The Occupy demonstrations are growing across the West rather like the Arab Spring. In Oakland they managed to close what I think is the 5th biggest port in the USA. There was violence as police cracked down. The following is quite interesting – an email from a police officer there:
“The Oakland Police have expressed sympathy _for the strike_ via their union, and are greatly disgusted with their civilian leadership. This is critical to notice. The police were thrown under the bus, my words, by the civilian leadership, and then left to look the bad guys when the civilian leadership backed down. I’ve said before that the morale of the local police departments would crack before the moral of the Occupiers, and this is a prototypal example of exactly how and why. I expect transformations like this to occur in similar manner elsewhere, when police get disgusted in being ‘the bad guys’ for cowardly or corrupt civilian authorities who can’t formulate a political strategy. Not every city, but even a few send a message to local police everywhere: “Don’t get used.” ”
I’m not hearing any vaguely credible statements on the debt mess from our politicians. I’m unsure whether this is because they are too stupid or horribly corrupt. Like most management they swan about hoping problems will go away, whilst pretending importance and credibility – real Glod Command material (typo but it fits).
One answer for the average UK cop is to sit back and ‘enjoy’ the overtime. The apathy of the British public is well known – only a third of public sector workers have voted in their strike ballot – the turnout was way higher on a police strike back in the 70s. This government remembers how useful the police were to it during the Miner’s Strike and will encourage the same. They were prepared to destroy the whole industry then – i don’t remember being asked if I wanted the collapse of pits and other industry in favour of ‘banking’.
The same tactics will soon be deployed against protest here as has begun in the States and parts of the EU. I can only see violence – perhaps erupting as police fail to manage ‘virtuous protest’ and we see Argentinian-style looting again. That we can’t organise as decent people to get attention paid to the current fiasco tells me British democracy is in intensive care. The claim of Occupy X is to be the 90% – and as far as I can see it is about that. My own reaction is just to give up on it all, thinking I did my bit – but this has come home to roost in the form of the dire schooling of my grandson. I have to get involved in that. Politicians have sold us down he drain – I prepared for that with a flat in Portugal and a nest-egg – but they have sold our children’s future down the river.
“The apathy of the British public is well known – only a third of public sector workers have voted in their strike ballot…”
Is that apathy? Or are they just realists, who are only too aware that they don’t have a real case, despite what their union leaders tell them?