Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’.
Wow! What a month! Are we not living interesting times? – Wikileaks revelations: Julian Assange’s locked in Wandsworth! US government sponsored boycotts! hackers fightback! – more financial turmoil: the Irish bailout! the crumbling of the Euro! the unpaid taxes of the mega-corps! – the escalation of the student protests: sit-ins! demos! the humiliation of the Lib Dems! riots and charging horses and attacks on royalty! – plus Clifford versus South Africa! Snow! The Ashes! Wagner on X-Factor! (Cameron really must take notes from Cowell – not only has the slimy-porky-man-peacock learnt how to make your vote meaningless: he’ll even charge you £1.50 for the privilege, now that’s capitalism!)
For example just look at that ‘good day to bury bad news’ items – Byers, Hoon and Caborn banned from Parliament for, well… essentially for corruption. Not to mention Tory MP David Tredinnick shifty repayment an expenses claim of £755 for a ‘computer programme that uses astrology to diagnose medical conditions’ a story which on any other day would make the front pages for sheer mind-boggling stupidity – Look! Criminal, gullible, bonkers and neurotic all nestled beneath dead-squirrel-Donald Trump-possible-toupe homage. Surely a shoe-in for parliamentarian of the year?
And meanwhile the students throw breezeblocks while a legion of fatuous BBC journalists, one of whom appeared on the news at around 4pm in what appeared to be a tin bicycle helmet for fear of all those loud brash teenagers demanding ‘condemnation of the violence’ – and missing the point entirely (not to mention the baton twirling plods).
The ‘violence’ – and lets be frank its not quite Helmand yet – is bigger than that one protest. It’s the result instead of at least half a decade of dreadful government – protests by millions against an illegal war (happily ignored because they were peaceful) – an economic collapse the culprits for which have been paid off for their greed by their own victims (the fraudsters swanning off straight back into the casino) – and colossal cuts to universities deceitfully presented as vital austerity measures, yet only 1.3 billion will be saved – less than is being spent on the Olympics circus (at the moment the Tories are seeing if they can do without the ‘bread’ side of the equation), ideological cuts which will obliterate the humanities and hugely reduce social mobility as potential students are put off and every institution outside the Russell group goes broke. And finally, perhaps most significantly, the Lib-Dems now proving that not one of our three leading national parties is capable of standing for any principle beyond the pursuit of power for its own sake. Or if not its own sake, that of the plutocrats. This is weirdly the lowest moment for democracy in the UK I can remember. And in the interim the myopic goons in the mainstream press whine about broken windows and mutter dark conspiracies about the ‘Wombles’ and the ‘Whitechapel Anarchists’ and ‘Al Qaeda’ – no wait on that last one.
When Thatcher beat the unions they were already half way to the canvas (I mean how surprising was her victory when even the protest songs seemed to admit defeat in advance – Tracy Chapman, Christy Moore, Billy Bragg – why is it you never sounded like you thought you might win?) But Cameron has picked on kids, students, on a fresh new generation who are tech savvy, with nothing to lose and as we are now seeing – not afraid to mix it. And why should they be lumbered with the fault of the City’s Big Swing Sun King Dicks excesses [say it fast]? The recent student demos may not be simply the climax of the student protest but the beginning I hope of something wider, deeper and more likely to break open the doors of the Bastille. The recession nastiest nips are yet to come: May ‘68? Let’s see what happens around May ‘11.
If only the Labour Party had members worthy of its founding principles: yet I look around and all I see are gnomes. Looks like for the moment the kids will have to do it on their own.
But for now: vive la revolution!