On Saturday there are two demos in London and Manchester – the first big opportunity to see whether momentum of the movement can be regained after the Christmas lull. Last week’s EMA demo from Piccadilly was about 800 strong and spirited but we’ll need to see much bigger numbers on Saturday and also whether then young unemployed are still engaged as they were on December 9th. The university occupation movement has not resurfaced in the new term apart from a flicker in Brum. There doesn’t seem to be any further call for demos after Saturday till the TUC March 26th event. That’s two months too long a gap.We should also be aware that putting all our eggs/hopes into March 26th will be a mistake. There are some very imaginative and exciting ideas for the day and very welcome they are and it will be a very significant day for the anti-cuts movement. But if there nothing else going on on the ground then it will still be a return to the one big march a year scenario. Now of course there will be local anti-cuts demos as councils set thir budgets and declare redundancies – but these will need to start occupying town halls rather than just venting anger outside them. The TUC demo against a background of town hall occupations will be a much more solid event. The other question is whether the trade unions wil ever act? Mervyn king declared yesterday that a six year period of wage erosion meant that the period represented the biggest decrease in standard of living since the 1920s. Couple this with rising inflation and still the unions refuse to act. Your supposed to be defending your members standard of living comrades. You haven’t. One glimmer of hope that I’ve flagged up before is the possibility of a tanker drivers strike – currently being balloted by unite. That would transform the situaton overnight. If anyone’s spotted othr promising signs let me know.
Mervyn King painted a picture of the nightmare facing millions of workers because of the toxic combination of soaring inflation and pay freezes or paltry pay rises. In his first speech of the year, Britain’s most powerful banker admits many households are suffering misery……………Hello Brendon Barber…wakey wakey!