Coming from North London, myself and a comrade had hoped to meet with the Radical Workers Bloc coming up from the south- we joined the fringes of the march, but soon found that the droning racket of the Unison sponsored vuvuzelas, and the stolid, plodding and leaden music of union brass-bands, did our fucking heads in. No section of the march stopped outside Parliament or Downing Street to register any kind of real, palpable dissent or anger, with the TUC stewards ensuring a swift ‘through-put’ of marchers- the policing was relatively light, including in Trafalgar Square, in a policy of a psychological minimal show of force, (almost as if to say ‘we won’t threaten you, if you don’t threaten us’)- and by and large, most marchers were happy to speedily schlepp from A-B under the sad illusion that it was an effective way of objecting to savage class-based cuts. The effect of the vuvuzelas was twofold- they ensured that their din inhibited communication between people, almost as a form of voluntary self-censorship, and that any imaginative or political chanting , be they spontaneous, angryor humourous was drowned out by a noise which sounded like a cross between a giant wasp and a stuck car-horn (which is why the FA banned them). The brass bands, whilst an age-old trade union tradition, added to the soporific tedium of proceedings, which was somewhere between of a funeral procession and a children’s party- complete with giant ballons and lollipops…I can appreciate that for many workers from outside London, this was quite an exciting event , being on a beano down in London, doing a bit of shopping on Oxford Street (yes, really, austere consumerism), being amazed at the hellish traffic and the price of a pint, but frankly I find it pitiful that Ilene the care assistant from Huddersfield, Frank the cleaning operative from Truro, Betty the library assitant from Aberystwth and Trevor the nurse from Leeds, find this form of protest and political action in any way meaningful- and that ‘revolutionaries’ consistantly fail to connect with any of them at all…
So we moved on to Oxford Street, looking for the UKUncut lot and the Black Bloc- and it wasn’t long before the anarchos materialised- all 40-50 of them with a similar number of TSG in tow (huffing and puffing)- they shot down a small turning, and we lost them- but not long after a small gaggle of ‘Anonymous’ supporters came up Regent Street (bizarrely carrying adapted Union flags)- they too had their own police escort- soon after the marching band of the Black and Pink Bloc straggled through, again with cops- they all vanished into the vast consumer throng, merging and separating throughout what remained of the day, and as far as I could tell, there was a singular failure to successfully occupy any tax-dodging shops or to cause any disruption of commerce- once again, fear of the kettle predominated, so that numbers were never large enough for effective action, and although the cops were kept on their toes, they generally managed to foil anything really constructive.
We ended up going up to Hyde Park- and once arrived, I had the impression of a utter desolation- it looked like a medieval battlefield filled with a broken and dejected army, standing about, looking lost in the ugly waterlogged and bark-chip strewn field. Much like last year, an air of defeat hung over the park, as if the realisation of just how empty an event it was had sunk in- a damp and grey anti-climax.
I thought to myself “What an abysmal, piss-poor, fucking ritualised march that was”- It was only when I got home and heard of the mass heckle of Ed ‘Moneybags’ Miliband* (and not just by anarchos and trots too), that I thought, ‘well, this has to be the days only saving grace’, despite the fact that it has only taken 30-odd years for a Labour leader to get booed at a TUC demo- it is about bloody time people woke up to the fact that the big money has captured what was the ‘people’s party’, the ‘socialist’ party- and it only took a near-genocidal war and economic collapse to get here…As far as I’m concerned, attacking the Labour Party and the Union Bosses is the way forward, because the hatred for the Tories is a given, the only way to progress is to reject the false opposition they offer our class, to push them aside as a mechanism for diffusing and abusing our class anger with false promises, lies and downright manipulation- No more illusions- the Labour Party isjust the other millionaire’s party.
*Including, reportedly-‘MIDDLE-CLASS CUNT!’ / ‘OI OI POSH BOY!’/‘FUCK OFF BACK TO HAMPSTEAD!’
See the smug bastard trying to smarm his way through his speech here:-
THE RICH ARE OUR MISFORTUNE.