Editorial: Blood and Circuses
The timing was perfect. David Cameron and his deputy Nick Clegg had spent weeks announcing the most severe budget cuts the modern British state had known. The budget had seen billions cut from public spending. None were safe from the axe, even the police whose jobs and pay had been sheltered since the Thatcher era.
But at last the Bullingdon Club boys had some good news to celebrate. Cameron happily announced that the cabinet had cheered and “banged on the table”. The nuptials of two young members of the ruling class William and Kate. Once again the media has gone in to overdrive, hyping the glittering royal occasion and dusting down the mythology of the charming prince and his princess. The fact that this narrative has been proven to be a sham time after time is unlikely to deter the media onslaught. It is likely that the public will be less willing to buy in to the happy tale than they were back in the 80’s. The Charles and Di show did not end well. The likely astronomical cost of the event may provoke resentment from those workers losing their jobs and those on the poverty line seeing their services and benefits cut.
The Battle of Millbank
So much for ‘bread and circuses’. A more likely indicator of events was seen when tens of thousands of students took to the streets. The ConDem government had announced that future students would need to pay up to £9000 a year in tuition fees. There would be no funding available outside of maths and science. This move would see an education system that is only available for the rich and would remove from thousands of working class families the opportunity to give their children a university education.
Many of those active on the left over the past few decades will have attended many student protests. It was almost routine for some sort of small scale confrontation with the police to take place, such as an attempt to march the forbidden route past Parliament. It never amo