The DUP “confidence and supply” deal to keep the Conservatives in government has not only seen the votes of their 10 MPs become more influential that they’d ever dreamed, but the marching season, traditionally synonymous with Northern Irish politics, has also spread across the UK, though instead of commemorating the Battle of the Boyne and the Siege of Derry, in England the cause célèbres are cuts and austerity. Actually the recent fad for marches can, in part, be put down to what is being called “The Corbyn Effect”.
Since Jeremy Corbyn, who for all the allegations of links to and sympathising with terrorists organisations including the IRA, became leader of the Labour Party he has attended rallies across the country, whipping up crowds of enthused supporters seemingly ignorant of the disaster that befell the country – and the Labour Party – the last time they were in power with a genuinely socialist leader.
The “Not One Day More” march on Parliament Square on July 1st neatly illustrates the problem with socialism, which is an unearned sense of entitlement. Even though the Labour Party clearly lost the recent General Election, protestors feel that because Theresa May is relying on the DUP to maintain a government majority then she doesn’t have a mandate to govern whereas Labour, who lost by around a million votes and fifty-odd seats, does.
People attending the march feel that austerity has gone too far and that cuts – real or perceived – to spending on the NHS, schools, police and housing are causing suffering and insecurity. They say that the disabled are being cruelly treated and yet many joined in with the protests which led me to start what could politely be described as “a heated debate” on Twitter. I dared to suggest that if somebody who had convinced the Department for Work and Pensions, via a Work Capability Assessment (WCA), that they were unfit for work, then they really shouldn’t be at the march. “What about mental health?” and “What about those in wheelchairs?” were just two of the many (and repeatable) responses, and my answer is this:
If someone, anyone, is mentally and physically capable of leaving the safety and sanctuary of their own home to attend or participate in a march where they are interacting with, and moving around and along with thousands of strangers, and sustaining this over several hours then they are surely capable of some kind of work, in which case if they’ve fluked or conned their way through their WCA in order to avoid work and therefore do not contribute to the NHS, schools, police and housing then they have forfeited their right to complain. Not only that, but if these people actually had any dignity, showed some responsibility and instead of indulging in left wing circle jerkery actually went out to work to earn the money to pay the taxes to fund the NHS, schools, police and housing, then there wouldn’t need to be any cuts to march about.