Thursday, November 11, 2010

Collective bargaining by riot

So, the students kicked off. Cue condemnation and jubiliation (Actually, Bone's blog has some detailed accounts from inside the riot).

Now, I've been to a few riots, and know that the police always win, even if they didn't control this one as effectively as they usually manage. There's no way that the rioters can force change, except, the cost of policing must be taken into account - as we know, the police are facing cuts as well, but making the state find non-discretionary spend to protect itself could throw a spanner in it's spending plans.

To do that would require sustained and repeated demonstrations, not one offs (the mistake anarchists and the like with their annual May Day riot made). More riots/demos by a wider movement would force some sort of discussion, but, as we've seen in Greece, if the political offices hold firm, it isn't guaranteed to work.

It remains, though, plebeian, rather than proletarian as a style of politics - plea bargaining with power, rather than seeking to recreate the conditions and world according to our own liking.

More important than rucking with cops is organising for political action - the students are threatening to unseat Lib-Dems (a good enough move in itself), but an electoral movement to use political power to control our own labour is needed.


Luke Akehurst makes some good points, though, from what I've read elsewhere, his 'few bad apples' thesis may not hold, as there may have been some genuine student involvement (but I'm sure the old lags and usual suspects may have had a hand). Obviously, where I disagree is with the use he would put political power to, but then, that's why I don't support his party...

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Thursday, November 04, 2010

Irish by-elections

Small flaw in Irish constitution discovered, there is no timetable in law for calling a by-election meaning the Cowen government, the majority of which (with Greens and ragtag independents) is less than the number of current vacancies, is living on borrowed time. It seems it plans to live on long enough to pass another (yes, another) austerity budget. If you thought Ireland had got really austere before, it's going to be more so soon.

So, a General election in Ireland after Christmas, followed by a Green wipeout and a stumble for Fianna Fail?

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Tuesday, November 02, 2010

FBU Picket run down by manager

hat tip Ian Bone

Mick Shaw, president of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), described the accident. He said: "A fire engine returned from an incident and drove into the fire station, its crew refusing to wind down their windows and talk to the pickets.

"It was followed by a car driven by the officers, and as the pickets tried to talk to the driver of the car, it accelerated suddenly and one of the striking firefighters was thrown up and into the windscreen.
(Croydon Guardian

The driver of the car has been arrested.

Update: More at Scrocialist untie

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