IT couldn’t be more insulting to nearly half a million protestors who marched against Government cuts at the weekend to focus on 200 violent window-smashers tacked on to the fringes.
OK, violence happened, people were hurt, though fortunately none of them seriously, and mindless damage was caused to property, and that was very bad.
But huge numbers of union members, ordinary families, pensioners and health workers, including at least one coachload from south Lincolnshire, got off their backsides and out of their comfort zone risking real danger for their beliefs.
You don’t do that unless you feel very strongly, and it takes a lot of courage.
We’ve all seen pictures (though not so prominently used as those of the ‘student’ protestors kicking in plate-glass for the cameras on the tuition fees rally last year) of people suffering deprivation, being kettled by police for up to five hours with no food or drink, unable to get to a toilet.
On Saturday’s TUC march the police were apparently much more restrained having learned their lesson.
But nobody setting out from home that morning had a clue what the day might hold and they went anyway. That’s bravery.
The least we can do is pay attention to the message they’re sending and pray that the Government does too.
A number of disparate groups were involved led by the TUC and the overall message is that the cuts happening now are much too deep and too soon.
Tens of thousands are losing their jobs, vulnerable people are losing social care, today’s students risk losing their future livelihood and tomorrow’s won’t dare aspire to university at all.
Years of mature experience and expertise are being wiped off the public sector payroll never to be replaced.
If we’d waited longer before wielding the axe and taken measures to encourage growth, the lesson of history is that when the cuts came they wouldn’t need to be nearly so severe.
Also more care could have been taken instead of the wholesale hacking that’s going on now.
When the country wakes up to what it’s lost, it will become clear that the functions of many of those we’ve paid redundancy money to were essential after all – not to speak of the tax revenue the vanished jobs would have brought in.
New privatised companies will be drafted in at much greater expense.
Everyone acknowledges that the deficit in the budget had to be addressed.
The Coalition Government wants us to believe its predecessor was wasting public money hand over fist..
These cuts are hurting so hard because that simply isn’t the case.