The Public (Sector workers) Pensions Procession

General comment, Photojournalism

By London’s recent riotous behaviour (the September smash up and the student protests), yesterday’s strikes seemed pretty tame. Naturally, in a rare opportunity for actually being in London when something exciting happens, I went along for the ride. I think the most that happened during the actually procession (like it or not, it was certainly calm and organised enough to be called a procession – maybe a protest procession if you prefer), was a couple of suspiciously hippy-looking characters (I’m not one to talk) argue with the police about wanting to march down to Parliament. Unfortunately the three or four of them would have been hard pressed to knock down the large metal barriers and 100 or so police no doubt waiting at hand. It would have been slightly futile as the unions had set up their tent on the Victoria embankment, in the direction the rest of the tens of thousands were headed.

There was certainly support from a huge variety of people there… students perhaps making up the loudest population (possibly the arts students, as a former science student the only  good reason I had to miss my 26 hours of lectures and practicals a week was one of those terrible bouts of food poisoning that would appear after a night out). There were a good deal of children, most of them having great fun flashing their banners – some brought along to help those watching on TV shed a tear at their defiance for their teachers and parents (or perhaps they’re still crying from the John Lewis ad. Apparently), and some brought along because their parents couldn’t leave them at home. Either way, no harm was done bringing them…

I apologise if you’re one of those facing the public sector pension cuts and don’t think I’m taking it seriously anymore… I’m still on the fence on this one. Perhaps I’m already a stereotypically weary traveller, but to be honest I’ve spent the last nine months in countries that European have reaped/raped the benefits from since pre-colonialisation. We are living in a world where the largest superpower denies climate change and seems to be happy to live in ultra-consumerist mode (11 more earths with it’s resources would be needed if everyone was to live like the average American, 5 more for Britons), and as much as we pledge to want to help those in developing nations, we have to realise that we live in a world that’s balanced. And if that balance (I’m not talking about communism) is going to be fairer, it means taking our lifestyles a step down.

Now there were some rousing speeches yesterday at the protest with strong points. And I agree the Robin Hood Tax should be imposed, and I think the rich should be heavily taxed. But the general public must realise the hit we have to take. If we’re talking about what’s fair, our nation should not be where it is, probably not as advanced in education or technology which isn’t necessarily a good thing, but we wouldn’t be so well off if we hadn’t benefitted so unfairly from all those nations under the British Empire. You may have gathered I’m not an expert in economics or politics – but I am getting a good idea of what is and isn’t fair in the world. Rant over, some photos?

…not everyone was there to take it seriously.

Is that the 1% watching the 99%? (I was going to say something about the private sector’s even smaller average pensions, but to be honest these guys work next to Trafalgar Square…)

A little rallying from the students as usual…

Rushing always helps too…

One of the aforementioned hippies.

Some cunningly painted arrows by our government.

A stubborn pensioner and her essay. I’ll read it later, and no doubt be so inspired that I’ll re-blog it, fully against the public sector cuts. That wasn’t meant to sound sarcastic.

One of the speakers at the rally.

Some of the kids enjoying themselves.

Another Union rep.

Guy Fawkes, looking for a way into parliament… funny story, I had an American friend who was under the impression his name was Guy Force. Sounds like a gay nightclub…

According to the Union about 2 million people across the country went on strike. I think the government have said 1.2 million did. Who to believe, who to believe…

It was an odd mix, but certainly a thoughtful and attentive crowd. Much like this blog post I feel…

I think half of those people are photographers. We make up 50% of most protests these days…

Yeah Lansley.

Now that is a kid enjoying himself. Yeah, f*** da po-leese. (Not sure of the correct spelling, apologies).

In all seriousness, I would welcome any comments on this topic, your thoughts etc. Especially from friends, as I know there are divided opinions. Feel free to slam what I have to say – take advantage of my fickleness.

Tom

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4 thoughts on “The Public (Sector workers) Pensions Procession

  1. Hey Tom, life’s not fair you pinko, commie, fascist…I have a hard time being serious too.
    Anyway here’s my two cents or to be culturally sensitive my two pence. Yes we live high on the hog, yes we have taken advantage in the past but redistribution does not work. How many millions have we pumped into developing nations(or our own developing peoples) only to see them sink deeper into poverty and also dependance. I just read a story about one of the native communities in Canada where we have pumped 90 million into a 2000 person community and they have no heat or food for the winter. If I eat less will a child in Africa eat more? No what we need, and excuse the old addage is to eat less so we can use the extra to “teach that child to fish”.
    Responsible investment in development is the only way to tip the scales of unfairness in this world.
    Oh and by the way, Canada, US, GB etc, etc can’t continue to pay through the nose and ignore all fiscal responsibility forever. There will be major cuts or we all will fail. On that we can agree!

    1. Thanks for the comment Mark. And I agree, certainly with responsible investment in development. I think what I meant (or should have said) was that as a society we need to look at what we really need and what needs to be done in the world. I don’t think we’re (generally) toooo bad at the latter (looking that is) but when it comes to what we need, our greed overwhelms our sense. And we think it makes us happy. This is interesting if you have time…

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