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Sunday, 31 October 2010
Vodafone tax protests put Left and TUC to shame
Look. This is what can be achieved with imagination and a bit of media savvy. The sneaky Vodafone deal whereby the ConDem coalition government (that did NOT win the election) let them off £6 billion in taxes owed to the British public while smashing up our society with draconian cuts has been thrust into the media spotlight by independent activists.
So where is the leadership from the Left, whether it be Labour, the TUC or the far left? The sad old dinosaurs and sectarians have had MONTHS to get their act together. Yet all they could do was hold a couple of demos in the week of the actual cuts with another planned manyana.
Meanwhile, the right have been given a free run in the media with the BBC especially shameful in their reinforcing of the cutters' narrative. I'm sure I wasn't the only one to listen to the BBC R4 Today programme coverage on the morning of the Bullingdon Budget (thanks Armando Iannucci) on October 20th, spitting blood over the presentation of the right agenda with no balance except for a meek and mild Mark Steel at the very end.
Did they have a team harrying the BBC editors to present the economically literate side, as articulated by Robert Skidlelsky, and as demanded by their public remit? Aside from the odd token appearance allowed of commentators such as Skidelsky and Ken Loach (who put up a damn good fight versus Michael Heseltine on Newsnight), we were left almost entirely without spokespersons. Selective vox pop meant that the Tory cutting lie was halfway around the world before the truth had got its pants on.
There is a groundswell of disgust with the left's inaction over the assault on our services with the suspicion that Labour is keeping quiet because it, too, would have pushed through similarly swingeing cuts. Johnson instead of Balls in the Treasury? Wrong bit of anatomy, mate. See, I told you "Red" Ed Miliband was all pantomime (here and here), confirmed when he didn't even turn up for the first of the demos as he'd promised.
I look forward to more Vodafone-style action from the public while the Left and the TUC find their balls, now officially MIA.
False Economy on Facebook
Paul Anderson in Tribune
Johann Hari in The Independent