Diclofenac Al 25 Mg Buy Generic Ventolin Buy Bactrim Online Uk Diltiazem Hcl Xc 240 Mg Para Se Usa Diflucan 150 Mg

The two challenges that could make or break #occupyLondon


4:16 pm - October 16th 2011

by Sunny Hundal    


      Share on Tumblr

Yesterday I went to report on the #occupyLSX event, and though I didn’t join in as an activist, I support the event in London as well as those across the world.

But the movements in New York and London are not the same, and there is a real danger that this will never take off across the UK.

But first, it’s worth noting and explaining how the “We are the 99%” movement is different to the “anti-cuts” protests earlier this year.

Most Britons think the scale and speed of cuts to public services are wrong. They think the cuts are unfairly targeted. But a big majority of Britons also think the cuts are necessary to bring down the deficit, and that Labour wasted too much money – helping create an unsustainable mountain of debt.

The #occupy / 99% movements have a different, broader focus: how society is becoming more unequal, failing a new generation of people who worked hard and yet still end up deep in debt, and the general sense of pessimism about the future. This sense of unease about the bailout of the banks goes deep into Middle England.

The 99% narrative cuts across the political spectrum. And it will only become more prominent with the impending Eurozone crash and a decade of economic stagnation. Even Ed Miliband recognises this.

So the big questions are: how will this impact politics across the world? How will “the 99%” force politicians to listen? What direction will politics take during and after a decade of stagnation and poverty?

There are two big challenges here:

1. Expanding beyond the usual suspects
The #occupywallstreet movement grew rapidly after two concurrent events: the brutality and kettling by police (videos of which instantly went viral) and the involvement of major New York unions.

But there’s a second reason why the US protests have spread so widely: they genuinely attracted a broader range of support from the start, including libertarians against bank bailouts, students who just want a good job, small business owners hit by recession, and academics etc. OWS did not have an overwhelmingly socialist or anti-capitalist outlook – even the 99% blog features plenty of middle-of-the-road Americans.

This was in sharp contrast to OccupyLSX on Saturday – which brought together familiar faces from climate camp, blac flag anarchists, usual lefties and of course Socialist Worker newspaper sellers. There was some general public too of course but they weren’t a majority.

The problem, as anyone vaguely involved with UK left-activism will know, is that many hardcore left-activists will rather swallow a cyanide pill than work with people who are slightly less radical than them. They will spend their entire time actively trying to wreck pluralistic coalitions.

It happened during the anti-cuts protests and it will happen again. Some have even gone as far as trying to wreck UKuncut (one called UKuncut a ‘populist group no different to the EDL’). These people would much rather pretend they represent the 99% than ever come into contact with the varied opinions of that 99%.

But I’m not sure how #OccupyLSX could expand beyond the usual suspects (which the government will easily ignore). Perhaps they could hold a series of comedy and music sessions to bring in new people? Either way, if the UK occupations don’t look like they involve some elements of the 99% then they will fail.

2. How to force political change?
The Tea Party movement, despite its unpopularity, was able to force the Republicans to listen because they focused on voting for and selecting their candidates. They fund-raised for candidates, knocked on doors for them and spread the word. The Republicans were forced to listen.

It’s unclear how the 99% movement will force the political system to pay attention long enough to drive through real change.

Newsnight’s Paul Mason, in his review of the book on student activism asked the same question: what’s your strategy, yo?

Right now the strategy goes something like this:
1) Occupy everything!
2) Erm, national strikes (hopefully)? That will cripple everything and bring the government down (hopefully)?
3) ???????
4) Revolution!
The danger is that despite being more popular and widespread than the Tea Party movement, these occupations end up being less politically effective if they lose momentum. This has already happened in some European countries.

In support
I was sceptical of OccupyLSX’s effectiveness before it even kicked off. A prominent left-wing activist at the occupation somewhat agreed when I expressed the above sentiments, but said the same was said about #OccupyWallStreet when it started. The financial crisis did change everything and the impact may be felt years or even decades later. But it doesn’t necessarily mean a shift to the left.

If there’s one thing lefties are good at, it’s trying to keep their movements as small as possible and denouncing anyone who differs as a traitor or sell-out. Whether it will be different this time around remains to be seen.

I write this in support so people can recognise and also focus on the bigger picture. We need these occupations to work, and that requires constructive criticism, not just blind cheerleading.

    Share on Tumblr   submit to reddit  


About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
· Other posts by


Story Filed Under: a) Section ,The Left

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Reader comments


>>it’s worth noting and explaining how the “We are the 99%” movement is different to the “anti-cuts” protests earlier this year.

I was listening to a live stream from #OccupyLSX last night and it struck me how posh the accents were. This is a white middle class protest, not an underclass protest. These people are rich, not poor. When they say the rich need to pay higher taxes that means them.

You can’t keep on pretending that there is some large part of society which can bail us out. The top 10% already pay over half of all taxes. If you make the wealthy poorer (i.e. Tatchell’s 20% wealth tax) then they will pay less tax in the future so taxes for the average guy will go up.

In America the top 1% pay 40% of taxes. In the UK the top 1% pay 25%. The reason is that America has more rich people, not higher tax rates. If you want the top 1% to pay more then the numbers say that you actually need to make them richer, not poorer.

