Enough arsing about, let’s sort out the world.

Right, that’s enough, now what are we going to do about it?

I genuinely hope that George Osborne does it on purpose. That he descends from the podium after a speech and sniggers to Cameron “I said ‘We’re all in it together’ again. Haaa haaaa, I don’t know how I get away with it?”

He continues to use this slogan, this son of a 17th baronet, worth £4 million and heir to many millions more, as he explains the necessity of cutting the services, libraries, pensions and payments to the poor, the disabled, and those who will never inherit a single baronet, no matter how hard they train for it.

The crisis we’re all apparently joined in, it’s generally agreed, was caused by the failures, greed and recklessness of a clique we call, for short, the bankers.

Yet the people having to pay for their chaos are not the bankers. They’re the disabled and the homeless, the firefighters and lollipop ladies and anyone who depends on them. Maybe George Osborne believes these were the culprits, that it was lollipop ladies telling kids “Wait by the road a minute, love, I’m just loaning ten million quid on the basis that property values are certain to double every six months forever, and award myself half a million as a bonus. Right, now that’s done we’re safe to cross.”

For the poor to pay a major contribution towards the crisis created by the bankers would be a screaming injustice, but it’s so much worse than that. Because one of the few professions that doesn’t have to cough up is the bankers themselves. And to ease their pain of watching everyone apart from themselves suffer, one of the few measures taken by this government that gives more money away rather than less, has been a tax cut for the richest one per cent.

There are many consequences of all this, and one is that many people in Britain now express their feelings about economics with a theory that goes, more or less, “Aaaaaaagh.” Sometimes they go into more detail, adding “The BASTARDS.” And then “Aaaaaaaagh.”

But the coalition’s outrages are only part of the frustration felt by so many. Because there can hardly have been a time when so many people, disgusted by their government, have been at such a loss as to what we can do about it.

Until recently, many people found a home for their outrage against unfairness in society, in the Labour Party. But the New Labour years, if we’re being harsh, weren’t all that successful at promoting peace and equality. Although there are Labour members who are wonderfully effective, such as Tony Benn and Owen Jones, many of their activists left or became disillusioned.

Left wing groups have collapsed more spectacularly, in a series of crises that makes you wonder whether their activities are organised by the scriptwriters of Eastenders, leaving another layer of socialists and campaigners in confusion.

But another piece of this jigsaw of frustration is that the basis for an opposition is evident. The government is by no means overwhelmingly popular, and the Lib-Dem part of it widely held in contempt. Anyone who watches Question Time knows the easiest way for a panellist to win a round of applause is to make an angry speech about greedy bankers. When a few hundred activists moved into tents under the ‘Occupy’ banner, they won the sympathy of millions and forced ministers to appear on the news making unconvincing attempts to justify their actions.

When an opposition has appeared credible, it has sometimes won an astounding level of support, such as when George Galloway won the election in Bradford, or when Caroline Lucas was elected in Brighton for the Green Party. Campaigns such as the one in Lewisham to prevent the closure of the A and E department at the hospital, have amassed tens of thousands. But for the most part these moments remain in one area, or pass quickly, then it’s back to yelling at the telly, or if you’re really dedicated, the radio as well.

Would it be possible, I find myself thinking, to bring together those who share these frustrations, to connect with each other?

Some people are in groups or parties, such as UK Uncut, the Greens or Labour, but I’m sure they’d acknowledge there are many people who’d be willing to contribute towards a squabble with George Osborne, beyond their own supporters.

It might be tempting to consider these thoughts, then conclude you’d done your bit by thinking them, and if you wanted to do any more you could occasionally arrange them into a moan. But it seems enough people are thinking this way at once, that a genuine movement is possible.

For example, Owen Jones, one of the most eloquent opponents of the Coalition’s austerity, is eager to help set up such a network. Salma Yaqoob, who many will know as an inspiring opponent of the war in Iraq, is another. Caroline Lucas, the Green MP, feels the same, as does Laurie Penny, the journalist who wrote powerfully as part of the Occupy movement.

The trade unions are committed to establishing this network, which can link the campaigns, the meetings, the petitions and the squeals of anguish that try to prevent the cruelties of austerity. Almost every major union has pledged to back such a movement, which it will call a ‘People’s Assembly’.

And crucially, many of this large and growing frustrated TV-abusing section of society, have greeted the idea with enthusiasm, and even a hint of optimism. For example a single letter in a newspaper announcing the Assembly attracted hundreds of initial supporters. So this is the plan.

Within the next few weeks, a series of gatherings in the biggest cities in Britain will take place, to launch the Assembly in each area. From there groups can be set up that will discuss ways to oppose the barrage of attacks coming from the coalition, leading to a People’s Assembly on June 22 in London. You can register for that day here www.coalitionofresistance.org.uk

Many possibilities can open up once the connections are made. A group in one part of the country can discuss how to support a campaign to defend a hospital in another part. Even a joint letter to a local newspaper is an improvement on a lonely individual seethe.

It will be a network that embraces supporters of different groups and parties, as well as those with no affiliations. And it will bring together enough people eager to participate, who would rather do something than nothing, who would rather find themselves alongside others who agree than remain on their own.

The evidence suggests that wherever a community unites and campaigns to defend its hospitals, its libraries, it parks and its people, it succeeds at least in part. The aim of the People’s Assembly will be simply to tap into the vast amount of humanity, imagination and wit of those who wish to curtail the injustices swirling around us, and create a place that we all feel better for being in, and all feel better for having helped to create.

That’s all.

And you can carry on swearing at George Osborne on the telly as well if you like.

So leave a name or a message if you’re interested and we can add it to the many who have already said they are, and to show I’m fair, I’ll even let you leave a name and a message if you’re not interested and think I’m completely round the sodding bend.

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341 Responses to Enough arsing about, let’s sort out the world.

  1. fionagoffe says:

    Brilliant blog…. I’m in!

  2. Lesley Kinney says:

    This is exactly what I’ve been looking for since I returned to the UK. 15 years in America, and shocked by what I find when I return. Not totally comfortable with Labour any more but feel the need to try to do something about the direction the country is going.

  3. Catherine Flood says:

    I’m interested

  4. calneeagle says:

    Great idea, Mark.

  5. calneeagle says:

    I hjave duly registered on the site.

  6. maggi174@yahoo.com says:

    Wonderful, very inspiring and enraging! Regards Lili

    Sent from my iPad

  7. Nick says:

    I’ll do what I can.

  8. Samantha says:

    I admire your intentions Mark, but couldn’t join any movement that included Owen Jones (who was scathing about the only Socialist in Parliament, George Galloway), or Laurie Penny who is an annoying self-obsessed fake. I think Respect is the only party that truly represents my views today.

    • Elusia says:

      Was that seriously a “I can’t support this multi-factional organisational structure, because it has factions in it that, though they do good things for the cause, don’t like the faction that I like”?

      That’s rather why the Left is in tatters and what’s going on now continues unabated. Only when people look past their differences to the greater good will a bunch of free market profiteering ideologues who don’t have to worry about other issues be defeated.

      • Simon Wolfers says:

        Well said Elusia.

      • Evilherbivore says:

        Well said! Lets all truly be in this one together

      • Helen Tiley says:

        Not sure about the use of ‘the greater good’. You might want to think of the historical implications.

      • Elusia says:

        Erm, Helen Tiley… context is everything. Do I really need to clarify that “the greater good” here serves only as a descriptor of those goals and values which we hold in common such that they would give rise to this particular undertaking, and doesn’t refer to a grand vision of rejigging the social order in our image under pain of death?

        No? Good.

      • jonesxxx says:

        True but also why does is it necessary to start yet group rather than supporting an existing group like UK Uncut. Maybe we should start another group for anyone who supports the Assembly and UK Uncut and all the others………the truth is that the left love to debate…..it’s time action….

        OK, completely new motion, eh, that, ah– that there be, ah, immediate action…..

