Wednesday 1 April 2009

G20 protests: Good or bad? A succinct appraisal

It was a day of confusion and uncertainty for many.

As simmering collective anger finally boiled over and transmuted into a bellowing cry of rage from over 4,000 demonstrators in central London today, bewildered Daily Mail journalists saw the true face of genuine fury, and were afraid.

One hack, who wished to remain anonymous, said: 'I wasn't prepared for that. I thought I'd seen fury when the BBC launched a Scottish TV channel, or when some school banned playground games because of 'elf 'n' safety guidelines, and that time a video game said some rude words, but it turns out that was actually mild irritation that nobody cared about. I must buy a dictionary.'

Public outrage at the systematic failures of government, banks and big businesses to prevent malignant economic decline reached a climax as world leaders arrived in London for the G20 summit to discuss the global recession and other vital issues such as what to call Barack Obama's dog, and why Gordon Brown does that funny thing with his bottom lip when he speaks.

But, while it was universally agreed that some of the vehicles patrolling the streets around the Square Mile were pretty awesome, many had difficulty in deciding whether the protests were A Good Thing or A Bad Thing.

On the one hand, multi-trillion pound bailouts are undoubtedly bad - primarily because they are paid for by middle-class taxpayers.

Similarly, semiotic bankers like Sir Fred 'Shredder' Goodwin receiving enormous pensions as a reward for destroying Britain's economy is plainly unacceptable, mainly because he is richer than you.

Thefore, it would seem reasonable to side with the thousands of protestors expressing their disapproval at the bloated institutions that have squandered so many of our tax pounds on absurd bonus payments and outrageous champagne parties.

But, worryingly, many of the protestors are little more than misguided youths enamoured with the silly, un-British ideals of communism, which is most definitely a bad thing. Capitalism is, of course, the only workable economic system - without it, disgusting poor people would be given more opportunities in life and the middle-classes (that's you) would earn less money.

So the target of many of the demonstrators' ire is in fact a good thing. It is needed to keep all of those work-shy, grubby-finger nailed liberals down, away from your children.

However, the bastions of the great lord capitalism are the banks. Which are bad. But they are also good, because without them we would be left only with horrible, horrible socialism which is one of the worst things in the world.

Should we, therefore, side with the enemies of our enemies to give those dastardly bankers, who are bad, but who work for banks, which are good, a lesson?

Upon first glance, the answer would seem to be no. Many of the protestors are hippies, who are bad, or hoodies, who are entirely responsible for knife crime, which is very bad, students, who take taxpayers' money, a bad thing to take, or homosexuals. To side with such a rascally assortment of devients must surely be a bad thing.

Additionally, anti-establishmentism is a bad thing; without the iron-clad fist of the law to keep immigrants and benefit scroungers in check, Britain would surely go to hell in a handcart, which of course it already has. Therefore, it follows that the front line symbols of the establishment, the police, are good and those who oppose them are bad.

But this is not the case. The police are in fact bad as well. Obviously, criminals like paedophiles are bad, as are burglars and some rapists, which would suggest that we need the police to stop them. But in reality, the police are only out to arrest middle-class white people, hand out fines for ridiculous 'offences' like speeding and littering, and to monitor your evey movement via an ubiquitous network of all-seeing CCTV cameras. This is bad, and, thus, the police are bad, meaning that anti-establishmentism can be acceptable when directed at sections of the establishment we don't like.

This simple to grasp truth would make it appear that it is indeed acceptable to support the protestors, even if swathes of them are ill-advised climate change campaigners and unemployed people. In standing up to the madness of the police and the moral decreptitude of the banks, they must, surely, be a good thing.

Their values, bug-bears and the targets of their wrath, surprisingly, are common with ours.

However, there is one irredeemable feature of the protestors that makes them fundamentally bad.

They are led by this man, a being so inexcusably bad that anyone in his company is automatically beyond reproach. All 4,000 of them.

So bad are they for colluding with this depraved harasser of the elderly that, with one sweeping decision, as improbable as it may first have seemed, we have no choice but to side with those who stand against the hippies, students, foreigners and gays, and cry in strangled, solitary tones: 'Up with the banks! Bigger pensions for the bankers! Long live RBS!'

We encourage you to do the same at the next 'summer of rage' protest. We would join you, but, unfortunately, we're busy rewinding some video tapes that day.


  1. I have a headache now. Very nicely done :)

    The best part is that since Mail world is very black and white, yes or no, this actually applies quite well.

  2. Er, Jamie, I don't think "beyond reproach" means what you think it does ...

  3. @ anon ;)

    @ Chris So many blacks, whites and shades of grey at G20, what is a Mail hack to do?

  4. The word "bad" was used 19x in this article. Not bad :)

    Now I'll read it again and go through all them links, maybe it'll start making sense a bit more.


  5. Don't hold your breath Jay - if anything it'll make things even more confusing to read The Mail's bewildered stance on the protests.

    Although the more recent articles seem to have decided categorically that the demonstrators are all awful anti-capitalist scumbags with grubby faces, James Slack still seems to be really up for a good middle-class riot.

    p.s. Only 19 bads? Tsk. I would have added more, but The Mail's website broke as I was half way through writing.

  6. This post is a great resource for anyone who wants to start a discussion on the issue. Police officers did not have sufficient training to tackle public disorder on the scale of the G20 protests. Authorities will be paying for police officers to protect delegates attending the September summit and to monitor protesters who could spawn violence.