This may not make any sense to the thousands who have decided that they should not have to pay. Well, we all enjoyed the party in the last decade and we all have to help clean up.

We certainly need to protect the poor from the worst of the austerity. That does not include the people who were protesting yesterday. There is no easy solution that makes others pay for us, despite all their protesting.

2. Leon Wolfson

Nonny Mouse? Take statistics 101. 1% is 1%, and relative tax rates mean they’re taxed far more lightly.

And oh yes, I enjoyed being able to afford heating, shared-house accommodation AND food. Shame the “party’s over”. Thanks for your contempt.

‘OWS did not have an overwhelmingly socialist or anti-capitalist outlook – even the 99% blog features plenty of middle-of-the-road Americans.’

Right, because one a priori can’t be socialist and middle-of-the-road. Because there will always be a fixed spectrum in which such sentiment is fringe. Because being non-socialist is definitional of ‘middle of the road’. Because the pursuit of socialism is the actualisation of a minority identity, rather than, you know, an *activity* which may go by other names.

Measuring a political field by polling self-ascribed political identities in developing situations doesn’t tell you very much – real events are not like a succession of little plebiscites.

‘There was some general public too of course but they weren’t a majority’

Because once you get a measure of things on the first day, that sets it the tone forever. ‘Oh don’t bother – *those* people are there’. Again, apparently people with certain political identities are counted out of the set ‘general public’.

‘many hardcore left-activists will rather swallow a cyanide pill than work with people who are slightly less radical than them.’

Yet… it happens all the time. It’s perfectly possible to find a modus vivendi if both sides are open to it and allowed their reservations and independence – the problem here is that in the caricature you construct, to ‘work with’ your ‘people who are slightly less radical than them’ involves all give and no take. There’s a difference between negotiated co-operation and one side comporting itself to the other, concealing its views and suspending its activity for no return.

‘They would spend the whole day actively trying to wreck pluralistic coalitions.’

Again, pluralism works both ways you know; perhaps laundering caricatures of those to the left of you isn’t conducive to coalition either? Perhaps they have genuine, theoretically justifiable or principle-derivable differences with people rather than some unconscious drive to ineffectiveness, which is what you seem to be positing.

‘ These people would much rather pretend they represent the 99% than ever come into contact with the varied opinions of that 99%.’

‘These people’ are a straw man. And suggesting a representational deficit afflicts an extra-parliamentary social movement whose mobilisation is partly predicated on the inadequacy of present forms of political representation is missing the point. The occupiers aren’t trying to ‘out-represent’ other people in a flat popularity contest, their trying to mobilise and operationalise a critical rethinking of society. I don’t think they’re claiming to already be a majority, that they were always-already ‘the 99%’. They’re attempting to initiate the constitution of such a collective actor.

‘The Tea Party movement, despite its unpopularity, was able to force the Republicans to listen because they focused on voting for and selecting their candidate’

And was backed by Republican funders, and advocating a politics in tune with the interests of capital and receiving favourable media coverage from News corp- the idea a ‘left’ mirror image could pursue a similar course and attain comparable results speaks to a wilful naivety about how weighted against systemic reconfiguration electoralism is.

‘If there’s one thing lefties are good at, it’s trying to keep their movements as small as possible and denouncing anyone who differs as a traitor or sell-out. Whether it will be different this time around remains to be seen.’

Do you get your straw men from the same place Kelvin Mackenzie does? Though I’ll concede part of the problem here is ‘lefty’, a label that seems to lack any coherence now. Frankly, continuum thinking in which there are reasonable ‘lefties’ through to an outriding ‘hardcore’ seems actively misleading. Where are the actual discontinuities, and over what questions?

You’re right to consider the movement’s effectiveness, but wrong to think that will correlate with simple numerical accumulation – as if positioning, economic disruptive power, capacity to create distance for thinking and politically articulating new ways of proceeding didn’t count too. Some will attract some people and repel others, and that will be on the basis of heterogenous qualitative experiences, not the movement of a graph between with diminising ‘radicalism’ on one axis and increasing effectiveness on the other.

The way you have it it’s all just counting numbers like there was a perpetual, unconscious general election going on – which says more about your entanglement in the electoral machinery of the political system than anything.

@1

“This is a white middle class protest, not an underclass protest. These people are rich, not poor.”

When the underclass protested windows had to be broken before people took notice. And then they were criminalised. Plus ca change.

“When they say the rich need to pay higher taxes that means them.”

Those bastards, not looking out for their own interests! Disgraceful eh.

I’ve no idea of the social make-up of the 99%-ers. It doesn’t matter, frankly, because they’re speaking a truth that has been covered up by bullshit and useless idiots like yourself, nonny mouse, for too long.

@ Leon

I think it’s you who might want to take the statistics lesson mate.

The “rich”, as Nonny says, pay most taxes already. the top 1% pay 25% of the total income tax take, and the top 25% pay 75%. Tax rates on the rich are also much higher.

What you are talking about is relative wealth after taxes and living costs…..and no sh*t, poorer people come out worse in those comparisons.

The attitude of the far left and far right to money lenders has always been interestingly co-extensive and the involvement of Christians that I noticed has a rich and varied past as well.