    • sylvanmoonscape says:

      And this is precisely why all these noble attempts to unify the Left will fail. Even if we are able to rally round a multi-factional organisation long enough to topple this government, we’re not generous enough to be able to remain working together long enough to be productive. I may be cynical, but there’s too many Samanthas out there still, despite all the disgruntled telly swearers.

      • Helen Charles says:

        This is painfully true and the reason for the down fall of many left groups…don’t despair keep bringing it up…..its the only way froward…but have an open mind too the structure of politics is changing….many young people are moving away from party politics toward causes……but then what do I know i’m only a liberal Socialist!!!!

    • I’m so glad you said you can’t stand those fakes Owen Jones and Penny Dreadful, Samantha, I thought I was the only one. I really don’t understand why these opportunist scribes are so popular. It shows how desperate our situation has become when these examples of what Orwell called “youthful snob-Bolsheviks” are seen as some kind of voice of the people. What we really need are people engaged in the actual struggle itself, not just a couple of privileged bloggers who never struggled for anything in their lives.

      • jonesxxx says:

        I see the problem with the left in Britain as being that they have no agenda. Monopolistic state control seems to have been discredited so their policies now are just opposition to everything.
        I heard Ken Loach on Start The Week on Monday blame state control for the decline of nationalised industry and recommended some kind of social control. When asked what this meant he suggested the NHS…..which I thought was a state run monopoly.

        The left have to come up with a way of organising industry which does not have the ruthlessness of corporate capitalism but also does not suffer the slow death of state bureaucracies.

        Personally, I wonder if the Scandies have got it right.

    • Helen Charles says:

      o pleeese.!…George Galloway!!!!!!!…..Its all been said later here!!!!!

  9. Macduff says:

    Brilliant, about time we had had a proper go at being fair, I feel a change coming generally. People are sick of mainstream. Look at the difference in Education policies. That’s right there isn’t any. Great piece Mark, we need more like you.

  10. Gail Wade says:

    Registered :)

  11. Charlotte Kirin says:

    Interested , keen to be involved, sharing.

  12. Lindsay Adams says:

    I’m up for it

  13. bowiegal says:

    I’m so very in, for ages have been incredibly angry* at the injustices perpetrated on the vulnerable, but reluctant to join a political party. Let’s sort my beloved adopted country out!

    *includes calling Cameron a shiny-faced twatweasel and Gideon a fucking bad joke….

  14. Helen Tiley says:

    It would be good to do something with this impotent rage, other than shout at the radio. Out in the countryside, so physical attendance is out, but the spririt is in. Let’s do it!

  15. sebthered says:

    Good on you, comrade. Solidarity from Dublin, Ireland. Drop us a line if you’re ever in the fair city – you could do a chapter on it for Steel’s In Town ;)

  16. Sarah challinor says:

    Is there a meeting planned for Leeds?

  17. bigtony47 says:

    Thanks Mark – count me in!

  18. Daniel Allan says:

    Good idea, at least this way my wife might perceive my harrumphing as considered activism as opposed to early-onset middle aged grumpiness.

  19. Gary O'Loan says:

    We can do this, spread the word people.

  20. James Clossick says:

    I do like shouting at the government when they’re on the TV and radio and I’m up for doing something more effective too. Tony Benn for unofficial president?

  21. suzanne says:

    Just registered and paid my £8. Thanks for posting. See you on the 22nd June :-)

  22. Patricia Gow says:

    I think this is great idea. I’m a disabled pensioner but am fed up with these rich people’s greed and antipathy towards poor and sick

  23. J Ellery says:

    Count me in, no doubt we will be called ‘Leftie Commie agitators’.
    Which is probably preferable to Tory C#*ts!!

  24. Evilherbivore says:

    Count me in!

  25. nathaniel taylor says:

    roll on the 22nd of june as a changing point , if not sooner :)

    • It’s about time to bring in something new. I’ve been saying this for ages but only seem to encounter those that silently agree. Many hard questions are to be asked and answered but we first need the freedom to freedom and platform to express how we feel without the bleeding hearts and artists saying we’re bigots. Equally,for some time I’ve said, through the medium of facebook and the like, collectively, we have the power to change the world, yet to date (as far as I have seen), We’ve wasted our time manipulating poxy TV programmes like X Factor… Now we’re really going to crack on and I am definitely IN! :)

  26. Sharon Livesley says:

    I’m in.

  27. Polly Evans says:

    I’m in.

  28. Melody says:

    Fantastic idea. I’ve been on union marches and brought my partner and daughter but there is nothing to harness the energy from those moments and keep moving forward.
    One of the things that puts me off is that I don’t feel confident about arguing the cause and am always anxious that some intellectual will trounce me in an argument. If I can hide behind someone more tooled up with knowledge than me, I will be there!
    So glad you and Owen are on our side x

    • Helen Charles says:

      Ah Melody…spare me from the intelligentsia!!!!!…If they can not relate to people on the street. they should not be there!!!!..I’m not so academically eloquent ..since my uni Days thank goodness……..say your peace and tell them they should relate to you so that you understand…..how it relates to you now!!!!!

  29. Malika Steed says:

    I’m in!!

  30. I’ve been thinking some kind of Coalition for Sustainable Mindful Wellbeing Prosperity is needed.

    We must put a positive people’s agenda rather than let neo-liberals of all three colours frame the debate.

    • Helen Charles says:

      I agree…being a meditation freak!!lol…..yes this is important may be why I became more spititual than a revolutionary socialist! That was amove gradual!!!! still political though….wellbeing very much related to how we live…I said spiritual not religious…too any one about to comment ha ha

  31. sehaf says:

    Tony Benn’s views on rape de-legitimise his other politics, because the revolution or the people’s assembly or whatever you want to call it has to be for women too. While it remains easy for the people organizing these things to skate over issues like rape apologism, what is the point of any of us joining in – to gain ground in the class struggle and stay stuck in the mud or even lose ground in terms of gender? Don’t think so.

    • simonpjlduckett@yahoo.co.uk says:

      Didn’t Tony Benn apologise for his remarks? Let’s not use that as an excuse for continued isolation and defeatism eh?

      • Helen Charles says:

        No we should not but ….we should not sweep it under the carpet either…there are people
        very concerned and hurting out there..so we should listen to them too!!!!!!!!

    • Helen Charles says:

      Sehaf Sory what is his views on rape give me the link I am all ears and will challenge him if I feel the need!!!

  32. Rob Morgan says:

    I’ll keep that kind of company, count me in.

  33. …Job/Income Guaranteed Full Employment at Decent Civilised Living Wages and Stable Prices for starters.

    Scrap Job/Sales and replace them with proper Land Value Taxation; think of it as a membership fee for the privilege of owning land in our Island/s, WHEREVER you live most of the time.

    Have the OFT do it’s job properly by breaking up the oligopolistic rentier utilities from land, energy, transport, ICT infrastructure so we have a genuine value added market economy rather than a parasitic crony capitalist one free-riding on public infrastructure investment.

  34. Michael Gomersall says:

    Let’s go.

  35. Tony Gosling says:

    Happy to assist with this noble project, and to publicise on the radio in Bristol, even broadcast discussions perhaps?
    You will find friends amongst the Bristol & District Anti Cuts Alliance too
    Our new mayor, George Ferguson, has appointed a ‘volunteer’ budget adviser from a firm KPMG, being investigated for fraud by the Competition Commission! So ballot box has failed us :-S

  36. Scott McDonald. says:

    Let’s start the revolution Mark.

  37. David Marsden says:

    I’ve tried almost everything else, up to & including screaming at the radio. So… I’m in.

  38. Catherine McManmon says:

    I don’t think you’re round the bend… Am in :o)

  39. pennyessex1 says:

    Please please please count me in, I need to do something,productive with all this frustration.

  40. helen cross says:

    I’m in

  41. James Whyte says:

    Hell yeah, I’m done with quiet rage. Count me in.

  42. In. Definitely in – from the furthest end of Wales.

  43. Janet Henbane says:

    Yes, people have to ‘club together’ to get an impact (scuse the pun!) Up here in Cumbria a load of anti-nuclear campaigners are trying to stop an underground nuke waste dump which would be the size of Carlisle in a geologically unsuitable area. If the gov dont find a dump site it scuppers the new nuclear build – 9 more planned which will produce even more radioactive waste. Fingers crossed people power will win!

