Student Protest / Eurover Your Head

I should be on the student march today. I’ve spent weeks telling students at gigs to go on it, I’ve tweeted about it, FB’d about it and blogged about it, totally and utterly support it and so, all in all, I should be there. Except I’m not. I’m at home, in my pyjamas, feeling full of a cold and all a bit miserable and guilty about it. The notion of marching in order to campaign about the rights to higher education for all have changed to worrying about stomping around in the cold, sniffling while I go. I’m fully aware how pathetic it is, and I’m trying my best to watch from afar and forward any tweets that may help those there. So far, thankfully, it all seems peaceful, which the BBC are crediting to the presence of the police. This is the BBC who are refusing to mention how many people are there, have only just started showing footage one and a half hours in, and have spent a lot of today reporting on ‘terrible treatment of patients in the NHS’ without once stating that better funding and care from the government towards the institution might improve a dying system. I’m not there so I can’t commentate on how it actually is, but watching the pictures where police are pretty much lining every section of the march, makes it all look quite oppressive. I can’t help but feel that while there is no trouble now, its due to fear and intimidation, and though I can’t be sure, I’d assume the peaceful atmosphere would be one of good nature if the police weren’t there at all. I still don’t understand the notion that the UK allows ‘freedom of speech’ when demonstrations require liaisons with the authorities that are protested against.

The police have issued memo’s to all protestors saying the ‘route mustn’t be deviated from’, with threat of arrest if they do, but this is essentially imprisoning them along the march route rather than making it more peaceful. If I had been there and had a diabetic attack I might have needed to leave to gain sugar from somewhere at a point, would that have made me arrestable? The streets of London aren’t privatised so while I understand it allows some level of control, it is merely turning a protest about human rights into a moving blockade. Then, on the other hand, I’m watching the news as several protestors have deviated from said route to set up tents at Trafalgar Square and I can’t help but feel this is just provoking a situation that does not need any extra provocation and will no doubt end badly. The whole situation very much upsets me.

I hope it doesn’t. I hope it all ends peacefully and can prove to even more people that its ok to fight everything that’s happening. Today the Conservatives have said they are trying to overturn the ban on using cluster bombs in war, a ban that was fought for after the inhumane use of such a terrible weapon. The irregularity of where the bomb clusters land has harmed so many innocent people across the world, and after much campaigning their use has now been quelled. Yet our government, along with the long list of other terrible things they are doing simply for personal profit and gain, is joining the US in trying to overturn that ban, presumably because it will give BAE systems more cash, which in turn will fund the Tories. Good luck to the students today, and let’s hope they make some sort of impact on the Coalition who insist on consistently giving humanity a bad name.


I’ll comment more on this tomorrow when we see how the protest turns out. Till then, here is a blog that was going to be up on the website, but as its not live yet, I’m posting it here before it all goes out of date. I will be starting a weekly news blog there soonish. Till then, try this:


Here be my views on the news. News views if you like. Every week I shall be rounding up the important issues like wordy sheep and penning them into an easy to use shearing shack till its all a little less woolly to deal with. Hmm, that metaphor worked much better than I expected. This week, The EuroZone Crisis!


Euro-ver Your Head


The Euro eh? Looks like a little moustache when tipped over, a tiny hair comb when on it’s side or a dead woodlouse when on its back. We all know it well from when we travel across the waters Eastwards, pretending to understand how much our English pounds are worth, then getting all upset when we return to the UK to find ‘everything was pretty much the same price as home.’ That’s about the extent of it I thought, but these last few weeks a very B Movie sounding ‘Crisis In The Eurozone’ has been all over the news and it appears the little E coins are in hefty trouble.

It all seems Greek to me, as I’m sure it does to you, in more ways than one. Well here’s how it goes in T-Speak and I’ll try my best. Let’s go team:

Greece, much like many big Western countries, have, over the years, borrowed a shed load of money from other countries, who in turn have been borrowing money from others and consequently as it seems to be, a whole lot of imaginary money has been moved around more than the residents of Dale Farm. We are made to believe that Greece went all a bit ‘middle aged lady in the Christmas sales’ with its spending once joining the Euro and is now in several shades of shit that they can’t flush away due to the poor sewage system. Well it might be able to, but them big peoples in the banks have decided they probably won’t be able to pay anything back for some reason – even though everywhere else has all the debt too, and so that’s that. After two bailouts, they were offered a 50% haircut by the EFSF (European Financial Stability Facility…and breath….). Not sure how this would help but I guess if half the country felt more snazzy due to their neatly trimmed barnets then maybe it would at least cheer them up.

Anyway, I digress. PM George Papandreou called for a referendum on such matters and it hurt the IMF’s (like the KLF only more likely to fund you than rock you. I think this is the most out of date reference I have) feelings so much that he’d rejected their lovely present that they said Greece could have ‘nowt till this referendum finished and then everyone hated Georgey, then Georgey said they wouldn’t have a referendum ‘cos he all chickened out, and now Greece are still screwed, and he’s lost his dignity and everyone was calling him Poopyandreou. Probably. So after much debate he’s finally agreed to step down and now Greece awaits its new coalition parliament, which I’m sure will do them well. I mean, that’s what the UK’s got and we’re thriving right now. Right? Right?

Either way it seems there is a chance that Greece may still ‘default’, even if they stopped smashing plates and started to have small thin weddings. If my iPhone returns to default settings it goes back to how it originally was before I added lots of pointless Apps and filled it with dross. It would be nice to think that if Greece defaulted it’d go back to ancient times with awesome gods, togas and dubious sexual behaviour. Sadly however, it more likely means Greece’s repayment schedule will resemble a Royal Mail delivery card stating it’ll be paid back some point between ‘now and whenever’. This of course will screw everyone and their dads up, having a knock on effect on all the countries who are responsible for holding Greece’s sovereign debt and therefore like a domino shit slide knock everyone down until the the PM’s of each country pretend they have no cash at all even though it’s all made up in the first place and the lower classes have to eat mud. Currently it looks like Italy is next to be hit with their borrowing at an all time high. Which makes sense as Berlusconi has been borrowing most of his country’s patience for quite some time now. Now, even though that idiot has said he’ll resign too, it hasn’t seemed to boost faith in investors, which may be due to worry that unemployment for buxom young ladies may rise with Berlusconi gone.

Soooooo, how does it affect us in the UK? Well, supposedly Cameron says it won’t. Funding the IMF with money that seemingly comes from nowhere despite all these cuts apparently doesn’t affect the tax payer, or the offshore tax avoider (that’s for another blog), and having already reject paying more into the IMF, we are apparently safe from more cash probs. Then again, Cameron finished the G20 without really outlining what he will be doing and saying that financing the IMF ‘is the right thing to do for an advanced economy like ours’. Which makes it sound like he hasn’t got a clue. Advanced economy eh? A term that hasn’t seemed to come into play when discussing pensions, the NHS or any other area that affects everyone except the very rich.

A constantly diminishing in value 1c for my thoughts?  Well I think we just help everyone all the time and big hugs and that, especially the Greeks as they gave us loads of inventions and pitta bread. Of course that can’t just happen because imaginary money is real or something, and nobody will listen to my idea of heading back to olden times when we could just swap 20 potatoes for a car or a cow for magic beans. So ultimately, er, nothing. We can’t really do anything. We can support those who protest against it, and protest with them and hope to god those big wigs who are in charge of all that cash don’t give us all 50% haircuts so we look like an early 90’s rap star.