The Troglodyte Wins

And so the fallout from Saturday’s events continues. I really shouldn’t be surprised at what’s being said and by whom, but I foolishly continue to let it anger me. Still, as John Lydon once sang, anger is an energy, although these days he seems to be powered in the main by sarcasm and butter.

The MSM have done exactly as we knew they would and created a narrative wherein sympathy is extended to the ‘peaceful’ protesters but the validity of the cause is put into question by the ‘riots’ that occurred outwith the main march and rally. I had hoped that there would be voices on what is being called the ‘mainstream left’ raised against these spurious claims and the lazy, cliched journalism that contained them, but, again, no surprises to be found here.

Talk of the march being hijacked abounds, and indeed it has been. Not by the unfairly maligned UK Uncut, or even the ‘anarchist’ Black Bloc events. Saturday’s march has been hijacked by the media and right wing politicians and, by proxy, the very institutions that put us in this mess. The establishment is riding on the coattails of of what should be seen as a huge success for an increasingly large number of us against the proposed destruction of the public sector and turning it to its own advantage. Just as the first black bloc confrontation was timed to coincide with Ed Miliband’s speech in Hyde Park, all of a sudden we had the announcement this morning of new powers being proposed for the police. It’s almost as if it had been scripted…

This may all sound a tad conspiracy theorist (my tin foil hat is in the wardrobe), but BBC footage caught a suspected plain clothes officer dressed as an ‘anarchist’ flashing a card/badge and moving across police lines from the Black Bloc group. See the footage here.

We have also learned that the UK Uncut protesters were allegedly deceived by the Met Police. Having described the event in Fortnum & Mason as being “non violent and sensible”, an Inspector told the protesters that they would be led outside to safety, but they were in fact arrested for aggravated trespass. This accounted for around 75% of the total arrests on Saturday, a nice boost to the figures, much better to have arrests in the hundreds so that the scale of ‘unrest’ can be exaggerated. More information and footage can be found here in the Guardian.

(By the way, someone on Twitter has number crunched and found that if the percentage of protesters arrested on Saturday was equal to the percentage of lawbreakers in Parliament, the arrests total would be nigh on 20,000. So, y’know…)

And then we have the conflation of the peaceful UK Uncut event with the acts of vandalism committed by some in the Black Bloc. I expect this level of ignorance/misinformation from the right wing press, but not from this arrogant piece published on the Labour List site earlier today. Other pieces by respected commentators on the centre left such as the New Statesman’s political editor Medhi Hasan followed a similar line.

This (giving the benefit of the doubt) unwanted/unwitting collusion with the media narrative manipulated by the establishment may serve only to hinder the anti cuts movement as a whole. In their haste to be seen as being apart from ‘breakaway’ actions, centre left commentators are only helping the government and MSM to conflate a burgeoning and popular movement with the ideas of riots and violence. The aim of this is clear – all dissent must be quelled and/or pushed to the fringes and identified as the concerns of ‘radicals’ and ‘anarchists’.

We cannot let this happen – the continued attempts by the establishment to focus on the ‘violence’ on Saturday and whether or not it is condoned is designed to put people into a corner and condemn others; a classic divide and rule tactic. There were no riots on Saturday and there was little violence. Some buildings may have been damaged and the vast majority, myself included, would prefer that wasn’t the case, but the proposed cuts will damage people, perhaps even kill them. Those in the mainstream must start changing the discourse so that it focuses on the real story, not manufactured outrage at minor outbreaks of vandalism.

The title of this piece is taken from a track by the US rapper Busdriver wherein he refers to George W Bush, or so it has been interpreted, as a “defrosted Cro-Magnon man” (or maybe Schwarzenegger?). Perhaps that label doesn’t apply so much to Cameron (although there are some in his party…), but if these cuts go through, their disastrous impact on our society in terms of health, education, housing etc. will mean that the troglodytes have indeed won.

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