  44. I love you mark steel for reducing so much nonsense to a bit of sense. Come and visit our philosophy stall in greenwich indoor market yay.

  45. jackiestockdale says:

    I’m interested.

  46. Pol Steele says:

    Edinburgh based Web and graphic designer… count me in!
    Building a community…. You can use Ning to build excellent community websites, not free but excellent range of communication tools

  47. The Dudemeister says:

    I agree Bankers (whatever that actually means) generally are astonishingly greedy and yes may have partly caused the current crisis. However the money that pays for services and payments to the poor comes from taxpayers, many of whom are bankers. The financial services industry contributed £21 billion to the treasury in 2010/2011.

    So you can get as angry as you want about bankers and Osborne, the fact remains, if the bankers make less money, then there is less money to pay the poor.

    • Lesley Kinney says:

      Bankers are in a position to have their accountants make sure they pay the least taxes possible. No matter how much they have contributed I doubt it’s as much as they should have. Services and payments to the poor are necessary because there are poor in this country. The more jobs we can create, the more taxpayers we are creating.

  48. Ann Courtney says:

    THIS!

  49. Niamhirl says:

    I’m in

  50. Elwood Livesey says:

    I’m in, and I’ll rally my neighbours too, I’m in Truro, Cornwall.

  51. This is laudable but will it include Northern Ireland? You only mentioned British cities. Is this another initiative that decides that NI is just too complicated/annoying/different to be included..? Are we being left out yet again..? And bear in mind it costs a l

  52. paul says:

    Hate the phony Tory/Labour war but would welcome a new approach.

  53. This is laudable but will it include Northern Ireland? You only mentioned British cities. Is this another initiative that decides that NI is just too complicated/annoying/different to be included? Are we being left out yet again..? And bear in mind it costs a lot to fly from here to London!

  54. Mary gardiner says:

    Great and I know this is the right way to go.

  55. Spiller says:

    Count me in.

  56. Brilliant idea would love to be involved x

  57. Anon says:

    We are already having success within communities. The friern Barnett library for instance which was reopened by occupy London and has now been running for 6 months by a coalition of occupiers and local residents, the keys were handed to the community last week for them to carry on.

    The idea is not a new one and I am not sure I like the idea of an event attacking austerity charging an entry fee, and not a small entry fee either. Thus excluding many of the people worse effected by the cuts from the event.
    Plus any political movement which has a chairman and a hierarchy doesn’t really sit to well with me. However if people jump on this bandwagon and it functions as a way to gather critical (particularly towards Osborne) thinkers then I’m all for it.

  58. Dugald Ferguson says:

    As a carer and a worker, I’m a little limited for time, but I’m despairing of what is happening and I’m interested.

  59. Cathy Bryant says:

    I’m in, Mark. Any chance of voting for you?

  60. Sian Barrett says:

    Some east london activists are meeting in bethnal green on 27th Feb. If you wanna meet on that date or any other time email me sianbarrett@hotmail.com. We wanna build the assembly big as possible, nice one for this mark steel.

  61. Reblogged this on politicsbitesize and commented:
    A great call to arms from Mark Steel.

  62. Great idea to unite people across and out-with politics. When Ed Miliband referred to the mother of a soldier who will lose her son’s room, the home where she has lived for years, while he is away serving his country, the absurdity of the bedroom tax really struck home. The Tories try to justify their tax cut for the wealthiest by telling us that the richest find ways out of paying the top rate of tax anyway. That’s just not good enough Gideon, it’s up to the government to make sure all taxes are paid, why is it acceptable to say the rich won’t pay? Should we just let them set their own tax rate while you dismantle and destroy public services across the country? No, it’s time to stand up to the coalition. Great piece Mark.

  63. Emm says:

    Thought all hope was lost, I’m actually feeling choked up reading this. thank you, Im off to sign up.

  64. jo Dawson says:

    I’m in.

  65. marc roberts says:

    Thank you, Mark. The time is, indeed, now

  66. Deb Johnson says:

    I won’t be able to get to a gathering, but am definitely a supporter. Strikes me that this kind of movement has the potential to begin a new kind of politics. Bleddy hope so :)

  67. Exactly what is needed, housebound but would love to get involved in any way I can.

    • You can spread the word using social media – we all need to do that. Find your nearest assembly and send any statements or questions in writing. Maybe you could have a skype presence. These days there’s no need to be present in person to participate! :)

  68. Rosie Walker says:

    I’m in. Let’s do this.

  69. Sounds good :-) I’m in, health permitting

  70. Rosie Walker says:

    I’m in.

  71. Erna von der Walde says:

    I’m in!

  72. commsdisabilitywatch says:

    Im in – we havew booked for the peoples assembly enough seriously is enough..I ripped up my labour membership card 10 years ago and havent found a politcal home since..

  73. Andrew Perks says:

    I’m in. No time to waste. Don’t underestimate the will of the neoliberals, though…

  74. Steve lawless says:

    Great idea

  75. Chris Tandy says:

    I do not think I can be there, more is the pity. However, I will be making a wax effigy of the triple-F* caMoron and sticking pins in its groin. Nonetheless, i support ‘Coalition of Resistance’ and thank you Mark for using your power as awriter to make it happen.
    You are not round the sodding bend, by the way.
    *=Fucking Fascist Fuckwit.

    • TaoistGuy says:

      Please don’t feel you can’t have your say there. Assemblies should allow for someone to speak on your behalf if you can’t get there yourself. Send an email. Send a letter. :)

  76. Elusia says:

    I’m in… just so long as we can all agree that we don’t call each other “comrade” unless we know the person we’re speaking to is actually a communist/socialist.

  77. sharoot66 says:

    yep, I’m in, if I can do anything I will! I have joined UNITE who do a community membership! really cheap if you’re not working!

  78. Graham Jones says:

    Let’s go for it

  79. Sindr says:

    A lot of the problems I find with any group is people don’t like joining because one person is in, or another person is in, or they don’t agree with one or two policies. What I would hope for (and sincerely feel is urgently necessary now) is people don’t spend so much time picking apart their differences and disagreements, but instead find the places where we agree and seek change. Enough is bloody enough – it’s time to make an actual stand and Do Something.

  80. Frances Platt says:

    Yes! This is what I’ve been waiting for. Let the revolution begin!

  81. Andrew Swindley says:

    Just what I’ve been looking for. Let’s turn impotent rage into meaningful action.

  82. Louise says:

    ‘as does Laurie Penny, the journalist who wrote powerfully as part of the Occupy movement.’

    For real?

    Laurie Penny is not capable of ‘writing powerfully’ about anything.

    Social privilege got her where she is today and wherever she’ll be tomorrow. Failure was not an option for someone like her.

    Whiney middle class brats get on my nerves.

    Overrated whiney middle class brats get on my nerves even more.

    • Lesley Kinney says:

      Then Louise, please do not join. People like you are the reason it is so easy for the Government to divide us. We have to rise above these petty divisions, we cannot let envy and inverted snobbery stop us. We will never all agree 100% on everything, we have to find our similarities and build on them. I believe, when it comes down to it, we all have far more in common than things that divide us.

      • Well said Lesley we all need to stick together remember united we stand divided we fall

      • Louise says:

        Inverted snobbery?

        I just don’t think she is a very good writer.

        Live with it.

        (People like you? Good grief!)

      • Louise says:

        And stop you from doing what? Whining? Why would I want to stop you from doing that? It’s actually quite entertaining. Somebody pass me the popcorn.

      • Chris says:

        Good comment

      • Louise says:

        By the way, ‘envy’ wasn’t the word that popped into my head when I saw Ms. Penny’s ‘ickle girl’ performance when she confronted David Starkey and could not take his retaliation. ‘Pity’ was the word that sprang into my mind.

        We don’t have much time for self pitying whiners where I come from.

        And wasn’t it the right that used to accuse the left of employing the politics of envy?

        The conclusion of George Orwell’s Animal Farm springs to mind.

