Close to half million marchers peacefully protest Osborne, Cameron , Clegg cuts in London

Britons in very large numbers reminiscent of the great trade union and peace marches of the early 1970s turned out for a march and demonstration in central London against the cuts now underway in essential social services and public spending. It was almost entirely peaceful, creative and solidarity building. A few 100 more extreme and violent actors ,possibly including some police undercover people, caused considerable destructive property damage at a number of fancy shops and hotels for which they will be prosecuted.

In no way should their extreme actions take away from the import of the vast number of peaceful protestors who represent the majority of the British population and their profound distrust of the Osborne foolhardy and divisive strategy of reactionary budget slashing before economic recovery has properly taken root in the British economy. Ed Miliband addressed the crowd, praising their solidarity and compared the march to the great movements for peace and progressive social change of previous decades. He also apparently and in my view, unwisely suggested that some cuts were necessary. He was booed by some for saying this. After suffering through the OsborneCameronClegg experience these Britons are in no mood to support budget chopping of any sort in the midst of an economic crisis. They are in economic policy terms correct. It is both needlessly cruel and foolishly counter-productive to impose austerity during an economic downturn and prematurely before full recovery has taken place.

Harold Macmillan, British Conservative  Prime Minister (1957-1963) well understood this. Unfortunately most of this new generation of British Conservatives appear not to.


About haroldchorneyeconomist

I am Professor of political economy at Concordia university in Montréal, Québec, Canada. I received my B.A.Hons (econ.&poli sci) from the University of Manitoba. I also completed my M.A. degree in economics there. Went on to spend two years at the London School of Economics as a Ph.D. student in economics and then completed my Ph.D. in political economy at the University of Toronto. Was named a John W.Dafoe fellow, a CMHC fellow and a Canada Council fellow. I also was named a Woodrow Wilson fellow in 1968 after completing my first class honours undergraduate degree. Worked as an economist in the area of education, labour economics and as the senior economist with the Manitoba Housing and Renewal Corporation for the Government of Manitoba from 1972 to 1978. I also have worked as an economic consultant for MDT socio-economic consultants and have been consulted on urban planning, health policy, linguistic duality and public sector finance questions by the governments of Manitoba, Saskatchewan,the cities of Regina and Saskatoon, Ontario and the Federal government of Canada. I have also been consulted by senior leaders of the British Labour party, MPs from the Progressive Conservative party, the Liberal party and the New Democrats on economic policy questions. Members of the Government of France under the Presidency of Francois Mitterand discussed my work on public sector deficits. I have also run for elected office at the municipal level. I first began to write about quantitative easing as a useful policy option during the early 1980s.
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