Saturday, 11 December 2010

Pleasing Directions in the Opiniosphere

It's been an interesting few days for democracy, I'm sure you'll agree. For the first time since Iraq there's a strong public protest on the streets whose aims, at least, are backed by a big majority* of the public. Only this time there seems to be a cross-section that are supportive of the elements that the PM is calling 'hell bent on violence' and 'feral thugs'.

On a purely anecdata level, it's been brilliant to see the short shrift that a lot of the hand-wringing 'BUT TEH SNOOKER BALLZ' gang are getting. I have quite an insulated life in some ways, as I don't bother with the tabloids or the right-wing broadsheets, and I stopped that soppy 'got to read opinions from BOTH sides' crap years ago, on the same basis that I don't bother getting the Discovery Institute's reaction to every new fossil find. But the normally centrist people I know through work and through social media (I don't really have enough of a social life at the moment to canvas IRL people) seem at the very least disoriented and frequently openly sympathetic to direct action.

It's a basic tenet of Marxist thinking that revolutions offer points where people's perception of themselves and normal social truths begin to shift, and although we're obviously not at the point of storming Whitehall yet, we are witnessing people normally safely esconsced within establishment notions of 'democracy' and 'peaceful protest' genuinely questioning themselves. I think that at the very least, the Tory attempt to re-write history so that the entirety of Labour's period in office was a disaster is dead in the water. Admittedly, at least one person I know has reaffirmed today that they are 'still proud to be a Lib Dem', just 'disgusted at the leadership' - but I can't take that too seriously, 'cos what does 'being a Lib Dem' mean, exactly? And at least it's in the right general direction.

Anyway, interesting times ahead.

*H/T Adam Bienkov

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