      • Louise says:

        Having pondered it over a little – you’re probably right. Being a mentalist I probably wouldn’t have much to offer a political movement as important and powerful as this one.

      • Lesley Kinney says:

        It’s a little sad Louise, that having read this powerful call to unite, regardless of our differences, the only comment you could come up with was your personal opinion of a writer, mentioned in the article. I could say more but your subsequent comments lead me to believe you are very narrow minded and your last comment might as well have said, “na na de na na”. LOL!
        We all believe our opinions are important and our views are the right ones but it really is time to put those things aside and unite. This country and it’s most vulnerable citizens are under attack in a very real way.
        PS I am working class, the genuine article, I grew up with an outside toilet, when the Labour Party really stood for something! Not much time for whiners where I come from either!

      • Louise says:

        No, I’m not ‘narrow minded’. (If you’re going to insult me, put some effort into it.)

        I’m just not so open minded that my brains are in danger of falling out.

    • Paul says:

      @Louise, I couldn’t agree more with your view of Penny Dreadful, I’m glad I’m not the only one.

      And while I’m glad to see so much enthusiasm about Mark’s call to action, I find the hostility meted out to you and Samantha for daring to voice criticisms a little worrying.

      Is this what we are reduced to? Mere passive cheerleaders for a platform consisting of the usual suspects, who will then collaborate with the authorities to organise a march into Hyde Park, hear a dreadful speech by Miliband and some union brass, then send everyone home in their coaches? Because if that is all that is on offer, count me OUT.

      What Mark is publicising here is the “People’s Assembly” event organised by the Coalition of Resistance, taking place on 22 June, which is still months away. I do appreciate that it takes time to lay down the infrastructure for the kind of grassroots campaigns that will be needed to fight back against this tyranny, but I’m a bit concerned about the apparent lack of events leading up to this Assembly.

      And once we’re there, will the Assembly be discussing tactics and specific actions or will it just be a talking shop like the committee scene in Life of Brian where everyone is sitting around passing resolutions instead of actually doing something? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55fqjw2J1vI

      I want this to work, the resistance has to start somewhere, but I’ll be very concerned if it ends up just following the same old “march to the middle of nowhere on a weekend, then send everyone home again” pattern that have passed for protests in recent years. The march against the Iraq war had two million people and got ignored precisely because it was so tame. Just imagine if even a fraction of those two million had resolved to march on Parliament and stay there until the government pulled out of the war. I think that might have caught Tony Blair’s attention more somehow. Yes, it would be totally illegal and the leaders would have been jailed. But then just about all the major advances made by our ancestors involved breaking the law. It’s about time we re-learned that instead of just meekly complying with laws that were specifically designed to water down dissent.

      We also need to be organising at hyper-local levels too, as happened with the movement against the poll tax, organising protests to physically confront the bailiffs, arranging “McKenzie friends” to help people in court etc.

      I hope these are the kinds of discussions that will be taking place and that it won’t just be a platform for a few union bureaucrats and media luvvies to make themselves look good. We really can’t afford fake resistance of that kind any more.

      • Kev says:

        Well put Paul

      • Elwood Livesey says:

        But still missing the point by airing your views on a journalist, it is pointless, exactly the same as the first two that couldn’t contain their petty problems with her writing and the same as those that jumped on them for it, there is no need to discuss the unimportant things, no need to even think about them, we just need to be a untied voice against the Tories, it’s that simple.

      • Paul says:

        @Elwood Livesey: Oh, the irony, coming from someone who selectively quotes from one small part of the post and ignores the rest. I raised some perfectly valid, and constructive, criticisms. But you go ahead and be a passive cheerleader if that makes you happy.

      • Elwood Livesey says:

        I have read your comment.

      • Elwood Livesey says:

        United.

  83. David k says:

    I’m interested,sick of moaning about the lot of them but not having anywhere to express my opinion.

  84. ChocChip says:

    Yes, Yes, YES!

  85. Karen Bradbury says:

    Have shared and registered.

  86. Sel says:

    To the bastille!!!

  87. Ari says:

    We have been looking into this for the last there or four years. There is the sense of alienation and has taken people over – not apathy. The much vaunted ‘consultations’ are nothing more than some wieghted questions which will have no bearing in the end. There are fewer willing to demonstrate as who knows who the police are and what they are doing.
    Writing this is in some ways not much use unless it provides some suggestions on how to get people involved

  88. I think it’s a marvellous idea it will make all that participate in this feel a lot stronger thank you for taking the lead this is whats needed to motivate people into taking action whether it be letter writing or demonstrating against this awful government I and my family are definitely in and also shared

  89. Neil Parry says:

    I’m in. We must stop the Fibdems and Selfservatives.

  90. Simon Wolfers says:

    Standing with you.

  91. Fran Hamilton says:

    I’m in

  92. myfanwynina says:

    this sounds so good – in a morass of the depressing – we can do something about it – it could work – it must work!

  93. Louise Amantani (comradelouise) says:

    It’s a yes from me. I’m in SE27, happy to contribute time and effort if needed

  94. Ian Runciman says:

    This is the sort of stuff this country is crying out for. Count me in.

  95. Tara White says:

    Hello, we’re in! We had our first People’s Assembly here in Lancaster a couple of weeks ago – watcha waiting for?! :-)

  96. brisn says:

    Signe me up!

  97. Will do what I can …

  98. Too right!!! I’m in and will be sharing with friends.. I’m in Leeds, unable to attend demonstrations due to ill health. I will however give support wherever I’m able to.

  99. Caroline Vieira says:

    Yes — great idea. Keep my informed

  100. Jo Ritson says:

    Yes yes yes!!! Count me in. Already booked onto the Peoples Assembly. Tired of moaning & groaning at the TV – and on facebook & twitter. Now want to actually DO something. Let me know about any Sheffield / South Yorkshire Events. I’ll be there.

  101. Barry Whittleton says:

    Very interested live in Grimsby.Will be interested in organising/ helping in area.Dis-illusioned ex LP member.

  102. roundhay125 says:

    The key is leadership and vision. Mark why not go for it – you have the intelligence and the chutzpah. Might be Britain’s Arab spring? If the cynics don’t weigh it down.

    Just need to persuade enough “inventrapreneurs” (on whom the rest of us depend in this competitive, warming, intra-dependant world) that life in a fair society would be worth fighting for. And maybe recognise how much esteem the rest of the world still hold this country in (for now – UKBA etc take note).

  103. Darren @ Norwich RMT says:

    Lets do this.
    Cameron, Osbourne and their mates will not stop until they are stopped.
    Off your arse and on the street comrades……

  104. petergarbutt says:

    I’m in. Meeting in Sheffield any?

  105. Chris says:

    We already have a People’s Assembly in Lancaster, so that’s one City on the journey

  106. MummyLion says:

    I’m in. I’m appalled at the country/world that I have brought my son into. Can he come too? (He’s 3…but very kind and cares a lot about people).

  107. kat says:

    I’m kat, living in Portsmouth, studying in oxford (Ruskin ‘commie’ college) and I’m interested!

  108. Heike says:

    Good intentions but can hardly be called a ‘Peoples Assembly’ if only 2500 people fit in the hall. This must be an outdoor event, accessed by everybody. Too much Union involvement as well, don’t forget that much of the injustice was started before this government came in, including a war. I still signed up but will sit that day outside the hall with the people!!

  109. Stephen Shieber says:

    This sounds like a great idea.

  110. Maxine Simons says:

    Count me in.

  111. Martin White says:

    Like Syriza in Greece, this assembly will be a reformist outfit, having said that it’s up to us a revolutionaries to place ourselves within it & argue for MORE than reform… I’m in !!

  112. thredHED says:

    Great – count me in

  113. Revel says:

    Owen Jones gave an outstanding speech at Defend the Whittingon Hospital Public Meeting on 12th February 2013 ”….We must link our campaign and our struggle with all the other struggles that are going around this country, not least the inspirational fight back in Lewisham which I think is a model for all of this to look towards….We have to link this together as one campaign, as one fight, as one struggle ” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWXi7m-oe7M&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  114. Milly Williamson says:

    I’m in.

