“The real reason why David Cameron is imposing these massive cuts has nothing to do with the national debt. It is because he regards himself as, in his words, ‘the child of Thatcher’, and he wants to pursue her agenda harder and faster than she ever dreamed. He can do the difficult job of selling that to the British people if he wishes – but he should stop doing it on the basis of a swollen, suppurating lie.”—Johann Hari: The biggest lie in British politics
The NHS is not for sale, you grey-haired, manky codger ...
You may recall that I linked to the video of The Andrew Lansley Rap, by Nxtgen, the other day. Since then, I’ve hardly been able to stop listening to this fantastic rap dedicated to the UK government’s Health Secretary, who is currently doing everything possible to sell off the National Health Service piece by piece. Turns out I’m one of many. The video has gained thousands upon thousands of hits on Youtube, and has been getting mentioned by countless numbers of people. All this publicity - not to mention the horror with which most sane people view Lansley’s treatment of the NHS - has resulted in the track being released on iTunes. I suggest we all buy it. I have never wanted a song to get to Number One in the charts more.
“The sheer size and social depth of the demo is what all political strategists will now have to sit down and think about. I’m still thinking about it myself, but recording its size is important: the anti-war demo was bigger - maybe 1m plus - but this was certainly the biggest and most representative demo for 25 years.”—A snapshot of the 26 March demo - a great and thoughtful post by Paul Mason, Newsnight's economics editor.
“Standing here watching hundreds of thousands of people stream past, you get a real sense of the broad coalition against the government. I noted down every banner that passed through over a couple of minutes. Somerset Teachers Association, Vulnerable Chinese Migrants Association, Society of Radiographers, Prison Officers Association, Don’t Cut Out The Disabled, Southend On Sea Unison Branch, Ipswich Labour Party, Cut Trident, Nurses Uncut, Met Police Group PCS Union, Calderdale Division of the NUT, Chelsea Anti Cuts Alliance, Colchester NHS SOS, South Ribble Children, The Bohemian Storm is Rising, Parents Alliance of Community Schools, Isle of Wight Uncut.”—March for the alternative – live updates | guardian.co.uk
“Sandwiched between a budget that hits the poorest hard and the new financial year, this march may be Nick Clegg’s real alarm-clock moment for Britain, when cuts that were threats become real. Grants will dry up, contracts will end, a third of charities will shut down, A&E and maternity units will start closing as waiting lists rise. Thousands more young people will join nearly a million already unemployed. That crosses all social classes. So try as they might, the government will have trouble portraying this protest as some sectional interest group, a trade union throwback, an empty gesture from yesteryear.”—Ignore the sneers. This march is a real alarm-clock moment | Polly Toynbee | The Guardian
“In a village nestling in the Cotswolds, I was greeted by a sight that might well send a shudder down the spine of a young Minister. A regiment of purposeful Gloucestershire ladies were making their way to a kitchen-table meeting. Over tea from a pot and cakes from a stand, they discussed the arrangements for tomorrow. They are planning to join the protest. ‘I’m scared of going on a political march’ says Chloe Lees, announcing that she has never been on a demo before. ‘I don’t want to be kettled. I refuse to pee in the street whatever the cause.’”—Not the usual suspects | Mark Easton’s UK | BBC News
“I love a room that is a fortress and I love to work at night. To be free to get up and lean out of [the] window into that dark, airy stillness — is happiness. Dear Heaven! How little has been written about the extraordinary charm of NOT going to bed at night! Only to think of it and one passes into a whole strange world where to be awake is enough.”—Katherine, March 16, 1921
Why? In the era of 24-hour rolling news, why concentrate on one story, repeating the same items and the same information over and over again, when you could quite easily give the salient details, the most vital analysis, and yet maintain a balance of coverage between all the important events happening in the world?