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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Emma B BS: Direct Action : UK (159* d) RE: BS: Direct Action : UK 26 Oct 10

To echo CS's sentiments above

In the absence of any real political opposition and the demonization
of the unions* there appears to be a vacuum for activating and organizing a united protest against the cuts that slash welfare payments in the midst of persistent unemployment and which threaten to push a weak economy back into recession.

The pain of the cuts will be felt by a wide range of people and it is important to activate/preserve some kind of unity of dissent - a broad front of opposition is needed which pulls together 'single interest' groups like the students, the disabled etc

It is useful, if disturbing, to look at the rise of the Tea Party in the US which provided a simplistic 'hard right' narrative explanation for economic hardship

Taking this example, above all I strongly believe that the first task of any 'direct action' is the responsibility to prevent popular anger being exploited and misdirected at convenient scapegoats like 'scroungers' young mothers, the long term unemployed (and unemployable) etc and the more identifiable 'immigrants'

A strong and well formulated argument CAN mobilise public opinion but there are considerable vested interests behind this ideological attack on the Welfare State and it will not be an easy task

* In the event of any industrial dispute, the media operates on the default setting that the union is always wrong, irrespective of the facts, and that striking is always wrong, irrespective of whether other options have been explored and shut down.
David Wearing a PhD candidate in Political Science at the School of Public Policy, University College London

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