  115. Paul Holton says:

    Way past due, count me in.

  116. Poppy says:

    This could be the start of something big, lets do it!

  117. Alison McCrorie says:

    Interested!!

  118. Smith says:

    Has there been any mention that we are in a global struggle with emerging parts of the world that don’t care one bit if you want to pay council workers more or keep open libraries? Can talk and congregate all you like, but demographics and shifting economics west to east will mean that we will have to pretty quickly get used to a much lower standard of life and services. Look around, Europe and the UK are living on old reputations and are up to their eye balls in debt. We are heading towards the mother of economic corrections. I hope this is factored into any debate at the congregation

  119. Jeremy Simons says:

    I’m in.

  120. MarkB says:

    Count me In, we need something.

  121. TaoistGuy says:

    We had one in Lancaster in early February. It was a call out to groups, organisations, charities and individuals to come and have their say and make a start in working together as a Community. I hope that no 1 or 2 organisations control a People’s Assembly, it should be totally free and truly democratic for and of THE PEOPLE. Things seem to be moving in the right direction and this is like Occupy mark 2. :)

  122. Spot on, am in and have shared.

  123. Tim Wright says:

    In. We’ve got to do something.

  124. Samantha Whyte says:

    Absolutely in

  125. Jon Boon says:

    Bravo. Signing up and sharing.

  126. As my inner-dyslexic would put it, “I’m ni”

  127. Angus Coull says:

    Very much interested.

  128. Anita Gwynn says:

    I’m in. Sick of moaning and shouting.

  129. Thanks for expressing exactly what I’ve been thinking so neatly and elegantly. I’ve registered for the Coalition of Resistance. I’m based in Essex and I have time to help if needed.

  130. Glenn says:

    Very interested.

    I believe that what we need to force this coalition out is a permanent general strike. Not just a one day strike or protest, which they can easily ignore, but a long-term one, like the French did a few years ago over the retirement age.

  131. Jennie Holland says:

    me too

  132. Mark Jefferis says:

    Great idea…onwards!

  133. Merry Cross says:

    I love it that you’re supporting this Mark, not least because I’m always boosted by your satire. But I would say to everyone; whatever economic changes we must face, they should not be based on obliterating those at the bottom of the economic heap. Disabled people have been hit by every measure that hits anyone else and some (e.g. closure of the Independent Living Fund) designed to hurt them alone. A government that can do this is a government that can stoop to any outrage against humanity.

  134. I believe I will put a link to this on G+

  135. Jean Scott-Barr says:

    I’m definitely interested. It seems like a glimmer of hope in a dark night. Just don’t go on Big Brother, Mark.

  136. Ruth Stevenson says:

    Exactly!

  137. Will Steele says:

    Good move. Very Icelandic. Lets do it.

  138. Samantha Neale says:

    Sign me up!
    I attended the first of three protests against the cuts to the arts and services in Newcastle. It was december, a relatively poor turnout, and we all stood in the freezing cold hoping for a response from our council leaders who had nothing to say to us. Cut to yesterday, just the third organised demonstration, which involved a peaceful march in the streets followed by live music and public speakers and we are looking at an almost complete turnaround by the council. I could not attend this march unfortunately but I knew people that went and I’m confident in the power of communities when they are united and persistent!
    Ps. Sorry if this message is a bit grammatically “off”, I am feverish with flu! :)

  139. Paul Wade says:

    Count me in

  140. Steve North says:

    Absolutely. Ex Lab member for all the usual reasons and think this is a great idea. Loved Reasons to be Cheerful by rhe way. I’m in. Steve

  141. rosegirl says:

    Would love to join this, as I have pretty much given up on any of the main parties.

  142. Joe lo says:

    I’m in

  143. Michael McCarthy says:

    I agree with Elusia.

  144. Michael McCarthy says:

    I agree with Elusia. Enough of the narcissism of small differences.

  145. roger day says:

    Sensible idea!

    Some bollocks I wrote else where, which I hope isn’t totally tangental to your statement.

    The problem, to me, isn’t Labour, Tories or LibDems per se. Rather, it’s the Randian neo-liberalism – itself a worm from the Free Trade nonsense of the 19th Century – that’s the cause of our problems. The idea that we would be better off if business had completely free-hand.

    I’m not anti-business – I’d like to rent a studio for my music but it’s usually too expensive – however I can see a level of enforcement is necessary. Bacteria like a really open free-market; people cut corners, and I can see no recourse but to apply the law. If as a consumer I’m faced with a wife or a daughter or son who’s been poisoned by a negligently made product, my only recourse is to stop buying from that source? What a great punishment for someone who’s defrauded me, and killed my kith and kin. As in everyday life, people who defraud others should be punished.

    As it stands, we still have plenty of regulations – stack-loads – but our over-lords, in an attempt to be business-friendly, and to make it appear as if they have an economic policy that works, refuse to enforce most of them until a crisis like this arises.

    The same thing happened with the 2008 crash. Mervyn King falling asleep in the Financial Stability Committee meetings is emblematic of a heap load of farragoes past and present. Until the virulent strain of neo-liberalism that infects all parties has worked itself out, we’ll be continuously faced with such situations as the horse-meat problem.

  146. Mona Zeidan says:

    Yes please!!

  147. paul gregory says:

    I’m in. Its what i’ve been waiting for.

  148. Martin Palmer says:

    Yep, about time we forgot party lines and just got on with telling these twats that we’ve had enough.

  149. Gwen McLeod says:

    Definitely interested and sharing

  150. DebW says:

    I’m in!

  151. Ryan Stocker says:

    Im in

  152. EJ says:

    hi – i’m interested.

  153. Si says:

    You are round the sodding bend, but still, I’m in!

  154. patjourdan says:

    Yes, we need a more solid base than the euphoria of a day’s demo (or the destructive rage of a riot.) Any government knows we just go home, tired, eventually, and the streets get cleared.
    Some demonstrators are are arrested, police and demonstrators are injured – and life goes on the same.We deserve better -and the old Labour Party has left us to rot.

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  156. John Lyle says:

    Fine sentiments, but until a large mass of people are prepared to storm Parliament and suffer the consequences then it’s all so much hot air.

  157. Dan says:

    Hope to be there on 22nd.

  158. Dan says:

    Hope to be there on the 22nd

  159. capnthommo says:

    Okay then, you can add my name. Ast the old saying has it, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

  160. F Luggs says:

    I can still boo, shout at the TV? Hiss and bellow at the radio? Shout out on Twitter! Somewhere else to vent my boiling anger. What’s not to like? I’m in.

  161. Chris Hurworth says:

    I’m in..Just let me know what I can do..

  162. Paulie Brass Brogan says:

    Let the backlash begin… count me in.

  163. Yep. I’m in, especially if I can keep swearing at George Osborne on the telly as well.

  164. Number 1 on the agenda should be concerted action against the horrible bedroom tax. This is a clear single issue that is putting at risk a fundamental prerequisite for a decent life and can only accepted when every room in Buckingham Palace is occupied by a social housing tenant.

  165. Keith Rycroft says:

    This seems to be a way forward until change
    of a human and just nature begins to happen.

  166. Aisling Coughlan says:

    Im very interested!

  167. Aisling Coughlan says:

    I’m v interested!

  168. joy thompson says:

    please keep me in the loop.

  169. Anthony Emmerson says:

    Maybe this is our “British Spring” moment. I’m tired of getting kicked, fobbed-off and lied to. I’ve had enough of excuses, obfuscation and ineptitude. I’m disgusted with a government that was voted for by (some of) the people of this country, but is only representing the wealthy and the corporate lobbyists. The ordinary Joe/Jane has no voice – and if he has no one’s listening. Let’s show this government that we are not all in this together, that they are the ones standing on the outside. I support this wholeheartedly.

  170. Emma says:

    I’m in.

