Saturday, 14 May 2011

Standing up for the apathetic majority?

Nobody knows exactly how many people went on the 2011 anti-cuts rally in London, but the estimates range from from 250,000 to 500,000. The TUC, who organised the march, had an initial estimate of 250,000, which they later revised upwards. The Metropolitan Police didn't put out any alternative estimate. A police spokeswoman said the force only put out its own estimate of the numbers of people on a demonstration when it disagreed with the figures being given by the organisers.

The Taxpayers' Alliance made no comment about the numbers attendeding the anti-cuts protest. Today, the Taxpayers Alliance and chums have organised their own rally, on behalf of 'the silent majority who believe the cuts are needed.' The Metropolitan Police are expecting the turnout to be about 350. Those attending include bloggatarian ranter Paul Staines, AKA Guido Fawkes, the terribly misunderstood Toby Young (if he's not too busy attending a children's pirate party), Ed West, fearless crusader against 'hysterical anti-government propaganda', former Lib Dem spokesman Mark Littlewood (now director of a free-market think tank) and Nigel Farage.

350 isn't exactly a lot of popular support, especially if you subtract the gaggle of high-profile right-wing hacks, think tankers and obsessive bloggatarians and leave only the representatives of Joe and Joanne Public who turn out. No wonder the Taxpayers' alliance were keeping so quiet about the size of the anti-cuts rally.

If these people really represent the majority, as they claim, then most people must be apathetic as well as silent. If they do stay at home, they could always tune in to the news and get the latest on how Osborne’s cuts are helping the UK economy to power ahead of its European rivals - not.