An alternative march

Written by Total Politics has a free weekly Friday email bulletin. Follow this link to register. on 5 April 2011 in Diary
If you don't believe in the March for the Alternative, says Harry Cole, then consider the Rally Against Debt

Whether it was the more likely figure of 100,000, or the more ambitious quote of half a million that marched through London two weeks ago with the TUC, there is no denying it was good turnout. But how did they do it? The TUC spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on transport, advertising, staffing, promotional material etc. Most of this money came from the taxpayer, channelled through public-sector jobs and back into the union coffers through membership subs.

You can understand why they did it. The trade union movement is a lobbying firm as powerful and dangerous to democracy as big pharmaceutical protection agents and the infamous smoking and arms lobby. They are just as self-interested in protecting the financial interests and wallets of those who have a stake in them and will go out of their way to manipulate the media and the law to that means.

The March for an Alternative wasn’t an organic outpouring of anger that spilled on to the streets, but the end product of seven months’ work by a professional events company. And still they only managed to get less than 0.2% of the country to turn up. The spin and lines to come out of the event was that it was the true face and opinion of the British public, but this is complete rot. It was an assortment of public sector workers and students and those related to them. All dependent on seeing the status quo, and thus their interests, protected, even when it is a direct threat to the best interests of the rest of the population and the nation.

I was asked in a TV debate a couple of days ago with some hard left types what the alternative to cutting back the state is. To put it bluntly, there is not one. Hence why the TUC and Labour, despite the rhetoric, could not produce an alternative on the day. They know full well that if the bond market was to pull the plug on Britain, the absurdly high public sector wage bill will not be able to be paid. However, it seems they have come to the conclusion that if they are going down, they are taking the rest of the population with them. This cannot be allowed to happen.

If you agree with this there is one small thing you can do. It’s not going to change the world, but it’s important that this lobbying firm is stood up to. On 14 May join me and a thousand others already registered for the Rally Against Debt. We’re not going to resort to their tactics by smashing up the TUC headquarters or throwing bricks through the windows of Sure Start centres, but simply register our concern that with the current rate of public spending and borrowing Britain is hurtling toward bankruptcy. It won’t be as big as the the TUC march as there is no money for buses or advertising blitzes, but if you want to say no to those holding the future of this country to ransom, then lend the Rally Against Debt an hour of your day.

Tags: Harry Cole, March for the Alternative, Rally against debt, TUC

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