  171. johng says:

    Looks good, will check out what’s happening in Leeds

  172. Whatever says:

    ‘A group in one part of the country can discuss how to support a campaign to defend a hospital in another part.’ This is what worries me, ‘armchair activists’ getting involved in protesting just for the sake of it . What if the hospital has a higher than normal death rate, and gives Jimmy Saville the keys for the night ????
    I was digging this cause until I read that- I was hoping that this would be well away from the AVAAZ and 38 DEGREES style armchair activists – (moan just because we can without knowing the facts , because its so easy to be PC when ‘rebellion’ involves pressing a button on your computer….)

    • Elaine Wilkinson says:

      surely, it’s better then to educate the armchair activists and give them something to rebel with, there are a lot of people out here, who can’t get out and do anything, I am one of those, I live in a tiny village with a disabled Husband , and cannot do anything productive, I want to keep in touch with others like me who want to stop the destruction of our green and pleasant land !

    • Helen Charles says:

      some of us can’t help being arm chair activists!!!! and know the facts….you are disregarding a large part of society….who could be very strong….move with the times!!
      Technology can bring down a government if used effectively!!! you would do well to remember that!!!!

  173. Ian Kerr says:

    Nice writing Mark, expressing my mood for the last 10 years eloquently and on the nail, so we forget petty squabbles and unite against “them”, then what ? “they” have already stolen and appropriated much, if not all of the worlds resources, although it isn’t theft, as “they” own the law and decide for themselves the deffinition.
    Revolution ? very messy, any sane person that has experienced civil unrest and war would tell you it ain’t the solution, however fervently you feel about your protagonists.
    ,,,,good on you for trying though,,,I’m in, (already a member of Unite, although I feel Unite is just another organisation that has it’s feet in the same trough as the bankers/government et al )

    • Helen Charles says:

      Then What Ian!!!! come on use your imagination….I think revolution is far from peoples minds who are trying to feed there kids or keep warm….I used to think that way though!!
      poeple want to be heard have practical solutions…feel they have support…..sory but you might just witness civil unrest and disobedience…..look at history…….Don’t give up yet mate!!!!…did the suffragettes!! sory may be not a brill example but important in that we have to look at challenging law and policy…that is how change come s about!!..

  174. Jackie Blake says:

    Ok. Lets do it.

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  176. Vraaak says:

    Yes. Count me in completely.

  177. Rebecca Lunn says:

    Sounds good, is Leicester on the list of cities for this?

  178. Spamlet says:

    I can’t get out much, but wish this movement every success. It is a great shame that something like this wasn’t created following the Rowntree Foundation’s ‘Power 2010′ report. This showed the widespread discontent with the political system felt by a large section of the community who felt disenfranchised, but absolutely chickened out, when in came to making recommendations; and a follow-on web campaign just disintegrated into the usual handful of factions arguing with each other, and ended up asking for only a very minor tinkering with the system that let the real people down entirely. Hope this Assembly doesn’t get bogged down the same way.

    (And great to hear that the Frier Barnet library occupation was a success: I’d not heard about it lately.)

    • Helen Charles says:

      I agree what I said some where here….there is the dangers of factions wanting the lime light and not seeing the real causes and being able to put there minor differences aside
      for the sake of those who wish they would shut up and listen !!!!

  179. Tony says:

    Its about time this happened. To have someone with a bit of clout involved that people know is important. Im not saying that we need leaders but perhaps captains of the team who the public can associate with is important in this media driven age. Well done mark.

  180. Rob says:

    Good stuff – Interested

  181. Marianthi says:

    Count me in.

  182. Sophia Godfrey says:

    enough apathy and arsing about indeed! Positive stuff

  183. Kevin Foxley says:

    I’m interested

  184. Simon whyte says:

    And forr that reason I’m in

  185. ireallymeanthis says:

    If there’s to be a leader you have to avoid anyone with an embarrassing past-they’ll be torn to pieces, though.There is rather sick-making film of Tony Benn and George Galaway each showing a ridiculous degree of respect to Sadam prior to the Iraq war. It’s a brilliant idea,Mark,and I will try to participate at least online(disabilities).

  186. Richard Rogers says:

    I would be pleased to change my view about British apathy. It’s time to wipe the grin off the faces of these sniggering buffoons.

  187. Joanne says:

    I’m In!!! :) about time we were all one a united front I am very physically and mentally tired of fighting my local MP who is Tory about cuts and the abysmal atos and the unfair unjust illegal changes to pip and uc coming up!! I’m in swindon wilts can you advise of a meet there maybe infront of the big tv in town centre??? as a very unwell disabled person fighting the system constantly as well as my daily battles with my disability and ongoing disease and surgeries we need to do more I have always worked upto two years ago when my disease has become uncontrolled and I hate being labeled a scrounger because that I’m not and never have been I have always worked!!! Please please keep me informed I will carry on spreading the word great write up and blog well done and much respect!! Solidarity!!! X

  188. Adrianne Sebastian-Scott London SE23 3TY says:

    I’m in too!

  189. Olivia says:

    Thanks Mark. Now this is a reason to be cheerful. Of course I’m in. Although could still do with some help here in Lewisham in the meantime. The ‘Victory’ that Hunt awarded to our hospital was a PR scam to scupper the huge campaign that was building against the closure. But all the plans to shut down our essential services remain exactly the same and so the campaign to @SaveLewishamAE continues – just with less press. Trying to mount a legal challenge, talk of Occupation – although not being a bunch of qualified doctors & surgeons I’m not sure how helpful a load of local folk in A&E will be. PLEASE HELP MARK! You can follow @SaveLewishamAE for updates and find out about next actions that will need some noise and support. Thanks, Olivia @Projectpatchwrk

    • Helen Charles says:

      Hi Olivia sory to hear this…worked there years ago..keep us posted..good luck….put it all on the net U tube anywhere where folks will see it!!!..sory I’m along way from lewisham..but thinking of you all!!!

  190. mark bee says:

    Mild-mannered middle-aged sofa lover is finally enraged enough to declare himself properly IN.

    But…….

    Worried that this will be a load of people with radical hair stomping around with “Down With This Kind Of Thing!” banners. Will there be a credible collective voice, or will the shitehawks be too easily able to call us out as ‘lunatic fringe’?

    • Helen Charles says:

      Hi Mark I’m ummm appraoaching middle age, have health issues…but now we have the internet mate>>>>trust me …there will be a variety out there…get to know those radical guys too, start a dialogue….don;t let it become just one dominate group…..So what if they call us all lunatics!!!we know who the real ones are!!!democracy is about all groups who are concerned having a voice….as long as they have everyones!!!concerns at heart….yes there will always be those who want to disrupt…..for many reasons we need too talk to them too…..If a load of young people can cause the mayhem they did ..was it last summer…I don,t agree entirely with what they did…..but \i understand where they were coming from….then its so important to engage and not be secretarian!!….

  191. justjollyjoy says:

    I am in. We have to do something about it. Sore throat from shouting, let’s get out there.

  192. Paula Hancock says:

    Great idea, love it!
    How do I find out more?
    I have no affiliates and never demonstrated, think its about te I did 😊

    • Helen Charles says:

      O then you have a great start!!!no affiliates!!! your mind is your own…keep that thought and have courage!!!start with a cause that interests you and see what they are doing and look up the Peoples Assembly…..Never let anyone tell you what to think Paula Good luck!!!!

  193. Elaine Wilkinson says:

    I cannot get to a city, but me and my Husband are 100% behind you…. at last, someone is doing something… enough moaning from the sofas of the country… lets get off our a***s es and do something to stop the sheriff of Nottingham and his Henchmen,…

  194. Graham says:

    I’m in though I don’t know how many troops could be mustered in, (Cornwall), the arse end of the country as geographically, we are a world away from the capitol.I’ll watch the process of this with baited breath!

  195. J G says:

    Present Sir

  196. Annelies Scott says:

    I’m in

  197. MyreD says:

    Yes, yes, yes!! In Argentina, after the latest economical crash, that’s how people survived and how the country emerged out of the abyss much quicker than expected: they created Asemblias Del Pueblo, literally People’s Assemblies so ideas could be shared, people could help each other and put more pressure on the faulty government. It truly is a grand concept, thanks for motivating so many people!

