Bethesda, Maryland, 03.00 EDT: Because sometimes pictures can tell the story better than… well, the story can. And because they were inescapable – at least 100,000 people on this demo, organised by a number of groups which somehow reminded me of the Taxpayers’ Alliance.
Before we all start to sneer – a thought which struck me while walking away. With UK journalists willingly gobbling up anything the Taxpayers’ Alliance gives them, and with the number of idiots willing to vote for a party founded by fascists – and the BBC preparing to give the BNP airtime on cosy, clapped-out forum Question Time – how long until we see scenes like this in our own country?
Obviously, we’ll almost certainly end up with a right-wing government in the next year, and there’s big differences between our situation and that of the US. But can we, as British people, really look at ourselves and say this couldn’t happen in the UK? Just a thought.
Even with the impending decimation of Labour at the next elections, I’m reasonably confident that the UK is still moored alongside Europe and will keep to this continent’s ideas about health care. And let the BNP and their friends debate in public – that’s the only way their ideas can be challenged openly. Though clearly the defenders of a fair, tolerant Britain really need to up their game.
I should probably clarify that the march was billed as a “taxpayers’ march” – an anti-big government rally – rather than a specific healthcare rally- I think we’re too wedded to the NHS here.
While some of this stuff looks bizarre through UK eyes, if Jon Gaunt or Richard Littlejohn, or their heirs in a decade’s time, ever organised something similar, like Fox News’s Glenn Beck has done here – based on self-interest, fear and lies – would the Brits be so immune?
Don’t want to go into a “no platform” debate here since I’m 3,000 miles away – I’m sure there’ll be another chance soon – but the point about QT is as much about the limpness of the programme as the evil of who might get invited on. After all, if the likes of Glenn Beck get uncritical airtime in the US and manage to stir up thousands upon thousands of people into action, what might happen if a card-carrying fascist gets an easy ride on a show which nearly always gives guests easy rides?
And there was something in that crowd yesterday that reminded me of people who vote BNP – not necessarily evil, but not the brightest sparks in the fire either, and feeling unloved.
Great photos – wow, weird!
Re demos, marches, riots etc, we have had the English Defence League stirring things up over the past few weeks while you’ve been away.
I just don’t understand the USA any more.
Freedom ensured by Smith and Wesson?
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