On another note;

I rarely ever see any demonstrators at these events campaigning for rich people to pay more tax who actually pay tax themselves.

You mention the word ‘left’ 6 times here but as you say economic libertarians in the States are as livid at the bank bail outs as the socialists. I feel this movement in this country should start with a very narrow focus while aiming to be as inclusive as possible. The way our economics have worked recently as a welfare / pillaging tool for an elite cabal affects everybody detrimentally, not to mention the environment. Therefore everyone should be welcomed. Unity needs be the focus. Unions, anarchists, socialist workers, etc. are essential but this opportunity will be lost if everyday people (99% all) feel unwelcome. We have to focus on what unites us rather than our ideological differences.
I agree basically is what I’m saying and am optimistic that, with a semi permanent base and diverse people free to come and go and share ideas, this will grow slowly around a core, but with thousands able to join at key times.
The 99% meme has been effective because it is so inclusive, and so must Occupy LSX be.

Well said Sunny. Especially point 1.

In my experience most people on the political left now seem to be middle class and they fear and despise anyone who’s English but not like them. Most on the left will not engage with the rest of us, preferring to browbeat us for anything that doesn’t fit their narrow ideological straitjacket, calling people sexists, racists, homophobes, fascists, nazis, and the rest. Shopping at Tescos ? – “Sin!” Eating meat? – “Sin!” Calling people love or darling? – “Sin!” Complaining about immigration? “Sin!”

So most ordinary people in this country have learnt to avoid the left because all you get off them is loads of abuse for being, so say, “politically incorrect” and “brainwashed by the right-wing press”, as if we can’t think for ourselves.

People are really ticked off with what’s going on, but if the left think that they can just whistle and the rest of the population will come running to be bossed around at their demos and told we’re dirt, then I think they’re having a laugh.

The British left is really going to have to change themselves and become a lot more tolerant of ordinary folk – the real 99% – and normal ways of thinking, talking and behaving, if they want to get anywhere.

10. Leon Wolfson

@5 – Lol. Of course, that out top 1% pay 25% to the states 40% mean they’re so heavily taxed and oppressed!

Gotta fight the good fight to oppress the poor, I quite understand.

11. Leon Wolfson

@9 – Ah yes, the meme that Labour needs to move right again. Sigh.

Nonny Nouse & Tyler: wrong. I work full-time & earn just over 30k gross. I would gladly pay more tax for a fairer society where poorer people were protected, not demonised, where essential services in a functioning democracy, such as freely accessible libraries, schools, medical care & legal aid, are proudly protected, not vilified as a “waste of taxpayers’ money”. I know what the alternative is like, I’ve claimed benefits and I’ve cared for a long-term claimant with severe health problems. There are worse countries to be poor in than Britain, but it’s no picnic by any means.

All I ask is that the wealthy few, both actual people & legal persons such as corporations, are not privileged above the ordinary citizens; that they contribute a truly fair share to the society in which they profit, and that they cannot buy the politics or the legal systems they prefer. That’s not democracy, it’s the broken bastard feudalism of pre-Revolutionary France.

I have joined the anti-bank protests today by not having any money in my bank account.

My protest continues.

@11 – Well Leon, you can glibly and smugly dismiss an uncomfortable bit of home-truth as much as you like, but it’s going to be your loss, sadly.

15. Leon Wolfson

@14 – Sure, if you think the only people who count are the Tory fringe voters. Never mind the left who largely don’t vote (turnouts are dropping, not coincidental) because of a lack of a party to support them. Some tried the LibDems and got ConDem, and won’t be voting for the LibDems again, even if they EVER vote again.

So yes, you keep advocating an effective policy of handing the Tories victory.

16. anna-rose phipps

Very valid points you make there, Sunny.
I was at OccupyLSX yesterday and intend to return tomorrow again.
I got blown away by the optimism, the Samba music and festival atmosphere. Oh what a blast! Chatting with so mny interesting and diverse people was a terrific eye opener .
Yet i felt a slight concern at times that there didn’t seem to be a ‘99%’ feel about it. Where was the cross section of the population. Don’t get me wrong i thoroughly enjoy mixing with the anticapitalist, the socialist the student, the ageing hippy. I myself am an idealist so feel comfortable surrounded by these people. But the 99%?
No way.
I really really hope and pray that these are early days yet, and that this movement becomes as ambitious to promote realistic changes and reforms as the Tea Party.
Serious thinking needs to take place immediately in order to encourage greater inclusiveness.

The lesson of Tahrir Square, IMNSHO, is that “all walks of life” must participate.

Why are you on about the Labour Party Leon?

They are irrelevant. They’ve made themselves irrelevant. To everyone except their rich cronies and a few apparatchiks (like yourself?)

“the left who largely don’t vote (turnouts are dropping, not coincidental) because of a lack of a party to support them.”

Exactly, you even agree.

The activist left are a tiny minority of people who, as I explained in my initial comment, take the rest of us ordinary folk for granted as election fodder. That’s why people don’t want to vote for them – or frankly – have anything to do with them.

Instead of setting up all this straw man nonsense about Labour and Tory (same old story) why don’t you try and address what I’m actually saying?

bob: as if positioning, economic disruptive power, capacity to create distance for thinking and politically articulating new ways of proceeding didn’t count too.

