Saturday, 26 March 2011
"Everything is within the state, nothing without the state" - today's marcher motto
Back in the 1980s – that age evoked so charmingly by Ed Miliband recently – the word “alternative” was captured and held prisoner by the forces of the left. To be an ‘alternative’ comedian wasn’t to be funny (although some were this doesn’t include Ben Elton) but to be ‘left-wing’, ‘progressive’ and above all else against “The Tories”.
In the end the alternatives weren’t really alternatives at all – there was much talk of “defending”, “fighting”, “mobilising”, “organising” and, of course, “striking” but little of substance as to the alternative being proffered.
Now, we find the same voices crying out, a coalition of the self-interested and the prejudiced descend onto London disrupting the pleasure of tourists, the weekend of locals and the choices of visitors. To achieve what is unclear except that this is a march for the “alternative”.
For some, such as the Unions the alternative is for ordinary people to pay more taxes and for government to cripple future generations with debt so their members can continue to consume what the nations earns (and remember, dear reader, that public servants – however valued – are solely consumers, they do not produce wealth or income) regardless of the interests of those who are producing that wealth.
For others – the spoiled children of UK Uncut in the forefront – the aim is to disrupt and annoy, to make a petty point and to adopt again that squadrista role of doing what the government refuses to do (not that they will succeed in this, of course) in “maintaining services”.
Behind all this lurks to prejudice, the hatred of business and enterprise. People clutch at a specious belief in the moral superiority of public service and wallow in ugly envy of others fortune. These people – who somehow believe, like Mussolini, that “everything is within the state, nothing is without the state” – are screaming for the good state, be it motherland, fatherland or the nanny, to care for them, coddle them, provide for their every whim and need. And to take the money for it off those “other” people.
This March for the Alternative is the political equivalent of a toddler’s tantrum.