Yesterday it was the turn of hundreds of school children demonstrating outside Parliament to save their playing fields and delivering a petition signed by 500,000″ organised by 17 year old Debbie Foote from Grantham , Lincs.” Last Saturday, TopShop at Oxford Circus, the shopping mecca for metro youth, was forced to close as hundreds protested against Philip Green’s tax avoidance. The organiser if you can call it that, was Ununcut – ( another potential disaster area for the Today programme’s James Naughtie) whose latent power is well pitched here by Ian Birrell and supported believe it or not, by the Daily Mail, as highlighted by unlikely ally, Will Straw’s Left Foot Forward .
An example of the power of social media to bridge the gap between left and right?
Regardless of the rights and wrongs of the issue, the significance of Ukuncut is that unruly flash mob protest has arrived in Britain. It may build into a mass movement or it may implode; already the dunderheaded militants have muscled in, the tedious Socialist Worker banners cropping up alongside the mannequins in Topshop windows.
But the protests have left their mark.
Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London