Revolution!?

Yesterday a rally held in Belfast protesting at job losses focused on what the government can do for workers. It only attracted a crowd of 200. However is protesting really the way forward? Surely we’ve left the riots and protests behind us in the last century?

Losing a job and being stuck in unemployment in the current econmic state is depressing. Afterall, unemployment isn’t easy (for those who want to work).

However maybe people should be proactive. We cannot rely solely on the government and blame them when something goes wrong. We need to take a step back and look at ourselves and each other.

I do think a large responsibility for the current economic crisis has to be laid on the door of the banks, and I resent the fact that the government is bailing so many of them out whilst the directors responsible walk away with large severance packages.

Moderate government intervention is the right thing to do, but essentially we have to take responsibility for our own actions and re-assess how we can do things better.

Capitalism is not a solid foundation, but allows us the freedom of choice, direction and free will. A more restrictive model would not be the answer as the whole question surrounds funding.

The way forward is for people to ‘plough on’, if you cant get a job – go sign on – thats what the Social Security System is there for. However continually seek ways to reenter the job market. Jobs are out there, maybe not exactly what we want to do, but things will turn around – we just have to wait it out.

People should stop complaining. We should take note of our mistakes, but we need to move forward with confidence for all our sakes.

  • Rory Carr

    “I do think a large responsibility for the current economic crisis has to be laid on the door of the banks…” Really? How come no one has ever suggested this before now? And there was I thinking it was all my fault for just going about my business and trusting the banks and those in government charged with their oversight.

    But,

    “People should stop complaining. We should take note of our mistakes…”

    Hang on a minute… don’t you really mean, now that we have established that it was not my fault but that of the banks that I should start complaining and stop thinking that that I made any mistakes, apart from trusting the banks, the government and the capitalist system as a whole that is?

    I do wish you would make up your bloody mind.

    In the meantime I certainly think that those thrown out of work, unable to meet mortgage repayments on overpriced homes and faced with negative equity and possible repossession would be absolutely barking mad if they did not protest in the most vociferous terms and demand government action to alleviate the distress they are in for which the government must bear a heavy burden of responsibility.

    Furthermore, I do resent your easy linking of “protest” with violence and the hand-wringing way you besech us not to return to the past. Any violence associated with peaceful protest on this matter is most likely to come from the state agents as the recent G20 events have well demonstrated as if those of us who lived through the organised police state violence of the miners’ strike had forgotten and as if unemployment, poverty, eviction and the desperation on the faces of women and children with no where to turn is not violence enough. To hell with you and your “let’s all blame ourselves” pietousness! Let us rather take to the streets and demand action and the sooner the better because things are surely going to get much, much worse so we best needs get plenty of practice in.

  • Andrew

    Roy,

    Banks are to blame …

    but we as people are also for not looking after are own money and over stretching ourselves.

    Remember also, we the electorate are directly responsible for who governs us … protest through the ballot box.

    Such protests are played upon by political forces at bay … but whats the point? How will protesting resolve anything?

    They are merely a demonstration of peoples frustration and anger nothing else.

  • Groundhog Day

    how will “ploughing on” change anything?

    Nobody should be putting any significance on the figure of 200. It was a lunchtime rally with hardly any prior publicity. Now, if there was a well-billed demonstration for a Saturday, you’d begin to see how people feel, and what result protesting has. There were 120,000 on the streets of dublin last month and it has fianna fail shitting themselves.

  • socialist anarchist libertarian

    Surely we’ve left the riots and protests behind us in the last century?
    Do you work for the security forces?

    We cannot rely solely on the government
    Do you work for the government?

  • meandering snapper

    There were more than 200 at this yesterday.The intersting thing was that the bus drivers refused to drive past the rally to show solidarity with the sacked visteon workers, so for an hour there was no traffic down a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/23386031@N00/3450699784/”>Chichester street.<

  • meandering snapper

    Feckin hyperlinks!!!
    Chichester Street

  • Reader

    Groundhog Day: There were 120,000 on the streets of dublin last month and it has fianna fail shitting themselves.
    So FF raised taxes instead of cutting spending – which made other people unhappy. Something has to give – what would *you* do?
    Groundhog Day: It was a lunchtime rally with hardly any prior publicity.
    I got an email from my union, just like for the recent protest against the violence. I attended that one, not this one. I didn’t see the purpose of this one.

