By David Harney
First posted on THE 67 MISSING PAGES! 21 May 2012
March 26th 2011.. Over Half A Million People Took To The Streets Of London To `March For The Alternative`
Fourteen months ago, along with another 500,000 people from both the public & private sectors, I wound my way around London, in a united stand against the cuts & plans this Government were taking. Many were marching against proposed cuts to welfare. Many against rocketing tuition fees. Some against hykes in their pensions, along with freezes on their wages. I myself marched in protest at the huge cuts offensive the Government were embarking upon, against our Police Service.
There was however, one common thread which ran through every single person that day. Fear…Fear for themselves. Fear for their families. Fear for their futures. Even fear for others.
Over a year has passed, and much has changed. Not for the better, I hasten to add. The biggest change I feel, has been how those devastating, and unnecessarily deep cuts are beginning to affect each and everyone of our daily lives. Many who marched on that day in an attempt to save their jobs, have since lost them. Many who marched for lower tuition fees, have not been able to afford to futher their education. Many more who marched against cuts to their benefits have been thrown into poverty…. and yes, many thousands of Police Officers, and staff, are being lost.
But there is another change that has occurred since that march for the alternative. A change perhaps less obvious, yet very real, and one which potentially has a far more reaching meaning. That change, is the unmistakable shift in the popular public mindset. A gathering of the popular belief that this Tory-led Government is failing. Moreover, that it is embarking upon a journey it will not, and I firmly believe cannot, change. It cannot change direction, because very simply, `austerity policies` won’t allow it. It is rigid, by its very nature. If it were otherwise, it would no longer BE austerity. The only guarantee is that attempting to cut the fiscal deficit, in this manner, will kill off any meaningful growth and further fuel, already chronic, poverty. This is no longer a mere theory. Since March 26 2011, it has become starkly visable to a growing number of, even previously sceptical, people. Now sadly, there before our very eyes, for all to see.
No longer can the Tories simply trot out the line of, “its all Labour`s fault”. Quite simply, this is a disaster made in Downing Street by David Cameron, George Osborne, & Nick Clegg. Nor is Europe to blame. For Europe`s financial meltdown is being compounded by the very same austerity only policies that is failing here in Britain. No growth plan equals no growth. There most certainly IS another way. Not rocket science by any means, yet still a fact that still confounds the likes of David Cameron.
This changing public shift in thinking has not gone unnoticed by the TUC, and its 58 Trade Unions. The same unions who represent well over 6,000,000 of Britain`s workers. The TUC is currently organising a hugh follow-up march to that of March 26 2011, and are widely tipped to announce the protest for October 20th 2012. The March will make its way across the capital, ending in a vast rally in Hyde Park. It will be represented by virtually all 58 of Britain`s Trade Unions, & numbers could well surpass those 500,000+. In fact, I would be amazed if it did not, to be frank.
In addition to this vast show of planned unity, two of Britain`s biggest Trade Unions are forging stronger links. The Public & Commercial Services Union (PCS), and Unite represent both public & private sector workers, and number around 2,000,000. An official merger of these two giants is not imminent, but not unlikely. Certainly PCS General Secretary, Mark Serwotka is keen on dialogue to that end. However, whether a formal amalgamation of the the two unions is established or not, stronger links are fast becoming a reality.
Workers in Britain, and Britain`s left of centre progressives have been greatly encouraged by recent events in France, with the election of pro-growth Socialist Francois Hollande. Whilst over in Greece, although as yet unclear, it appears more and more likely the people will reject the German led austerity package. Proof positive it would seem, that people DO after all have a choice. This realization has left the almost deafening sound of Merkel, and Cameron`s knees knocking with their own fear. Fear of power being ripped from their grasp at the first opportunity. What an undignified sight to see our Prime Minister bribe, and practically beg the Greek people to vote austerity. Reminiscent of a man attempting to persuade a turkey to vote for Christmas.
As I wrote the following day, March 26 2011 was not the end for this rotten Tory led Government..But it WAS the beginning of the end!
Thanks for reading…