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Guess who got the loudest boo when 50,000 marched against austerity?


Lindsey German's speech at People's Assembly: Welfare not Warfare

I don’t know what the biggest cheer of the day was for, but certainly the biggest boo  was during my speech at the amazing People’s Assembly demonstration on Saturday.

It happened when I mentioned Tony Blair. He now holds a unique place in the hall of fame of British politicians. The most friendly sentiment towards him from most people is, as a taxi driver said to me last week, ‘I just wish he would go away.’

Within the movement, it’s much more like ‘never forgive, never forget’. So when Blair appeared on our screens a week ago to urge intervention in Iraq, and to blame the situation there on the vote against bombing Syria in the British parliament last year, it invoked an especial fear and loathing among many watching his demented warmongering. No wonder Boris Johnson had to intervene to tell him to ‘put a sock in it’, fearing that he is only discrediting all interventions everywhere.

The demo, on the other hand, was a joy to behold. Large, youthful, enthusiastic and full of a can-do enthusiasm very far from the cynical tones of what passes for much left wing politics today, it was a riposte to all those who claim that there is no alternative to austerity.

Like all movements on the up, it encompassed young and old, black and white, and a hundred different causes and campaigns, all there to put their case and gain support from the wider movement around them.

The anti-war and peace message was strong. As well as our bloc, there were placards throughout the march against Nato, war in Iraq or Ukraine, and Trident. The issues are not separate from the big austerity issues like job cuts, health and education, but a central reason why we don’t have better care for the young, the old and the sick.

Altogether a brilliant opening to a long, hot summer  that will encompass strikes, anti-UKIP protests and demonstrations against the Nato summit in south Wales. 

Source: Stop the War Coalition