Count with who? If these folks are simply preaching to the same people then its a waste of time.

In any given month, more people read this blog than the total number of people who have marched in support of OWS. I’m not bragging – I’m just pointing out that unless those numbers expand, the people being reached is very small in comparison.

And talking whole day long about how you would disrupt economic power in theory without having a plan is still a half-formed plan.

7
Well as all adults pay tax you haven’t been paying much attention.

9
You make too many sweeping statements about ‘the left’, who are indeed ordinary people from many differing backgrounds who believe that the current economic system is basically ‘shit’, they do not want to enter into another dialogue about how it can be adjusted if only we did ….

anna-rose – very glad you thought that too. I have hope this will expand!

Birdie: People are really ticked off with what’s going on, but if the left think that they can just whistle and the rest of the population will come running to be bossed around at their demos and told we’re dirt, then I think they’re having a laugh.

Rather sadly, I’ve heard similar sentiments being expressed by lots of other people who would be sympathetic too.

“Count with who? If these folks are simply preaching to the same people then its a waste of time.”

My point exactly. “Preaching” being an operative word. That’s all we ever hear from the modern left, preaching. At length. In words of 4 syllables or more.

People are sick of it.

Like Anna-Rose said “Don’t get me wrong i thoroughly enjoy mixing with the anticapitalist, the socialist the student, the ageing hippy. I myself am an idealist so feel comfortable surrounded by these people. But the 99%?
No way.”

Wow speaking of the propensity of the UK left for immediately adopting a negative position towards attempts to develop popular and broad-based initiatives…! 24 hours into this new ‘movement’ and we already see various semi-prominent figures griping and predicting its demise…listen, and I know that we have all heard this many times before and are dutybound to react with hardwired cynicism and scorn, but Things Are Changing; there may not be much evidence of this here, but there certainly is elsewhere. All hell is about to break loose and expecting the sorry remnants of the British left to be of any use when it does is a bit like placing a bet on Bhutan to win the 1954 World Cup. What happens in the UK, one of the most politically moribund countries in Europe, depends on what happens elsewhere. The British people would not react if the Government announced they were all to be exiled to Siberia, and as for the so-called Left, even if the streets were full of hundreds of thousands of people crying out for a decent left alternative, which they are not, the Left would have no idea how to connect with them. On the uncharted map of events over the next few months, the UK does not feature particularly prominently. People in other countries will show the way, and eventually (hopefully) the UK will follow.

@steveb – it’s not the “ordinary people from many differing backgrounds who believe that the current economic system is basically ‘shit’” that I’m talking about, it’s the activist minority that I’m criticising – they are the problem.

Sunny, I think there’s another issue we need to consider in this country. People have SEEN what notice governments take of hugely popular & influential movements. Literally millions of Britons opposed going to war in Iraq. And what happened? The government of the day completely ignored them. 2010’s change of government has so far not offered much greater evidence of attention being paid to public opinion.

Not only does there have to be a message which reflects the concerns of a majority, but people also have to believe that protest movements can actually have some impact. Based on recent history, people are quite justified in thinking that they might as well stay at home & watch tv; at least there’s little chance of being kettled or beaten up.

@2. Why do I suspect you’ll continue being able to afford heating, shared-house accommodation and food despite government austerity?

27. Leon Wolfson

@26 – I can’t. We won’t be using the heating at all this winter unless it gets REALLY cold*, and power usage is already an issue. And I’m cutting back on my food again.

(*As in health-threateningly cold. And then only sparingly, because things like “insulation” require the landlord’s installed them…he hasn’t and won’t allow us to!)

Thanks for the patronising insults *once again*, though.

@24 – Right, you’re criticising anyone who speaks up for the left. Gotta suppress those voices of dissent!

So, since I’m not from the UK, let me ask: Was anyone who participated in #ukriots inside the #occupylsx perimeter last night and, if not, was there a principled reason why not?

I’ve just re-posted with a response in openDemocracy’s OurKingdom. BTW the book is Fight Back! Its on the Winter Protests and the anti-cuts movement not just the ‘students’

http://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/sunny-hundal-anthony-barnett/two-challenges-that-could-make-or-break-occupylondon

I enjoyed being able to afford heating, shared-house accommodation AND food. Shame the “party’s over”.

I thought you had two jobs, lecturing and running an MMO?

31. Leon Wolfson

@30 – I do some lecturing. But I also have to look to being able to live for more than this month. And the summer jobs I did have been deliberately destroyed by the government, and the lecturing won’t last for many more years.

So, austerity for me too.

(Also, three of my four house mates are also poor and the other one’s rarely here. Oh, and the nature of hourly lecturing means you do 1.5-2 hours of prep and marking per contact hour…but they only pay contact hours. So you don’t qualify for tax credits (which would make a MASSIVE difference to me) because you’re not doing “enough hours”…)

32. Shaunyboydotcom

“But a big majority of Britons also think the cuts are necessary to bring down the deficit, and that Labour wasted too much money – helping create an unsustainable mountain of debt.”

Have you got a source for this?

@Leon 27 “Right, you’re criticising anyone who speaks up for the left. Gotta suppress those voices of dissent!”