  • nineteensixtyseven

    So basically ‘get on your bike’? When did Norman Tebbit start blogging on Slugger? Visteon workers would be justified in kidnapping the bastards for the way they’ve been treated.

  • 0b101010

    Visteon workers would be justified in kidnapping the bastards for the way they’ve been treated.

    Now, that wouldn’t look too good on their CVs, would it?

    I look forward to resounding success of a new People’s Automotive Components Company that will surely be set up by the hard-working and driven people at the rally. A company that will keep jobs when there is no work, that will pay wages when there is no income and will exist to be its brother’s keeper. A Twentieth Century Motor Company for our time.

  • The Raven

    200 a bit disappointing is it? Is it any wonder?

    140 people were arrested on Easter Monday for not protesting at a power plant across the water.

    There are now five or six interesting bits of footage from the G20 “riots” showing just what can happen when you DO turn up to protest.

    Christian Aid found themselves on camera – several, actually – when a pre-arranged 250 protesters turned up at a power generating company’s HQ in Coventry in March. We all know what a rowdy bunch they are.

    My other job is a photographer. Imagine my surpise when asked by a peeler in London to show my pictures and then asked to delete them as he cited Section 76 of the Counter-terrorism Act to me.

    Ach sure what am I complaining about? What with our new ISP laws, I am probably already heading for jail anyway.

  • Now come on you chaps. Yes, we’ve been dealt a bad hand but if we all plough on together, knuckle-down, all that sort of thing, we’ll get through this together. No point rocking the boat and making a scene. Best to be a good sport and take on the chin, like a man. Maybe we’ll even a laugh about it when the dust has settled. That’s the (Dunkirk) spirit!

    Balls!

  • Wilde Rover

    People are responsible for a lot of what has happened. They allowed themselves to be lured into debt by gangsters and their own greed and vacuous materialism.

    They claimed they were too busy to take an interest in the running of their countries, and yet still had time for bread and circuses. They said that keeping an eye on those in power was boring and weird.

    And now many of these people are on their way to being debt slaves for life. The people, collectively, allowed themselves to be ripped off by criminals and now they have no one to blame but themselves.

    And no amount of protesting (be it on the streets or in the voting booth) will change anything.

    People are merely getting what they deserve.

  • meandering snapper

    The Raven…did you delete them?
    I’m a lil uncertain but as far as i know unless they have a court order you don’t have to delete them and if you have a press pass or even better an NUJ card you can sue them for potential loss of earnings.
    The new laws are an erosion of our civil liberties andfreedon of expression for sure, under the pretext of anti terrorism laws.

  • Cahal

    “but we as people are also for not looking after are own money and over stretching ourselves.”

    Speak for yourself. Many of us didn’t spend like crazy during the bubble. We saved. And avoided buying massively overpriced (and poorly constructed) houses.

  • cjb28

    Banks are to blame …

    but we as people are also for not looking after are own money and over stretching ourselves.

    So what are you suggesting Andrew? That we don’t overstrech ourselves, that we don’t spend any money?

    Do you realise that for this economy to get back on its feet, we need to spend money. We need jobs to earn and put money from our pockets back into the automotive industry, the electronics industry, the big chain stores, the big supermarkets etc. etc. etc.

    Your blog reads like that of a 6th year Economics/Politics student.

  • Reader

    cjb28: We need jobs to earn and put money from our pockets back into the automotive industry, the electronics industry, the big chain stores, the big supermarkets etc. etc. etc.
    The problem is that no-one wanted what Visteon was producing at the price. So where would the money come from to pay the workers a salary? Are you going to start production again? Making what? Selling where?

  • Rory Carr

    “…protest through the ballot box.” advises Andrew.

    Yeah, right, Andrew. Now that we have all been shafted under the term of a Labour Government whose apron strings are firmly tied to the city you would advise us to do what exactly? Replace a New Labour government whose first loyalty is to the city with a Tory government whose first loyalty is to…? Now that would be madness indeed.

    (It is pointless to concern ourselves with the role the parish council up at Stormont on this issue. It is simply of no account.).

