Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Blast from the Past

It’s good to see students engaging in political action once again, but the protests of the last few weeks also bring back not-so-fond memories of the last time the Conservatives were in power.

The intervening New Labour years saw some notable improvements to life in the UK, some abject failures - and much that continued on its neo-liberal path uninterrupted. The ‘yuppies’ of the then newly deregulated City of London are now collectively known as ‘bankers’, but are still busy siphoning off our savings, pensions and taxes. We’re still tied to US apron strings when it comes to foreign affairs: last time round it was Cruise missiles at Greenham Common, Molesworth and other USAF bases, now it is Afghanistan and many parts of the Middle East. And, of course, public services are being savagely cut back again.

That regime lasted 18 years. It seems inconceivable that, once the rest of the public spending cuts hit home, this one will last anything like as long. At least, I sincerely hope it won’t.

Work took me elsewhere during each of the three recent demonstrations, so I have nothing to show of the current unrest (yet). But for a reminder of life during the previous Tory era, a selection from the archive is here.

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