This is hilarious.

You’re talking like you think you own the left, Leon.

But, sorry, I have as much right to being ‘left’ as you have, Mr lecturer. I am a voice of dissent too. I’ve been dissenting from the Establishment for 30 years. And I can dissent from your preaching as from anyone else’s, thanks.

If there’s anyone trying any suppressing of dissent round here, it’s you, Leon.

34. Leon Wolfson

@33 –
You are not acting like someone who is remotely associated with the left. Dissenting doesn’t automatically mean you’re to the left, there are plenty of Randroids in America who dissent from the right in America, to take one example of dissenting nuts…

You’re the one *preaching*. I’m just pointing out your screed of “move right, move right” and you’re getting defensive. Gee!

@richwill 23 – “24 hours into this new ‘movement’ and we already see various semi-prominent figures griping and predicting its demise”

Are they? It looks more to me as though there is a little bit of self-awareness and self criticism dawning within (some of) the left here, which can only be a good thing.

After all, as you put it “even if the streets were full of hundreds of thousands of people crying out for a decent left alternative, which they are not, the Left would have no idea how to connect with them.”

Exactly. That’s what we need to practise; listening to and connecting with ordinary folk and their concerns.

@Leon – “You are not acting like someone who is remotely associated with the left.”

Oh, and you define how someone in the left should act, do you? You wish.

Initially I just expressed a view on Sunny’s OP, like anyone else. You then attacked me and have been jumping on me ever since, completely failing to answer what I wrote, and distorting my views to fit what you want me to be saying. All, apparently, because you can’t take a little constructive criticism. Clearly you think the cap fits you.

It’s always funny to hear people moaning that the far left are full of ‘splitters’ who are undermining the movement, while simultaneously doing everything they can to spread stereotypes and lies about activists – often with little more than one supporting anecdote.

Really worrying news for all those haters of Keynes because the EU Commission has gone keynesian:

EU to reveal €50bn infrastructure jobs plan

EU hopes €50bn investment in digital, energy and transport infrastructure will attract more private finance and create hundreds of thousands of jobs
Guardian: 16 October 2011
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/oct/16/eu-plans-50bn-infrastructure-jobs-campaign?newsfeed=true

Ciaran@37 Nail hit firmly on head there.

The modern protest movement does not attract me in any way. It looks like a big turn off.
It’s just the left activist/clicktivists by the look of them. Where’s all the other Londoners?
The working class and the ethnic minority communities? They’re not there as far as I can see. Anything that the SWP turn up to has the whiff of death about it IMO. They are the 0.5% – and regular people shun them.

@37

Ciaran: I know it’s not very reassuring, but sectarianism isn’t just a phenomenon of the left. Any time spent studying the people & groups on the anti-establishment right wing will tell you that they’re just as prone to splitting, and to raving about the splitters.

Maybe it’s not so much a political problem as it is a human one.

42. Leon Wolfson

@36 – Funnily enough, my definition of “left” isn’t “pale shadow of the right”, yes.

You’re being defensive for a reason – your position isn’t a good one.

@41 – But they’ll pull together for elections, as the left won’t.

43. Paul Newman

It might be interesting to see what percentage of the population feel a rag tag rabble of dogs on string loons has to add to the nations economic policy
1%? ..less?
On the bank Bail outs this was a left wing, rather than right wing confiscation of taxes to bail out the banking system. A right wing administration would have been less, not more, keen to throw cash at failing Companies even if there was little choice.
That is why, in the relatively free US the right tend to see the banks and the government as in league against them.I `m having a tough time reading that across to the UK

@ 38

“Really worrying news for all those haters of Keynes”

That should read: really worrying news for anyone with a modicum of economic understanding, or, failing that, a bit of common sense.

@Leon 42

What, saying that left activists need to listen to the 99% isn’t a good position?

And saying that activists need to listen to people instead of dismissing them is “right wing”?

I see …..

@43

“On the bank Bail outs this was a left wing, rather than right wing confiscation of taxes to bail out the banking system. A right wing administration would have been less, not more, keen to throw cash at failing Companies even if there was little choice.”

There’s no difference. They have the same playbook.

I’m not sure these protests are necessarily about ‘higher taxes for the rich’, as people seem to be assuming; they’re about the way the system in general, not just the tax system, seems to be working to keep a larger and larger share of the pie in the hands of the very rich. If we could just rebalance things so that a smaller share of GDP was accruing to capital and a larger share was being paid out in the form of wages, there’d be no need to increase tax rates for the rich or anyone else. (Consumer demand would rise, promoting growth and increasing the tax take; the cost to the government of ‘topping up’ low incomes would fall; money in the paypackets of ordinary people is more likely to find its way to the taxman than money in the offshore accounts of the wealthy.)

48. Leon Wolfson

@45 – No, your trite dismissal of the left as inherently unworthy and not representative of “real” people is that. Moving the goalposts, gg!

@43 – “A right wing administration would have been less, not more, keen to throw cash at failing Companies even if there was little choice.”

So, we should have let the entire system go down the drain and subsequently defaulted and taken at least 50% off our GDP. Got it. The right, everyone, they won’t **** go away!

