or Libya?