    Insofar as it does not allow for any representation of working class interests within the parliamentary system since the triumph of New Labour apparatchniks, parliamentary democracy has become a ridiculous sham and the only place that the voice of those who depend upon work for a living can be heard is on the street and the more on the street the louder the voice, so that we shout down the prevarication, procrastination and downright lies that are spoken in that House of Shame at Westminster.

  • Brian MacAodh

    Only a 32 county, socialist, democractic Ireland can save us now.

  • fin

    protesting through the ballot box is the best idea, not necessarily voting for more of the same from a different party but by not voting at all.

    It’s all very well saying that everyone is responsible for over spending but the public have no choice but to pay way over the odds for essentials such as water, electricity, gas and public transport. Meanwhile taxes continue to increase as the burden of financing the public sector moves to the PAYE worker as companies (often PFI) move to tax havens.

    the last decade has seen a dramatic increase in the desire to screw PAYE workers and the public of every penny they have.

  • Reader

    Rory Carr: Insofar as it does not allow for any representation of working class interests within the parliamentary system since the triumph of New Labour apparatchniks, parliamentary democracy has become a ridiculous sham…
    Tssk. You know where that sort of nonsense leads! Clearly new-labour does not fit the bill, being busy falling off the tightrope between the client state and the financial sector – but that was perfectly clear during the last election too. And if you don’t have the stomach for ‘Respect’ or the BNP, you really ought to form your own party – you have a year to get your act together, and if your ideology deserves to win, it’s really up to you to show it by winning the votes.

  • Rory Carr

    As I have said, Reader, parliamentary democracy, insofar as it has any possibility of accomodating the social and economic needs of those who do not control the means of production – the ordinary men and women who constitute 90% of the populace, is a total sham and it would be like hoping to make one’s fortune on internet roulette to play that game anymore.

    What can be done is best done by using the outrage of street protest to make our anger manifest so that the rogues who would wish to bamboozle us with the lie they have made of democracy quake in their shitty little boots.

    It was the threat of a heavily armed, combat experienced, and heavily politicised army (politicised by their awareness that it was the Red Army and the people of the Soviet Union who had borne the brunt of sacrifice) returning to Blighty that allowed for the implementation of the welfare state. As one old soldier put it to me, “We traded revolution for false teeth, spectacles and NHS orange juice for the kiddies, and they only gave us that because if they hadn’t we would have taken it all and we bloody should have”.

    Enough of being fooled by careerist yesmen in the employ of those who care only to exploit us and are too bloody caught up in their greed that their incompetence is likely to bring the whole world to ruin. Has their greed driven them to such a point of madness that they would hang on desperately until the very police and military now employed to protect them from the masses wind up stringing them from lamp posts? That is the question for the masters of the universe today. They have brought the world to the brink of hell in their hand cart and you are asking us to trust them yet again and jump on board. No thank you.

  • 0b101010

    It’s all very well saying that everyone is responsible for over spending but the public have no choice but to pay way over the odds for essentials such as water, electricity, gas and public transport.

    No choice? If “the public” thinks that, then damn every one of them. Here’s several choices off the top of my head:

    1. Don’t consume electricity, gas or public transport;
    2. Process your own water, electricity, gas or use private transport;
    3. If you can do #2, set up your own companies to sell your resources to others;
    4. Move somewhere that doesn’t charge “over the odds”.

    No choice? I can’t be polite about this: that’s pathetic.

    Meanwhile taxes continue to increase as the burden of financing the public sector moves to the PAYE worker as companies (often PFI) move to tax havens.

    Where do these workers get the money they pay their taxes from? Where then does the government get their taxes from?

  • Reader

    Rory Carr: As I have said, Reader, parliamentary democracy, insofar as it has any possibility of accomodating the social and economic needs of those who do not control the means of production – the ordinary men and women who constitute 90% of the populace, is a total sham and it would be like hoping to make one’s fortune on internet roulette to play that game anymore.
    Even New Labour dirty tricks at the ballot box won’t defeat your 90% of the populace. Especially since you will benefit from the FPTP voting system. Why the defeatism? Don’t you trust the voters? Don’t they have a right to reject your message?
    Rory Carr: It was the threat of a heavily armed, combat experienced, and heavily politicised army…
    Actually, Labour won the election in 1945. See, the ballot box can work for you if you will only give it a chance.