@44 – Of course, common sense dictates that when things are going wrong, you do the same failing things harder. Right wing “common sense”, which has nothing to do with the actual definition.

“No, your trite dismissal of the left as inherently unworthy and not representative of “real” people is that. Moving the goalposts, gg!”

Sorry Leon, that makes no sense.

It’s great to see though that there are plenty of other people who have written about how important it is to involve everyone in the #occupy protests and not let the momentum be hijacked by any one party or faction with their pre-set agenda.

We are the 99%

50. pinkypoopoo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSo-MEiMbac

Trust fund baby’s – direction less- clueless and funded by those they hate:D

Crack on.

“And oh yes, I enjoyed being able to afford heating, shared-house accommodation AND food. Shame the “party’s over”. Thanks for your contempt.”

I always wondered why you were so taxation mad,, perhaps you should have done better for your self?

@44: “That should read: really worrying news for anyone with a modicum of economic understanding, or, failing that, a bit of common sense.”

Not to mention the millineryists.

You really believe that the EU funding more spending on infrastructure is going to “crowd out” private sector investment?

Try this: “The stage is set for a clash this year between shareholders and investment bankers over how companies should spend more than $2 trillion of cash sitting on US and European corporate balance sheets.”
http://www.efinancialnews.com/story/2011-01-04/tensions-mount-corporate-cash

Companies aren’t short of cash balances to finance spending on investement. For one reason or another, companies don’t want to spend on investment projects, perhaps because they think it might be too risky with the looming possibility of another recession. Yet another case of a self-fulfilling prophecy. But that is a very keynesian way of analysing the situation.

52. Leon Wolfson

@49 – Ah, well, good luck with the MPD treatment. The entire point is to get away from your view that people are not *entitled* to take part in these protests simply because you don’t like them. That’s what the entire term is *about*.

What I said makes perfect sense. You just don’t like what it says about you.

@52 – Never underestimate the right’s capacity for self-delusion on economic issues. cf. Teabaggers.

ciaran, cylux often with little more than one supporting anecdote.

It’s so self-evident it is beyond funny that some people even whine about this. And the people most likely to whine about this are very people who spend half their day on twitter raging at ‘fake lefties’.

I suspect bankers are getting a tad worried about what might happen to their bonuses.

@51

“But that is a very keynesian way of analysing the situation.”

What? Either inconsequential or wrong?

@ Leon

“Right wing “common sense””

Pernicious polylogism.

Just how many of the people there were talking about the 99%?
Is this Little America?
Are the usual faces grabbing on to each MSM soundbite?

I only ask because this web page is littered with 99% references.

@ Bob comment no 3 says all that needs to be said. Sunny, the sooner you go and join Dave and Gideon in their party the happier you’ll be with the comfort of spending time in the company of likeminded people. Off you go.

58. Leon Wolfson

@56 – No, just right wingers going ballistic when I point out their economic illiteracy again. Remind me how well growth is doing?

@57 – lol!

Ellie : Sunny, the sooner you go and join Dave and Gideon in their party

Thanks for proving my point for me. About time someone turned up and did that.

Oh I also want to address the point about the Tea Party made by Bob

And was backed by Republican funders, and advocating a politics in tune with the interests of capital and receiving favourable media coverage from News corp- the idea a ‘left’ mirror image could pursue a similar course and attain comparable results speaks to a wilful naivety about how weighted against systemic reconfiguration electoralism is.

OWS has received tons of great coverage from MSNBC, the NY Times and other outfits. In fact, its done brilliantly on the web, where it reaches an audience bigger than 3 million (which is Fox News’ average).

Despite all the money and the coverage, the Tea Party ended up being highly polarising and getting a negative rep. And yet they still had an outsized impact on the Republican party (despite the establishment not being too happy about them) because the Tea Party politically organised itself.

There’s no point just attributing everything to Fox News and Koch money (though that played a part) – the point is simply about how you have political impact.

Now, fair enough, people might say they hate the political system enough that they don’t care about having an impact on any of the parties. In that case what’s your alternative system for democracy? And how do you plan to make it happen? And is there lots of demand to throw out our current system of Parl democracy and replace it with something else?

The bitching about #occupyLSX has already started:

https://twitter.com/#!/aaronjohnpeters/status/125724627614973952

The sparks demo on wednesday will show some pluck at least – unlike some authoritarian liberals at #occupylsx

http://thethirdestate.net/2011/10/rank-mimicry-in-the-form-of-protest-reflections-on-occupylsx/

Objection to the bank bailouts isn’t a left or right issue. For anyone listening it is clear that there are people on both sides who object to that, to the unfettered freedom that banks have had to risk ordinary people’s money, and to the influence of corporatism. Many on the right are arguing that state-sponsored corporatism is NOT capitalism, but centre-left/centre-right economic paternalism infected with too much corporate influence in government.

Tim Montgomerie writes in The Times that it should be a Conservative principle to stand up for the ordinary person against corporate interests.

The difference, clearly, is on the idea of taxation. Most on the right, whether liberal or conservative, object to taxation as a coercive force that is a necessary evil that should be kept to a minimum.