  198. ben varney says:

    makes sense, s’cool.

    i wouldn’t trust labour as far as i can throw them. they are utterly complicit in the vandalising of our state. and new labour… hmm maybe not the place for a rant on war crimes. they are not much better than the tories

  199. The whole system is so patently run for the benefit of the privileged few, and is propped up by a supine media that keeps quiet even when the NHS is sold off. The major political parties are totally disconnected from ordinary voters and operate for the continuation of the corrupt system from which they profit personally to a significant degree. MP’s are still exploiting the expenses system (C4′s dispatches program showed this very clearly), yet when it comes to the vulnerable, politicians say the money cannot be found and the poor must endure degrading cuts to keep the economy on track. Any chance of getting a progressive new body to allow the population to have genuine represtentation has got to be worth iinvesting time and effort into. Let’s try it and see what happens.

    • Helen Charles says:

      Well said Charles…lets do it and be a force to be reckoned with…and lets not get hung up with the minor divisions in politics…as long as they are agreeable with the main Objectives this achieves nothing we must look at the bigger picture!! and the causes that are important in order to achieve…I think I.m right !!!

  200. eddie says:

    Seems reaspnanle, but we really ought to be clear aboit what we’re up against. Officially the coalition is just between the tories and the libtards, but in reality neo labour are in on it too. They were in charge for fourteen years and seemed proud to just be tory lite. And now in opposition they’re not interested in trying to force a new election by splitting the condems ecause they’re waiting for more corporate donations.

    They need to be told often that they need to improve or be replaced.

  201. Giselle Wajdner says:

    A really encouraging read, thank you! One does what one can to opt-out of the system, but feels impotent as how to make any real changes to it. I live in Edinburgh and want to know more about the People’s Assembly.

  202. Davena Hooson says:

    Count me in, too. About time we DID something. Thank you very much. x

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  204. Nell Bridges says:

    Thanks for this. I’m disabled and can’t get out much, and I don’t live in a city, but I’d like to see how I can contribute and be part of this. There will be something I can do.

    • Helen Charles says:

      Just wanting to express how you feel. is great..use the web to your advantage!!!! start an on line group with other folks with disabilities….I believe in you!!!!!.

  205. Deirdre Campbell says:

    Well said Mark. I am definitely in – i am fed up going on marches all my life for what i believe in and still things stay the same; the poor get poorer and rich just take and take. Enough is enough now – i have had enough of this coalition Government. The Tory, Liberal and Labour parties are all the same to me now. None of them represent me and my values. We are in the majority and these millionaires who run the Government are bringing down our welfare system, education system and destroying our NHS and are getting away with it. We need all now to get together; all radical groups who should all stand shoulder to shoulder and show them they cannot get away with what they are doing. Now is the time for co-ordinated action, national one day strikes or we will wake up one day and say – how did they get away with it. We need action NOW – words are not enough. I am definitely in and can recruit at least another 20 more who feel the same way. Good on you Mark

  206. DeborahP says:

    Mark Steel I could kiss you – I’m in!

  207. With your wit on our side we can do it. I’m in!

  208. I’m in and sharing. The blue & yellow Tories lied their way into government and need kicking out soonest. They are a total and utter disgrace to mankind.

  209. Jeanette Healy says:

    Thank you, it’s getting harder and harder to contain frustration with the level of injustice so sick of feeling impotentI . Just lead the way!

  210. Andy Bain says:

    This will be a movement not just an assembly. The Con-Dems and New Labour will soon be getting worried about it. Watch for their attacks and counter them

  211. HOWIE says:

    COUNT ME IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  212. adam kammerling says:

    Yeah, good stuff.

  213. Simon B says:

    yep – I’m in

  214. gary appleton says:

    Looking forward to it

  215. strimpa says:

    Good statement and desperately needed call for action. I have one concern though. The problem is exactly what you mention, the money. No country will be able to change its tax rewards towards the rich and powerful indepently these days as it make the country not being able to compete on the global market. The consequences are obvious. I dont see the G8 countries’ people standing up for justice together as things are, but hopefully we get there…

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  217. Paula hill says:

    Brill about time we all stood together x

  218. Gareth says:

    “But the New Labour years, if we’re being harsh, weren’t all that successful at promoting peace and equality” – Bloody hell – understatement of the year – what was it 650,000+ Iraqis? Blue Tory, Yellow Tory, Red Tory, it’s still a f**king Tory.

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  220. Patrick Snape says:

    Yes!

  221. Richard Bridge says:

    Spot on. There needs to be a coherent,
    collective, unified opposition rather than disparate protest.

  222. Caille Golding says:

    I need a cause do you?

  223. I wrote a petition a while back which was rejected on the Government’s ePetition site. I proposed it as a motion for my Union’s Delegate Conference but it was rejected. So I decided to upload it as a petition on the Care2 Petition site instead. This is what it says:

    We, the undersigned have no confidence in the Coalition Government, David Cameron or George Osborne.

    Along with a coterie of cruel and out of touch Tory Ministers such as Jeremy Hunt, Michael Gove and Iain Duncan Smith they have repeatedly demonstrated their refusal to listen & have reneged on many promises made in their Manifestos.

    They are arrogantly pushing ahead with ill-advised & often dangerous reforms in Education, NHS, Welfare/Benefits & the Civil Service; all of which have considerable opposition from respected professionals & the public.

    They are taking financial actions which are resulting in considerably worse fiscal conditions, fudging projected outcomes & refusing to take responsibility.

    They have done little to force the Banking Industry to atone for its irresponsible actions & yet are actively pursuing a campaign of scape-goating the very weakest members of our society with little regard for the devastating effect their extreme actions will have on communities, families & children.

    They have shown themselves to be incompetent & incapable of representing us & should therefore leave office immediately.

    Anyone wishing to add their name can do so at http://www.thepetitionsite.com/563/709/912/uk-citizens-vote-of-no-confidence-in-the-current-condem-coalition/#sign

    Many Thanks

  224. Joolz Williams says:

    Signed and shared. Count me in. I’m sick to the bloody back teeth of things. Let’s get together, fantastic idea!!

  225. George Brennan says:

    V.Good. What is to be done? I live in isolation on a Welsh sheep farm, surrounded by rural idiocy. A small dose of activism would bring me nearer to the angels. I would join the Labour party, even tho it was long ago castrated by Tony Blair, but I cannot find it. Is there anyone here from AbergavennY? Local issues are one place to start; anti Tory propagand should always be carried on; but none of these things will come to anything unless they ultimately feed into one or two agreed national policy slogans, such as a funded house-builtding progamme. Support McLennan in Eastleigh on the 28th.

  226. paulstygal says:

    Yup, count me in!

  227. Pingback: The People’s Assembly « paurina

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  229. Alicia Mckilligan says:

    Count me in. I have felt totally disenfranchised politically for a long time.

  230. Paul Riley says:

    Sounds like an excellent way of galvanising ‘some’ people and for that i really commend every effort behind organising this. But …. come on, ya got to admit its all a little weak & pussy foot …. i have reservations as to its effectiveness (thats not to say don’t do it … do it). Just think nowadays big heroic efforts need to be made – like ukuncut did … thats the only reason why tax avoidance is on the media and political menu. To put it simply … the cap cocking serfs in nemesis republic voted for this shit …. they want this shit, society gets what it deserves and what it voted for – even if it didn’t vote, effectively it voted for this shit. Instead of jailing the banksters like Iceland did Britain continues to give them obscene bonuses and swallows the political bullshit in justifying this. Labour would do the same, its the 3party 1headed state. Zombies don’t wake up even when they’re on their knees …. so as shocking as it sounds the message needs to be got out is …. ‘The Brit’s are cap cocking serfs living in nemesis republic’ …. who voted for this …. hopefully that will wake a few of the less dead up!

  231. Ian Lymer says:

    Why not? I’m in…

  232. Pingback: Support grows for People’s Assembly

  233. It’s all gone quiet here.

  234. George Brennan says:

    “Everybody saw the Grillo tsunami coming; everybody knew about people of all sorts – mostly impoverished, out of work, underemployed; but also over-educated, experienced and close to the ruling class – who were coming out in support for him. But many kept believing in the pollsters who erroneously predicted a clear if narrow victory of the centre-left coalition.”

