Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The revolution at home

Tony Benn spoke at a public meeting in Stoke Newington on Monday night, and I seized on the opportunity to see the big friendly giant of the British left in the flesh, sidestepping the Judean People's Front and the People's Front of Judea on the way in. There's a write-up of the event here, so I won't bother reiterating everything that was said - but there was plenty of compelling pacifist rhetoric, calls for justice for the dead and displaced of Gaza, and enriching historical context, delivered Grandpa Simpson-style by Benn ('I remember being in London during the Blitz when...').

I just wanted to account for one of the audience members who spoke at the end. He was about 22 or 23, and spoke with deliberate, learned passion about the need to "shut down" the G20 when it comes to London on 2 April this year, to loud applause. He said it was the responsibility of young people like himself - like myself - to stand up and resist, to crush the international capitalist system that has brought the current economic crisis upon us. He spoke with anguish of his own personal plight, being without work for months, struggling to get by in recession-hit Britain after finishing his degree last summer. Our blighted generation are suffering the most, he said, and it will only get worse.

What I haven't told you is that this poor, impoverished young man, struggling just to survive in a country brought to its knees by global capitalism, had just graduated with a degree from UCL (one of the best universities in the UK), and was wearing crisp new Adidas pumps, a new Nike sweater, expensive looking jeans, and Georgio Armani frames to his glasses. I actually felt like punching him, but I didn't want to get moron on my knuckles. God I despise the left sometimes.

As Alan Parker Urban Warrior put it: "ignorance is a weapon: use it".


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I gave up arguing with those hypocritical wankers at Uni - but perhaps it would be fun to start getting into it with them again.

The dissonance between their self image as intellectual firebrands with the common touch is so out of kilter with the reality: A poorly-read squealing child.

2:20 PM  
Blogger John said...

Do you still consider yourself to be a young person?

I feel like I'm in my mid thirties.

I recently found myself debating football with a United fan who wasn't alive when United first won the Premiership. I find such matters disturbing.

1:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know, we have an intern who has never heard of only fools and horses *falls through bar*

2:43 PM  

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