Gotta say i agree with this, its the same in every university campus, there are like four to six left wing groups all doing their own thing and while they collectively have a strong majority of support the right are just one solid group. We really have to stop being so divisive and just cooperate. Its not like it would be that hard since other than perhaps the SWP the rest tend to be able to get along most of the time, even i can still sit down and chat with SWP members without them punching my lights out.

As for the activist thing, i think its a bit of a vicious circle, because not many people want to be in a movement that is being ran by a bunch of career activists, it just doesn’t feel genuine, much less does it feel like it will have any real impact, so a lot of people, who don’t identify with the persona of ‘activist’ but might want to do something about an issue is a bit scared off, making movements more isolated and more driven by activist.inc types, further daunting others.

@1 Lets just assume your point that if the rich were overtaxed and they had less money, taxes on the middle class would then have to go up. Yeah so? They would have more money because it would have been redistributed, their standard of living would have gone up so yeah they would have to pay more, as would the poor if the poor were making decent wages. Denmark’s middle tax bracket is 50% and they are doing pretty well out of it, their average workers have much higher standards of living than ours, they can afford homes without massive debt driven deals with banks.

I have not seen anything more ridiculous than the suggestion that Sunny is a right winger and should join the Tories.

Okay so the most popular lefty blogger in the country is a Tory – and people want to take these protests seriously –

And I read the manifesto of the supposedly parent group on the Guardian – calling for a global government to equalise opportunities and outcomes. But how would it be structured? Who should run it? More importantly, who enforces it? Closer to home we have the European Union where the democratic deficit has turned people off so much that nationalists be it McGuinness in Ireland or Marie Le Pen in France are getting much more support on the single issue of Europe.

Sunny is right – without the political impact these are some kids with lots of time on their hands and reinforces the idea that these protests should not be taken seriously.

This piece set me thinking about how the images of the Left and Right differ in the public eye. I suspect that any group of enthusiasts of any political hue are likely to be met with the same bemusement or distaste. I also think that the public are broadly supportive of the sentiments of the “Occupy” movement, though they also want to pay off the structural deficit, develop a more balanced economy and reduce unemployment.

How much of the perception comes down to politicians? In my opinion quite a lot. The damage done to some extent by Blair but most particularly Brown cannot be underestimated. Brown’s utter ineptitude as PM, a position he inherited rather than earned, will not easily be forgotten.

The lesson from the last election must be that the public isn’t enthused by any of our current politicians. I would add one exception: The politician most often referred to with genuine warmth is Ken Clarke. I suggest that his affability, lack of obvious spin, consistency and readiness to clearly say what he thinks is an example to all who would aim for public office.

@53 Sunny

The point being that you contribute to the atmosphere of a divisive left by engaging in the same tired divisive behaviour yourself.

Whether it is ‘self evident’ or not, or whether you can think of another example beyond just saying ‘it’s obvious, innit’, doesn’t really matter. What you are doing is stereotyping and undermining people who have pretty similar political views to you. It’s utterly counterproductive.

Its interesting isn`t it , Sunny like picking fights with people which, while it makes for engaging copy, is not much use for gathering consensus. Hopi is more in that territory but personally, whilst agreeing with neither I think both are good value.
Sunny works by provocation and it can be effective in drawing a crowd, he can`t do everything, others can be Mazola -men

The extent to which Sunny’s views here have offended leftwingers surely only strengthens his argument.

@ Leon,

“No, just right wingers going ballistic when I point out their economic illiteracy again.”

I think you must be confusing me with somebody else, firstly as I’m not a right winger, secondly because I’m not going ballistic, thirdly because I’m not economically illiterate and forthly because even if I was, you’ve never pointed it out.

69. Johnsleftnut

Nothing working class here…these pricks obviously don’t need to work!!!

What worker, what actual student, can sit in a demo for days-the working week as well as the weekend-when surely they have jobs, work, studies & general responsibilities in their life!!??

Just another bunch of rich bored people and lazy fucks with no commitments saying “look at me”, while using there capitalist inventions to show themselves on the Internet before eventually pissing off back to their capitalist filled gadgets homes!

Fuck em!

70. Here and Now

@ 57

Just how many of the people there were talking about the 99%?
Is this Little America?
Are the usual faces grabbing on to each MSM soundbite?

I only ask because this web page is littered with 99% references.

The term “99%” isn’t just being used in the US, it’s being used in Madrid, in Rome, in Hong Kong, in Indonesia and many other countries too. Maybe you should read more blogs. It’s a good way of finding out just how different we all are – and how much we all have in common.

The world is bigger than the US, the UK or even than the whole bloody Anglosphere… an understanding of this used to be something that characterised the left.

71. Frances Coppola

Like many people I have been horrified at the extent of implicit and explicit government support going to very large corporate interests, not just banks – although these are understandably the focus of much public anger at the moment. I have been a supporter of the Occupy movement from the start. We desperately need to return the focus of government to support of PEOPLE, not support of institutions (especially failing ones). How we achieve this is a matter of debate across the political spectrum. For me it is emphatically NOT a left-right issue, but more questions of BIG versus SMALL, CORPORATE versus INDIVIDUAL, LOCAL versus GLOBAL.

