Sunday, 27 March 2011

Media and the message

Having experienced many marches in my time it is no surprise to listen to the latest hoo-ha  about yesterdays TUC anti-cuts protest. At every major demonstration there are always a small group of anarchists who seize the moment to spread their disorder. They are hardly invisible wearing a rigorous black uniform, frequently masked and carrying sticks or other implements. They constitute .01%of the total crowd and are ignored by 99.89% of the marchers. It has not been a successful event for them if no-one is arrested and nothing is broken. 
The UK Uncut bunch are in a different league. Non-violent but very active, they occupy shops and banks who they identify as ‘tax-dodgers.’ By doing so they hope to embarrass the companies and point up to their customers just what charlatans they are. More power to their elbow. 
Unfortunately so many of our leading companies and organisations now employ very clever accountants to switch their funds to holding companies in tiny offshore tax havens that tax avoidance is becoming the norm. Several members of the Cabinet have been found doing it. As that execrable American celeb said, “Only the little people pay taxes.”
All in this together? My arse.
The fact that there were disturbances should surprise no-one. It is also a fact of media life that a peaceful demonstration - no matter how massive - goes largely unreported. Given some trouble, the event stays in the headlines considerably longer.
A more mature media would report the bigger picture and spend less time harrumphing about the anarchists thereby justifying their raison d’etre. 

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