I'll be honest it all seems pretty hopeless.
A government comprising some of the most ideologically challenged market obsessed and incoherent lunatics I've ever known has gotten elected. They claim they have a mandate to kick us all in the teeth because we've asked them to - despite a quarter of the electorate actually voting for them.
How is that right?
We have an minister for equality who believes marriage should be allowed to people on the basis of their sexuality.
We have a minister for disability issues who not only votes against the interests of those he represents, but recently applauded a court decision not to allow compensation to those his government had treated unlawfully. Denied PIP for a year these people were driven to utter desperation, including food banks and loan sharks, and yet will these 'fine upstanding people' put their hands up and apologise? Will they put their hands in their pockets and offer due recompense? Will they fuck!
We have an employment minister who believes in the death penalty and supports the most virulent behaviour of the free market; who distributes awards to businesses that pay less than the minimum wage under the guise of workfare and apprenticeships. A woman who cannot string a coherent sentence together and sounds, quite literally, like a child. Frankly, it's embarrassing. More embarrassing than listening to young William Hague speaking at the Tory conference back in the day.
But people just tolerate all this.
Despite 250,000 people marching on Saturday nothing has changed. And nothing will until those people, and the rest, do what is necessary to bring society to a stand still. The government aren't going to give a damn about the People's Assembly and it's talking heads. They haven't for the last four years, what makes those marching - with the best of intentions - think they will this time?
People talk about how good natured the march was and how friendly it was. That;s great; I want inclusiveness, I want camaraderie and mutual support. That's how society should function. But it's not going to stop the Tories. They simply don't care. They want a compliant society, and, ironically, a good natured march works in their favour, offering a safe and thus ineffectual release without being a real threat.
That's the tragedy of it. I hate to criticise the People's Assembly. I hate to criticise the march. I feel like a complete heel for doing so, sitting here at my keyboard pouring scorn on people for acting with the best of intention. These are the right kind of people, who care enough to do...something, but I despair that they are being given false hope by a group that's not prepared to do what I fear must be done. A few well organised events here and there will offer nothing but false hope and make those who, like me, want a better society and who believe in a better politics and a better economics, feel they are achieving something when, in the cold light of day, they aren't.
A quarter of a million seems impressive, and in a way it is. I cannot and do not criticise anyone who took part. They did so for the right reasons and with the best of intentions. But they have to know that marching alone isn't enough and will never be. Perhaps this is the start, and if that's the purpose then fair enough. But I do not see anything from the People's Assembly or the TUC that hints at a prolonged campaign of direct and purposeful action. The TUC is likely to roll over as it did before and comply with the government for the slightest of gains. The People's Assembly will hold talking shops where good natured commentators will state the obvious, preaching to a choir of people desperate for change.
All of that is great. But it simply will not achieve anything. A quarter of a million is a drop in the ocean compared to the size of our society. How many people don't care? How many people spent Saturday doing other things and not really caring or taking an interest in the issue of austerity? How many have yet to feel the pinch? Compared to what's coming, if the Tories aren't stopped, we have had it easy thus far!
Next month Osborne will unveil his 12 billion £ worth of welfare cuts. We all know these were coming and only a fool expects anything but the worst. The march has done nothing to dissuade the Tories from making these cuts. In fact I would argue it only galvanises them to believe, perversely, they are doing the right thing. In their twisted ideology they think they are mandated to deliver this pain; that it's not just what the people need, it's what they want.
There is no time for dialogue anymore. We've heard all the speeches. We all know what's at stake, and if you don't then I have to assume you agree with the infantile ideology of the idle rich. We are divided and we are at war. I have tried engaging with these people, it doesn't work. One tries to be reasonable - that is what mature reasonable people do, isn't it? But it gets you nowhere. Commentary following the march was filled with bitter indignation and ad hominem attacks - from right wing trolls who downplay their outrage by saying marching is a waste of time. They can't have it both ways.
There is no point engaging with these people, we have to treat them, as melodramatic as it sounds, as the enemy. This government, this economic system, this broken media, it all has to be stopped. We cannot survive five years of this. Things have to change. The time for talk is over.