The Right to Peaceful Protest?and the Credit Crunch.
Article 10, the right to peaceful protest, do we still have it in this country? Watching videos of the demonstration against the G20 yesterday, and the way it was handled by the police would make you doubt this. I know that there were a few trouble makers intent of smashing up Starbucks or RBS but all the tweets from the demo and most of the coverage on Newsnight showed a carnival atmosphere, and people creatively making the point that the world is facing real threats and that something neeeds to be done. Instead of being lauded for getting off their asses and doing something about what they believe in, the papers for weeks "anticipated violence" by protestors, allowing a justification for a heavy (handed) police presence, so that when the almost inevitable violence happened, it became acceptable for the police to use excessive force. this followed hot on the heels of a house of Lords ruling paraphrased by Duncan Campbell as "that people thinking about embarking on demonstrations in the future may have to decide whether they want to be effectively locked up for eight hours without food or water and, when leaving, to be photographed and identified. " This is absolutely terrifying. It makes me think of Manufacturing Consent the polemic by Chomsky which argues that the governement uses the media and popular culture to manipulate populations into conforming and giving up freedoms.
I have avoided blogging on the "credit crunch", mostly because even hearing that euphemism drives me mad, that and the completely meaningless "quantitive easing". Now, I am no economist, but I know that there is something very wrong with a world where half the world starves and the part which is supposed to work is collapsing, lets face it the neoliberal project has failed. In the review of John Gray's new book "Gray's Anatomy" it oulines Grays argument, defined as the "have your cake and eat it "argument. I haven't read the book yet , but i have followed Grays essays and I can't wait to do so, even the review is fascinating and worth a read.
Now if the economy was a business, we would be looking at that business' plan very carefully and we would probably decide that the strategic objectives weren't working, that operationally it was a mess and we'd try something else. Now my days of revolutionary socialism are well over, but one would think tthat with some of the finest minds available focussed on the problem, someone could come up with a more successful model. Like a new one. I can hardly do justice to this whole topic here. i am just very ANGRY.
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