Dead Men Left

Friday, October 21, 2005

"Creates dissent, then sits on it"

Missed this one, earlier:

Recalling his time at the Treasury, Mr Balls said the chancellor would often urge protesters to surround the building so that he could ring fellow finance ministers with news of the pressure he was under to deliver on debt relief. So far, he added, the campaign to end child poverty in the UK had failed to match the success of Jubilee 2000.

"Isn't it about time the Treasury was surrounded by bells and whistles and buggies and placards demanding an end to child poverty in Britain?" Mr Balls said. "We need to get to the point where people across our country are saying loud and clear that no civilised society should tolerate this injustice; no prosperous country can afford to squander the talents of so many of its people."

Make (Child) Poverty History; you'd have thought various NGOs, fingers burnt by getting too close to Brown during the G8 summit, would have learned a lesson. It's an excellent deal from New Labour's point of view: child poverty being one of the few areas of "social exclusion" where they can claim a legitimate success over the last few years, carefully-managed protests by friendly NGOs would both help drive home that message, and allow Brown to look fair-minded and reasonable in apparently listening to protestors' concerns - those concerns having been previously all but agreed upon.

At what point do protestors stop being protestors in any meaningful sense?