The Left’s March on London

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Unison is another influential union in the UK, one that makes no bones about the fact that it uses union dues to lobby the Labour Party in order to bend MPs to the union’s will. Unison’s general secretary, Dave Prentis, employed the same sort of rhetoric as his colleague at Unite:

‘These are ordinary families and working people, many with their children to send a strong message to David Cameron to halt the damaging cuts which are leading to the loss of tens of thousands of jobs and the closure of services including libraries and care homes,’ Prentis said.

It’s difficult to imagine why apparently savvy organizers like McCluskey and Prentis would believe that appealing to class warfare themes would resonate in Britain in 2011. True, the “us versus them” theme drew somewhere between 250,000 and 500,000 protesters into the streets of London on Saturday, but all reports indicate that the atmosphere more resembled a party than an angry protest. A few hundred marchers did break away to make mischief, and a few police officers were injured, but organizers universally denounced those violent miscreants, reaffirming their commitment to peaceful and respectful debate.

London on Saturday was thus something of the “anti-Madison” in terms of the strategies that the left employed to protest a resurgence in conservative government fiscal policies. However, it also emphasized the essential conundrum the left faces: in this economic environment, there is no winning strategy available for the left. If the left chooses to have a peaceful, respectful debate of the sort that the stereotypical well-mannered Brit would prefer, that’s great. In that case, they need to explain why it makes more sense to pile on more unsustainable debt than it does for government to live within its means. That’s an impossible task. If the left chooses petulance and anger instead, that’s great too. In this day and age where everyone has to make sacrifices, few people are going to sympathize with protesters behaving like spoiled children.

There’s no doubt that the Cameron government has the will and the votes to stay the course. Ironically, the Conservative/Liberal coalition in the UK is thus committed to spending cuts $30 billion more than the cuts that Republicans in the United States Congress promised voters, but have yet to deliver.

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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?