Saturday, May 14, 2011

Surprisingly successful

About 350 people turned up for Rally Against Debt, which is not bad, given the lack of money and resources behind the organization of it. It's not like we had taxpayer sponsored unions to provide transport to thousands of people from all over the country - all who came paid their own way. And, of course, it was largely organized through blogs, twitter, facebook and word of mouth with some help from the MSM.

Some nice home-made placards. I liked the chap who was wondering round with a large notice that supported the cuts "if there are any". Someone else pleaded for Britain not to have a Greek tragedy; one person encouraged people to read Ayn Rand (he likes the woman's novels whereas I advise everyone to stick to her essays as they are shorter and pithier); one person even informed the world that Che was a mass murderer and that t-shirt is not funny, on the grounds that Bob Crow has been known to wear one of those. Anyway, it was good humoured and Old Palace Yard was left spotless afterwards. We are, as a well-known blogger said to me, civilized people.

Some cars going by hooted in support but my favourite sight was that of a police officer explaining to somebody who was just there to take photographs why we should not be bailing out other countries. The rest of us stood back and let him get on with it.

Will anything come of it? Hard to tell. The Tea Parties over on the side of the Pond started with far smaller meetings but they were across the country in many different states, organized by local people who became activists out of frustration with their party politicians. This is still only London and two of the speakers were Tory MPs with one UKIP MEP. (One couldn't hear the speeches so it really is of little importance what they said but one can imagine.)

There has been a reasonable amount of coverage, which surprised us all: the Guardian, the BBC (with the Greek tragedy poster), the Telegraph and news on AOL.


  1. I was there, though I seem to have been on the opposite side of the crowd to you. My impression was that the crowd was a bit too small, though good-natured. I didn't see many nutters there, except for maybe the stubborn-looking guy holding the Unison placard to his chest. Apart from Farage, I couldn't hear more than 1 word in 10 from most of the speakers, though what I could hear suggested that I'd heard a lot of it previously on TV or youtube. I liked the cars hooting as they went past, that was the most positive thing IMO.

  2. Well done, from medium sized acorns...

  3. Glad you made it, AKM. The speeches were largely inaudible; I believe videos of them will be put up on various sites, possibly on YouTube. Not sure that matters. I agree that this is just a very small beginning but, given all the problems and lack of time, it was pretty good and very well organized. You don't hear me being so positive very often. Possibly nothing will come of it and possibly it will grow. The Tea Parties started with fewer people and look at them now.

  4. I was there and thought it was a great event - ok not loads of people, but there was a good-natured spirit and it was a fun way to spend Saturday mornig in London. I heard all the speeches very clearly, but I was standing near the front.
    I also enjoyed meeting many from the blogosphere, including Devil's Kitchen (sadly now "Knife") and the incomparable James Delingpole. Shook hands with Nigel too....
    It's a start...

    ...gentlemen in England now-a-bed
    Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
    And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
    That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

  5. As a placard for next time, how about "Pay nurses not interest payments"?

  6. We do pay nurses. Money is not the problem in the NHS.

  7. Sure - but I wasn't saying we don't already pay nurses.

    The point I was trying to make was that the anti-cuts people should be confronted with the fact that doing nothing about the deficit will lead to interest payments taking more and more of the state's money, eventually squeezing out services so that we cannot pay nurses - a scenario that they surely don't want. It needs work, you're right.