For everyone sickened and enraged by the lies, distortions, malevolence and idiocy emanating from the Tory-led government, Saturday’s march and rally in central London, “A Future That Works,” is an important opportunity for us to show our anger and our indignation at how our country is being wrecked, and our people punished, for other people’s crimes — the near-fatal crashing of the global economy in 2008, through bankers’ greed on a mind-boggling scale, aided and abetted by the politicians with their mania for deregulation, and the alleged economist experts who almost all failed to notice what was going on.
The resultant bailouts for the banks, and the job losses and the subsequent drop in tax revenues played a key role in triggering the subsequent and ongoing recession — unless you’re one of David Cameron’s Tories, in which case it created an opportunity to use the crisis as an excuse for remaking the country as a savage dystopia for all but the rich and super-rich, who continue to enjoy their ill-gotten gains as much as they did before the bankers crashed the world four years ago.
We are suffering from a collision of bankrupt ideologies, the first being the false notion that savage austerity cuts will somehow stimulate the economy, when all the evidence from history — and I mean all of it — shows that all austerity creates is an economic death spiral, as the so-called experts of the IMF are finally beginning to realise. Just last week, as Paul Mason explained for the BBC, IMF boss Christine Lagarde “called for a slowdown in the austerity measures being implemented across the world, including in Greece” after Chief Economist Olivier Blanchard “admitted the Fund’s calculations of the impact of austerity had been seriously wrong.”
The second bankrupt ideology is the equally false notion that a functional society can be maintained if the state provision of services is eradicated, leaving private sector opportunists to run almost every aspect of our lives. For the Tories, this particularly means our hospitals (the privatisation of the NHS, already underway) and our schools (via Michael Gove’s plans, should the Tories happen to secure a second term in office through some collective madness) — as well as almost everything else that hasn’t been privatised over the last 30 years, apart from the salaries of the politicians themselves (still to be paid for by taxpayers), and, presumably, a few aspects of the courts, the military and the police, although even those aren’t sacred, as was revealed in plans for the police just a few months ago.
The result will be to turn the clock back to the 18th century at the very latest, which no doubt suits the Etonians who have inveigled their way into Downing Street, and their crooked corporate chums, international bankers and global tax avoiders, but it is a disaster for the rest of us, as has become increasingly apparent over the last two years and five months, since these clowns first seized the reins of power through their wretched coalition with the Liberal Democrats. Under Nick Clegg, the Lib Dems, it transpired, were so hungry for power that they were prepared to sacrifice everything that they claimed to believe in, just to play second fiddle to the Tories.
The march and rally on Saturday (October 20), which is organised by the TUC, begins with people assembling along Victoria Embankment on the north bank of the River Thames from 11am onwards, setting off at noon for Hyde Park, where there will be speakers and other events until 4 pm, when the event ends. The organisers have stated, “We are approaching a mix of trades unionists and public figures to speak about how austerity isn’t working, the need to invest in jobs and growth and to defend quality public services.”
Although “A Future That Works” is organised by the TUC, the umbrella organisation representing most of Britain’s 6.4 million unionised workers, it also has the support of numerous other organisations, as is appropriate, because no part of British society is unaffected by the government’s cuts, apart from the rich and the super-rich. I’m disappointed, frankly, that the TUC waited a year and a half to follow up on the “March for the Alternative” in March 2011, when half a million people turned up, and that the unions spent most of the intervening 18 months obsessing about their pensions, when the government’s policies are so evidently an assault on all but the most wealthy — not just unionised workers, and especially the poorly paid, but also those unable to join unions, schoolchildren, students, the old, the ill, the homeless, the unemployed and the disabled.
The scale of the government’s assault on the people of Britain is so huge that everyone affected should have been meeting on a regular basis to protest and show solidarity with each other — as well as to network and focus on future campaigning — several times a year rather than this being the second major protest in the government’s lamentable 29-month history.
That said, it is now time to do what we can to make Saturday’s march and rally into a howl of anger and disgust that the government cannot ignore. Please check out the website for further information, follow “A Future That Works” on Facebook and Twitter. Also please check out the excellent False Economy website, which has been at the forefront of those campaigning against the cuts since the coalition government was formed (its motto is, “Why cuts are the wrong cure”), and also check out the TUC’s “Going to Work” website, whose aim is “to unite people who want to see greater fairness and more common sense in the way we work for our economy, and the ways our economy works for us.”
And finally, for now, if you’re making a placard or banner for the march and rally on Saturday, check out the examples made by those protesting on the “Make the March” website, and feel free to add your own.
Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed — and I can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Flickr (my photos) and YouTube. Also see my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, updated in April 2012, “The Complete Guantánamo Files,” a 70-part, million-word series drawing on files released by WikiLeaks in April 2011, and details about the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (co-directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington, and available on DVD here — or here for the US). Also see my definitive Guantánamo habeas list and the chronological list of all my articles, and please also consider joining the new “Close Guantánamo campaign,” and, if you appreciate my work, feel free to make a donation.
On Facebook, Pauline Kiernan wrote:
Sharing. Thanks Andy. I’m putting up others as well.
Thanks, Pauline. Good to hear from you.
Toia Tutta Jung liked it, and wrote:
The “like” is for solidarity.
Yes! Thanks, Toia.
I will be there and will pass this on
Thank you, Stella!
hello andy i shall be going on saturday …but i,m beggining to feel that you can protest and wave banners and placards all you want…..and nothing will change until all or most of the good people of this ceptered isle throw these stinking torie pigs out of power and litteraly chase the bankers and corperates into the sea ive just had to endure 6 mounths of wot can only be described as an encounter with camerons children and belive me andy they make thatchers children look like the ovalteenies,lol..a new generation of early 20 somethings ,greedy ,grasping,cruel,selfish,mercenary,spitefull,vile,..theses …things…..are the children of those in power now..god help us ..i love young people there opptermisum there enjoyment of life there kindness ..but not these you see them all over west london upper midleclass nasty torie scum both old and young..the young are the worst it about time the people of this country woke up and fought back destroyed this wretched class system come people fight back just for once.
Damo, thanks for the messages. I’m so sorry to hear about your experiences. You are chronicling the horrors of modern life in Britain in a way that most of the media is ignoring completely, and your analysis of the new breed of Rachmans who are everywhere these days – with their slickness intended to disguise their evil-hearted greed – is spot-on.
if we squeezed out all the male torie mp squeezed them dry i bet there wouldnt be enuff spunk to fit on the end of a pin head,lol ….THE TIME FOR BEING PASSIVE IS AT AN END ANDY
I believe it is, Damo. See you tomorrow, hopefully. I’ll be wearing a green coat, and I’ll be on a bike, with a compact camera. That should narrow it down …!
Investigative journalist, author, filmmaker, photographer and Guantanamo expert
Email Andy Worthington
Please support Andy Worthington, independent journalist: