Monday, March 28, 2011
Misreading The Mood
Today's reflections on Saturday's march in London have been as predictable as the tide. Most aren't worth referring to, let alone linking to, due to their synthetic outrage & puerile pontificating. Indeed, it seems that the mainstream media doesn't quite know how to handle a story like this. Even the Guardian's Michael White can't help balancing the march with the clashes that took place elsewhere (http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/mar/27/britain-decent-demo-mob ). More perceptive observers are now acknowledging that the role of civil disobedience, as opposed to the trashing of Top Shop, is a tactic that will gain in currency & viability. As the cuts bite, the traditional tactic of marches may look insufficient; Ed Miliband (or "Ed Millipede", as he was called by one marcher) has stated his view that the ConDem cuts will prevail for the full term of this parliament. Such an opinion could look discredited & defeatist before the end of this year. Apropos the marchers, I noticed an array of banners & placards which deviated refreshingly from the stereotypical norm. One marcher at Waterloo Station held a placard which posed the cerebral, but intriguing question, "What would Gramsci Say?" Another was less subtle & damningly direct, showing a picture of Nick Clegg with the words "Rent Boy" underneath. Despite the many different reasons given by people for their presence in London on Saturday, & they ranged from the Spirit of Shankly group to the Women's Institute, one refrain was notable for its ubiquity: this is just the beginning.