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Pipe Dreams March 25, 2006

Posted by lifejacket in Comment & Opinion.
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"Protests have spread through the UK in recent weeks. Demonstrations on Thursday were estimated to have attracted between 220,000 and 450,000 people.

A few hundred protestors clashed with police in central London, prompting police to block two bridges over the Thames.

Last night, hotel owners around the South Bank were said to have boarded up their windows as armoured vehicles patrolled the streets in anticipation of more trouble."

Sorry. After getting everyone's hopes up for a moment, I must confess that far from this being a report about the Brits actually standing up for themselves for once, it is in fact a slightly doctored quote from today's print edition of the Daily Telegraph (page 2; News Bulletin). For "UK" read France; for "London" read Paris; for "Thames" read Seine; for "South Bank" read Left Bank.

Whilst like most of us I prefer peaceful protest and straightforward non-cooperation rather than a riot, it saddens me greatly that thousands of French citizens are prepared to protest wildly at the drop of a hat about anything that happens to hack them off, yet the vast majority of Brits seem prepared to sleep right through the whole edifice of their democracy being dismantled by the Labour Party.

Although I do believe that political awareness (and dissatisfaction) in the UK is growing – in large measure because of exposure on the web – I still have my doubts that at present velocity there will be enough groundswell to rise up in time and stop insidious, repressive, and downright dictatorial legislation such as the ID Card Bill and the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill becoming law.

Wake up, Britain, and smell the coffee. Damn it, your country needs you!

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