Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Confetti and class war

The big news of the day, or so the media would have it, is that William Windsor is to marry Kate Middleton. A royal wedding! And so we purr as our betters do something that happens all the time across Britain. Oh, and Vince Cable is to strut his stuff on Strictly Come Dancing - how exciting!

Relax, enjoy the spectacles, and - err - forget this vicious class war we're waging against you. That's not important.

Except, of course, that it is. In June's austerity budget and last month's Comprehensive Spending Review - not to mention the policies unveiled in the Coalition Agreement - the government have laid out plans to make working people suffer in order to reassert the power and privilege of the ruling class. No matter how many shiny things the media dangles before us to distract us, we shouldn't forget that.

Nor should we forget that we can, and should challenge the cuts agenda and the adverse impact it will have on our class. If we are passive and let them get away with it, it will not become easier but harder. Buoyed by success, they will only ramp up their attacks.

Instead, we need to stand up to them. Not only should we be making our voices heard, but we should be flexing our muscle. It is the working class who hold all of the power, and the mechanisms of government are designed to make us forget that fact. We ought to be rising up and demonstrating, pointedly, that we remember.

The students have shown us the way in this. Not only with their impressive and surprising takeover of Millbank tower on the 10th November, but with the occupations of Manchester and Sussex universities that followed it. Theirs is the first genuine expression of anger since the cuts began.

And anger, channelled into direct action and unleashed upon them, is what the ruling class truly fear. They can laugh off countless marches and demonstrations, ignore innumerable petitions, and simply pour scorn upon every rabble-rousing speech. It is only when the masses openly disobey, and they seem unable to control the streets that they consider backing off.

So, here's hoping that, with the students showing us the way, the working class is able to defend itself. The signs thus far are mixed, but I retain enough faith in humanity to think there is hope.

As Ian Bone said, "the next 4 weeks will be decisive." So, let's make sure that we act upon the anger and the fear that we are all feeling and turn it into something positive. If we can make enough of an impact to force Wills and Kate off the front pages, maybe we can get the government on the back foot.