Have you ever been to one of these parties where you were expecting a houseful and only 4 people turned up, and even they left early?
Well today there was one such do in London. The rally against debt, organised in response to the March rally against cuts when hundreds of thousands took to the streets, had been promised around 1500 adherents on Facebook, but in the end only about 350 people bothered to turn up.
Even some of its most ardent supporters found that they had other engagements.
Speakers included Paul Staines (Guido Fawkes to you and me), Nigel Farage (UKIP leader), Matthew Sinclair of the Taxpayers’ Alliance and Tory MP Priti Patel. At one point the “crowd” chanted “What do we want? Cuts! When do we want them? Now!
They complained bitterly that they want cuts now so that their children and grandchildren don’t have to pay, but of course most of the protesters were people who wouldn’t actually “suffer” from cuts. They want rid of libraries that they never use; parks that they have no need of; public transport that they shun; benefits they wouldn’t be seen dead collecting and health services that people like them simply don’t need.
And of course they are entitled to these views. I can’t help but wonder if I were a millionaire paying 50p in the pound on my earnings over £150,000 a year, would I not think it was a bit steep that I had to subsidise buses so that poor people could go places; libraries so that they could read; parks for their children to play in, or benefits that their likes are forever trying to get their hands on?
I’d like to think that I wouldn’t mind. I’d like to think that, having more than enough myself, I wouldn’t object to paying just that little bit more so that they could have a little. I’d like to think I’d have a bit of compassion for people who weren’t as lucky as me.
Anyway, it is cheering that only around 350 people from all over the UK thought it worth turning up... and that, as it was so dull, they all went home early.