As I observed recently, there is to be a “Rally Against Debt” on May 14, an opportunity for the supposed “silent majority” to march in favour of chucking more public servants out of work. But was I being fair when calling this event a “Rally For Rich Folks”? Isn’t this just about ordinary, hardworking people?
Well, for the likes of Dan, Dan the Oratory Man, that is exactly what it’s about – well, if those people read the Spectator, give credence to the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA), or would supposedly like “a reduction in the size of the state”, it is.
And for the loathsome Toby Young, it is an excuse to once more paint himself as the victim: Young has claimed that the Guardian’s commentators are calling him a “Nazi”, or even worse, because he has announced his support for the rally. Problem is, the Guardian has done no such thing: Young is trying to suggest that those who comment on a story are commentators. This ploy will be familiar to those up to speed with the machinations of Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse).
The victim angle is also being pushed by Matthew Sinclair, head non-job holder at the TPA, who is telling of “threatening messages circulating social networking sites”. I’d have more time for this tactic if he had taken his concerns to the Met – that’s what they’re there for, and they would like to hear from him. But reporting threats to the police doesn’t generate as much publicity as whingeing in the Standard.
So there is plenty of support for this rally that speaks to Olbermann’s dictum, that “the right exists in a perpetual state of victimhood”. But their expertise in shaping public opinion and framing the debate will be good for turnout, won’t it? Any distractions have been skilfully avoided, haven’t they?
Well, no they haven’t: May 14 is FA Cup Final day in England, so there will be more focus on the road to Wembley than on the “Rally Against Debt”. That the rally has been scheduled for that day can only be down to one of two things: ignorance or stupidity. Neither will enhance the turnout.
And nor will the appearance given by some of those organising this event that they are in less than total synch with ordinary people: Annabelle Fuller, former advisor to UKIP head man Nigel “Thirsty” Farage, and a founder of the rally, admitted that she wasn’t interested in football, but “if Fortnum and Mason offered me some tea and cake I wouldn’t say no”.Ms Fuller topped that by characterising potential opponents as “anarchists with placards and smelly armpits”. So now we know what the “Rally Against Debt” really means. What do they want? More and bigger consignments of deodorant! When do they want them? Now!! Well, by May 14, anyway.