Sunday, December 07, 2008

Marching on

I've never been to a national demonstration without a single SWP placard in the entire place before. It was slightly disconcerting although I'm pulling through, thanks for asking.

The climate demo seemed pretty sprightly - although there were quite a number of pro-vegan leafletteers who were getting about a bit, no doubt, boosted through their healthy living and good karma. Organisers claimed 10,000, the police 5,000 which makes precisely 7,500 in attendance - including Nick Clegg, John McDonnell, Caroline Lucas and all the gang.

I don't mean to pick on Clegg, having just written a post about how awful I think he is, but his speech was simply terrible. He couldn't get his sentences out and half way through a point he'd suddenly look startled and change direction.

I swear at one point he was about to condemn the entire banking system, realised what he was saying, did a kind of rabbit in the headlights look and then said Brown shouldn't have cut VAT... which is as hard hitting a point against climate change as you were likely to hear from him that day.

I'm sure the Lib Dems have got better people than this bloke - they must do. What about that Cable bloke? He seems nice. Anyway, I promise to say something nice about the Lib Dems soon - I just can't promise it will be about their leader.

Pic from the funky new London Indymedia site.


Strategist said...

Thanks for posting on this, Jim.

I totally agree with you about Clegg. Before I read your post, I had just commented on Socialist Unity that "Nick Clegg was a considerable flop. It was like he hadn’t thought through what he was going to say until he was up on stage and then, whilst up there, decided he had very little to say."

The contrast with Caroline Lucas and John McDonnell's powerful speeches was striking - both committed themselves impressively to non-violent direct action to stop the Heathrow third runway.

If you're looking for LibDems to say nice things about, then the contrast with Chris Huhne's speech to last year's demo was also very striking. Huhne spoke very knowledgeably & well, and seemed to have the political nous to strike the right tone. I'd say the LibDems picked the wrong guy.

Aaron said...

I was surprised and disappointed at the Lib Dem turnout.. :/
I saw zero placards. None from SWP/Respect either. Saw tons of vegan ones though! Which is great as it's good to see them active!