An email to Dinah 27 March 2011 11:07
500,000 – figure mentioned on the BBC this morning - marched, in jolly comedy fashion, to protest against the government’s cuts in services and facilities, and the resulting repercussions these would have on employment and on standards of living, and they marched against abuses by the politicians and the banks: “ £50 cut in Winter fuel Allowance to pay MP’s higher expenses.” 500 – figure mentioned on the BBC this morning – committed criminal acts in protest against the government’s cuts, and against the banks’ bonus abuses, and against business tax abuses, and they entered Fortnum and Masons for a mass sit-in, and they smashed a window of the Santander Bank. I feel that the expression of anger of this latter group, 500 citizens with a vote just like the 500,000 comedians, was a more accurate reaction to the action of a government of privileged citizens damaging the already inadequate social structure of the country, with their foreseeable, utterly disastrous, repercussions. But then anger is not respected in this country. Losing one’s temper is not fashionable in this country. It’s not the done thing. I regard this limitation on the expression of legitimate and entirely appropriate feeling as political censorship, as required self-censorship, as expected self-censorship. What the government is doing is, to my mind, breathtakingly stupid, and utterly evil, and puts me in a state beyond anger. Of course they will take not a blime bit of notice of either of the groups of protesters, the comedians or the crooks, and especially not of the violent group, and they will cut the cuts of the police, so as the better to keep under control our abject and largely apathetic citizenry, which is more interested in sports and in the arts than in their lives and in the lives of others.
The Observer, while joining all the other respectable citizens in condemning the violent actions of the minority protest group, did yet print a sub-headline that these attacks pinpointed organisations whose personnel or policy were guilty of large-scale financial abuse. The tear gas which you discerned in Shaftesbury Avenue must have been the HSBC bank at the corner of Cambridge Circus. Picture of a hooded youth inside the bank kicking the money machine. I don’t think they’d attack John Lewis, as they are a firm singularly decently run, capitalism with an agreeable face...
I took myself out for a, what turned out to be, cream tea at the end of the 24 bus route in Hampstead, nice continental cafe with Eastern European amateur girls serving.