|Voted in by the Unions, for the Unions|
In a time of conflict, unrest and bad sporting results, Felicity Parkes attempts to enjoy a day in the park. Surrounded by protesters, socialists and the general unwashed, will she make it to end without giving herself away or will she take one too many nips of the old hip flask?
I arrived at Hyde Park just after 1pm and was immediately overwhelmed with a sneer. My union disliking boss would have keeled over from the sheer volume of trade union banners. Lots of green, red and purple but not much blue. Funny that.
I spotted son of Lord Hunt of Chesterton, Tristram Hunt MP and Natascha Engel MP near the archway
David Anderson MP was sat near the stage and shouting down his phone and I spotted Hilary Benn MP trying to get in backstage.
The only hacks I recognised were Gary Gibbon and Sir Michael White. Gibbon wandered around bored for a few hours, never looking particularly inspired. I have a sneaking suspicion that White recognised me from when our paths have crossed outside Moncriefs from time to time. I would guess that his red beret was as close as he could get to showing solidarity with his comrades!
The rally seemed to be made up of 'right-on' activists, indoctrinated students and middle-class families who hadn't had a day out since the Stop the War march. There was one couple drinking champagne! This I know as fact because they nearly hit me with when they popped the cork.
Despite all the Tory and bank bashing, it was nice to see lots of people at the rally riding Boris bikes. In their own little way Barclays was represented.
A number of people including David Prentis and Ed Miliband mentioned that half a million people were at the rally. I'm sure I've seen more people at a Take That concert back when they were at their peak.
Ed Miliband's speech was dreadful and as I tweeted today as well, there were quite a few who were not happy to have him there. I nearly lost the hearing in one ear when an old lady screamed "You would've done the same!" This was said by a few others as well and it just so happens I was able to recorded some of it.
I won't go into the drivel that came out of this man's mouth because others have done a far better job than I could have. Here's
|The big screens almost couldn't take it!|
For all the gumpf about 'women's equality' and the 'appreciation of the Sisterhood' we still had three near naked dancers on the stage for six minutes. They danced and jiggled while Medhi Hasan stood just off side grimacing. He clenched his jaw and barred his teeth as he realised that for all the sh*t said about respecting women, he was going to have to take to the stage like a beauty pageant host.
The one part that has stuck in my mind from anything Medhi Hasan said all day was this line: "The only difference between Thatcher and Cameron is the gender." IF ONLY I nearly shouted.
Regardless of all the anti-capitalist nonsense that was spouted today, when it came down to it people were still willing to hand their money over to the few smart businesses in the park. I salute those burger vans, coffee sellers and knock-off t-shirt traders who sold crap to the protesters. And I do mean crap. The cheese burger I bought would have been thrown at Tony Robinson had I not been so bloody hungry.
All in all there was nothing there for anyone outside of a union or not employed by the public sector. It all felt very 'me me me' despite their attempts to make it 'us us us'. There were your usual lines about the police keeping their "sleazy hands of our kids" and the ill thought out encouragements to occupy building and strike. As it has been rightly pointed out today, the Countryside Alliance had greater numbers at their march. Does that make them more or less mainstream Mr Miliband?
I'll leave you with these two photos that I took at the rally. If I every attend another of these I am going to try sniffing glue before hand. It might help put me in the mindset of trade unionist.