Vir Cantium

I'm right, you know …

The Fairest Solution to the #UKUncut/Black Bloc Confusion: Get Out the Tar Brush

There has been much annoyance among the TUC / UKUncut fraternity about them being associated with the “anarchists” who kicked off around Central London on Saturday. This I can understand.

They blame the right wing media, natch (including the BBC?!?!) for “allowing” the violence to overshadow the main march and the apparently completely peaceful vandalism intimidation sit-ins at Fortnum’s and elsewhere.

I’m not going to get bogged down in an essay about the inevitable overlap in the groups, and the odd distinction drawn by the protesters between violence against people (bad) and violence against property (whatever) – covered already by Dizzy for example.

Nor will I bore you too long with the selective statistics used by the groups; that the 0.05% who ran riot are unrepresentative of the whole protest, whereas the 0.05% that the entire protest represented of the UK population is apparently some sort of majority.

In a similarly brief vein, I’ll say that I think we can assume the use of the term “anarchist” is both a lazy – though common – journalistic reference to agitators for chaos in general, and demonstrates (geddit?) a clear lack of understanding on the part of the yobs themselves on the true meaning of anarchy in a political sense (i.e. no government, meaning 100% cuts in state spending).

However, back to the main point: I think the fairest way to deal with the issue of determining who is responsible for what would be to refer to all of them simply as ‘anti-cuts protesters’ – from the peaceful marchers to the violent mobs.

Yes, that does mean putting them all into a single category that encompasses both blatant premeditated criminals with those keeping diligently within the law. Yet in so doing I am simply applying the same standards as the protesters do when conflating tax avoidance with tax evasion by use of the pejorative “tax dodgers”.

Seems perfectly fair to me, then.

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