    Thus wrote one seer in this weeks Observer. “Everybody” saw it coming – after it had come; but then it seems “many” did not. Professional polls will remain a more rational predictor of election results than ex post foresight. Survation Polls accurately called the Eastleigh result: a triumph for UKIP, a humiliation for the protest votes of the unofficial left. UKIP would probably have triumphed even without the steadfast encouragement of the BBC. To minimise the looming humiliation of the NHAP, the only protest vote that would have mattered, I put in my two cents worth on its behalf. But who am I? Mark Haddon was the only talented public intellectual to step up, and most people in Eastleigh remained only dimly aware of its existence. Those independent radicals who have managed to burst the three-party tegument have not done so without leadership and publicity. It is sad fact that nothing can be achieved without leaders; even sadder that leaders can achieve nothing without cunning, eloquence and killer instinct. Farage has it; Galloway has it; in her own sweet way, Carloline Lucas has it.

    Richard Taylor, admirable as he is, does not have it. In his years as an MP he remained unkown outside Kidderminster.
    0

  235. George Brennan says:

    “The aim of the People’s Assembly will be simply to tap into the vast amount of humanity, imagination and wit of those who wish to curtail the injustices swirling around us”,

    Thus wrote our Great Teacher and Helmsman Mark Steel – the red sun in our hearts. Steel has done a very engaging radio series about the secret lives of towns. Last night I saw an equally amazing BBC Four programme, produced by somebody ungratefully named Unthank, about Englands anarchic winter folk customs. Such goings on as I never suspected. What do they know of England who only the usual English media know? I shall try to be at the People’s Assembly in June but I have very little to bring; an extensive reading of Marx and Chomsky has equipped me only to contribute to a website where a handful of people congregate in order to be rude about “sell-outs” like Monbiot and Owen Jones. The people who should be in the Assembly are the sort of people who are on these festivals, some of whom currently hold many conservative opinions.
    The salvation of the NHS, if it comes at all, may only come on the day when health workers lock their managers in their office and proceed with a work in. In any case movement will have to proceed by laying concrete political legislative demands on the state, either galavanising the Labour leadership into a show of courage or forcing them to make way for braver men. I think that a British Occupy Movement that does not agree on a few agreed policy slogans will be simply tolerated to death by our cunning British elite.

  236. Simon Duckett says:

    @George Brennan Dear god man I hope you ARE there. You REALLY need to get some fresh air!

  237. George Brennan says:

    Fresh air is generally bad for you. But I concede that stale air can sometimes be bad for the brain. Some years ago travelled to Manchester in order to be part of a vast shivering multitude shouting “Not in Our Name” outside the Labour Party conference. I fondly and vindictively pictured the roasting that Tony Blair must be getting from some delegates inside. That night I turned on TV hoping to see the open air hordes glorified, Instead I beheld the Indoor Labour party giving Blair a thunderous and tearful ovation in response to one of his more soulful speeches

    .

    .

  238. Mark Midgely says:

    George If you really live on a sheep farm you should not want for fresh air. I too am from Abergavenny. I thought I was the only socialist there. I shall sign up for June 22, though I do not represent anything. What kind of policy slogans?

  239. Sounds like revolution. Bring it on! We at Banner Theatre applaud this initiative and will support in any way that we can. For the past 2 years at least, the in depth interviews that we have conducted as a basis for our shows, with trade unionists, activists from groups such as uk uncut, occupy, young people and workers from youth centres that are being closed down, critically ill people being stripped of their sickness benefits, ambulance staff losing their jobs, left wing political pundits and countless other ordinary people have shown us that people really do want to work together to bring about lasting change to this crazy ‘free market’ neoliberal system that rewards the richest 1percent. It is clearly in crisis and nearing the end of it’s days. Let’s work together people to build something better! :)

  240. Lucy wilsher says:

    Excellent idea, lets hope we can make a difference.
    As a disillusioned ex Lib Dem voter this is something I can believe in, I’m still completely unsure who’d I’d vote for if there was an election tomorrow but doing something to combat that uncertainty seems like a very positive first step.

  241. ann geraghty says:

    I’m in #peoplepower

  242. Chris Giles says:

    We definitely need an organised to oppose this awful Government.
    With a few exceptions, Labour MP’s seem woeful at challenging/ holding this Government to account.

  243. Helen Charles says:

    O good about time!!!! ..politics is changing…often cause led these days…although not on U. K. main land at mo am interested…..as long as I don’t have to join the S.W..P.. again..lol!!!…and thats not a dig at some wonderful members I have… known over the years……..well ten years or more ago who worked there guts out ….for a questionable organisation……!!!!!!…

  244. patrushka a says:

    Labour spouted socialist rhetoric while they pawned their souls to Thatcherite economics, lined their own pockets and dubbed themselves ‘New’. the economy crashed…their souls turned out to be irredeemable. genuine socialism needs to rise from the ashes of their self-delusions as the party of the people. the right have UKIP…the rest of us need a voice and a political party with ethics and integrity!

  245. George Brennan says:

    Dear Mark Midgely
    Amazing. Yes I live and suffer on the Borenge which (uniquely) rhymes with orange. I am in the book as a freind of the local library. Look me up

    I meant Policy Slogans, as against slogans such as “out out out!” Marx and Co did not enjoin the masses to create a communist revolution. They united the international on the slogan of the eight-hour day. (They were also opposed to cheap immigrant labour which undercut wages and enfeebled trade unions). The Bolsheviks did not enjoin the masses to build the Revolutionary Party and abolish capitalism; they captured mass support with the immediacy of “peace bread and land”. The New Deal and the NHS were concrete popular demands responded to within the system by leaders who were willing to lead, or at least to be pushed forward. Once again we face historic mass misery, but with no sign a commensuarate mass movement armed with clear cut policies of a sort which would force the Labour leaders to show some courage or make way for braver spirits who would be willing to call up mass support. Some in the Occupy Movement claimed a source of strength to have no national state-level policies . Perhaps. Perhaps all the little grass occupy movements will link up to form giant organisation analogous to the Paris Commune which will know what to do. I doubt it. Mark Steel, our great Teacher and Helmsman, has fastened on the election results of Lucas Galloway and Taylor as hopeful straws in the wind. That seems right to me. A less eloquent man could not have won Bradford, but eloquence alone could not have done anything without clear and bold national policies on the War, on Trident, on tuition fees, on the three party system, and on a tax-funded housebuilding program as a step beyond Balls’ Austerity-lite. Galloways “eloquence” resonates only as a willingness to take on the bosses. Do the bosses pay or do we? Under current regime, the non-rich will pay. Small savers will pay. Yet a mountain of cash sits on the balance sheets of big corporations and banks. That cash simply represents legal claims on real resources which have not ceased to exist because they are not being put to work.

    Actually, come to think of it, the eight –hour day may not lost its relevance

  246. Sian says:

    Keep me posted x

  247. Sid the Swappie says:

    I’m in, already got a skipful of new papers to flog! all you sheeple really need is a democratic centralist vanguard, which is where me and my mates come in, after all weve been doing this for a loooong time. forget the past, let’s look to a new brighter future comrades!

  248. George Brennan says:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/antiausterity-march-hopes-to-break-iraq-rally-record-8550668.html

    I see Mark Steel is one of the “figureheads” of this mass movement which it is hoped will gain momentum. That is to the good. People need to see recognisable faces as well as comprehensible programmes, and they are right to do so. Most citizens are too burdened to study or trust abstract promises made by anonymous little masters of theory. The Labour party grew out of committees of trusted faces, not to mention the intellectual giants of the day. Today, there are no intellectuals giants. The hour cometh but not the men. We must make do with Steel, Lucas and Owen et al and be grateful, even tho these luminaries probably underestimate the ruthlessness and cunning with which the bosses will be ready to wage class struggle against any mass movement that does gather real momentum.

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