If we view the UK version of the Occupy movement as a left-wing movement, we cut it off from its global roots and reduce it to the status of yet another loony left protest. Sunny is right to be concerned about the possibility that the attitudes of those attending this protest may alienate many people who might have supported it – and if people from the 99% are alienated then this movement cannot honestly claim to represent them. Please let’s have some coherent aims for this movement that aren’t simply a rehash of old left-wing mantras but fairly represent the views of the 99% regarding the failure of party politics and the excessive power of corporate interests.

The point being that you contribute to the atmosphere of a divisive left by engaging in the same tired divisive behaviour yourself.

It’s always amusing how I get accused of this, when I point out the self-evident divisiveness and sectarianism on the hard-left… but when they go around denouncing people for being too soft, no one accuses them of being sectarian.

73. JohnsleftnutSack

Hello!!??
Again, explain to me you so called working class heroes how you can afford both financially and on any kind of practical level you can decide to just sit on your arse on a street for days if not weeks?

Explain so calked hard pressed students how you can do the same?

Fuck the banks and the Government hypocrisy…and fuck the morally bankrupt, lazy, representing no one but frustrated commies and frothing Islamists (Iran is loving all this as their shit spourting/ Galloway feeding Press TV shows) Left and so called liberals who it seems can actually afford to/not care about setting up a jolly media whore campsite in the middle of London as REAL workers pass them by on their way to a hard day’s work (which includes the normal, no control over anything, bank employees).

@73,

shouldn’t you be working rather than commenting here? Or are you one of those idle, decadent rentiers I’ve heard about?

@72

That’s evidently untrue – the fact that people most associate with the hard left is that they are sectarian. Are you really claiming to be the only voice of reason on this issue? Because you’re nothing of the sort.

@73

*snort* Who in particular at these demos have you decided is an Islamist? I think you need to move your fear of the other – it’s blocking your view.

@72 How can the sectarianism of the Hard left be a problem, while the sectarianism of the Tea Party, in it’s single minded drive to shape the republican party to itself, removing those they regard as too moderate or RINO’s, is lauded as an achievement?
One would assume the major stumbling block is that the hard left cannot perform the same candidate selection trick on Labour as easily.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Naadir Jeewa

    Reading: The two challenges that could make or break #occupyLondon: [unable to retrieve full-text content]Yester… http://t.co/hNeXjaxr

  2. hana riaz

    The two challenges that could make or break #occupyLondon http://t.co/4I10E4RY interesting – whats your thoughts @adamec87

  3. Montgomery

    I think there are two challenges that could make or break #occupyLondon #occupyLSX – http://t.co/bn8yGx1u

  4. Gods & Monsters

    @Interdome @destructuremal @bonobo23 Incidentally, @sunny_hundal wrote a pertinent article about this very issue today: http://t.co/cZrFHDRy

  5. Helen Lambert

    The two challenges that could make or break #occupyLondon http://t.co/0ZVyLfAT

  6. Annemarie Ward

    I think there are two challenges that could make or break #occupyLondon #occupyLSX – http://t.co/bn8yGx1u

  7. .

    @Shakteh http://t.co/aN2gIHf2 (its not that bad, for Hundal)

  8. .

    @MediocreDave like you had to ask http://t.co/aN2gIHf2

  9. John Woodall

    RT @libcon: The two challenges that could make or break #occupyLondon http://t.co/jealOlcs

  10. Jennifer O'Mahony

    "If there’s one thing lefties are good at, it’s trying to keep their movements as small as possible" says @sunny_hundal http://t.co/dvgDKAxD

  11. V

    The two challenges that could make or break #occupyLondon http://t.co/0ZVyLfAT

  12. Alex Braithwaite

    The two challenges that could make or break #occupyLondon | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/3Djc4LhD via @libcon

  13. Ben Mitchell

    The two challenges that could make or break #occupyLondon | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/sVdiJzHw

  14. andrew

    The two challenges that could make or break … – Liberal Conspiracy: Yesterday I went to report on the #occupyL… http://t.co/ZTiIBOny

  15. On Anger and Occupations « The Not So Big Society

    […] that may not be easy. Sunny Hundal over at Red Hot Liberal-On-Liberal Action seems to be having similar thoughts. The problem, as anyone vaguely involved with UK left-activism will know, is that many hardcore […]

  16. Littlejohn agrees with 99%: “we’ve all been screwed by banks” | Liberal Conspiracy

    […] chimes with the point I made earlier – anger at the banks is widespread and goes across the political spectrum. In that sense, the […]

  17. The political arrogance of many within #occupyLSX and Labour | Liberal Conspiracy

    […] I’ve already said that the ‘Occupy’ crew need to start thinking seriously about political strategy. Just camping out in an area isn’t enough and unlikely to last long. I’ve also said that they need to invite a broader range of people to join them, and truly make it a 99% movement rather than just of the usual suspects. […]

  18. train_boy

    http://t.co/6BVaExB9
    The two challenges that could make or break #occupyLondon | Liberal Conspiracy

  19. tamsin omond

    a great blog re the potential of #occupylsx. excited to hear they're out actioning at the Bank of Eng and Goldman Sachs http://t.co/qyuVCngM

  20. Jamie Kelsey-Fry

    a great blog re the potential of #occupylsx. excited to hear they're out actioning at the Bank of Eng and Goldman Sachs http://t.co/qyuVCngM





Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.