Hell No, We Won’t Grow : On Strike In Leicestershire

I’m afraid to say that this month’s Stump Watch has had to be called off due to industrial action.


So here, instead, are a few snaps of the march and rally in Leicester.  I have to say that, as someone who’s never been on a demonstration in my life before, that I found it all rather bracing, and I’d quite like to do it again.  And no doubt I shall have to.

Here are some fat public sector cats “itching for a fight” –


And here is a young teacher (whose name I didn’t make a note of, unfortunately) addressing the rally in the Athena Theatre.  As you can probably see, the theatre was all done up for some kind of ice-themed Christmas event, which created the curious impression, as we were going in, that we were going in to meet Father Christmas (probably not G. Osborne in disguise).

And last on the bill  – by which time, I’m afraid to say, almost everyone had sloped off home or to the pub – the Red Leicester Choir, with their ever-popular rendition of “The Internationale“.  A bit cheesy, but rousing …

5 thoughts on “Hell No, We Won’t Grow : On Strike In Leicestershire

  1. I think I’m one of the militants that Michael Gove referred to last week. I’ve been on loads of demonstrations, so I must be a militant.

    I’m delighted that you find demonstrating bracing. I have a theory that it’s when people come out together to make a stand that you very often see the best in them. So often they are scorned by governments and beaten by the police, but its to their credit that people will come out in their thousands to protest against cuts and foreign wars.

    If I ever need emboldened before standing on a cold picket line or tramping through the wind and rain on some or other protest, I always recall the St Crispen’s Day speech:

    We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
    For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
    Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
    This day shall gentle his condition;
    And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
    Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
    And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
    That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

    Rousing stuff…

  2. Hi Rab

    I’m sure a quick burst of that would have put even more lead in our pencils. “Bracing” is bit of a silly word, but – as you’ve probably noticed – this blog is written in a fairly stylised sort of way.

    It was a thought-provoking day, and it’s a pity the response of media world seems to have been to have a prolonged head-scratching exercise about Jeremy Clarkson. (I don’t do Twitter, but if i did I’d probably attach #oaf or #arse to the end of that).

    I did have the impression that a lot of people on the march – like me – hadn’t been on a demo or on strike before, and that it wasn’t specifically about the pensions issue (or not only that), more a question of people who feel vilified banding together and establishing a feeling of common purpose and solidarity.

    I was genuinely surprised by how many people (mainly OAPs) were applauding us and cheering as we passed by. (Obviously I’m used to that, but it’s usually because of my exquisite dress sense and distinguished bearing and not for political reasons).

    I think if I were a revolutionary socialist – or a revolutionary of any description -(and frankly I’m not) I’d be scenting fertile ground here.

  3. Bracing is a great word. I love your exquisite language; and I envy anyone who is so exquisitely dressed that people wave at them. My attire never moves people to wave at me. They hurry across the road to get away. Unfortunately, whatever I wear I always look like an aging boot-boy.

    I bought a Boden jacket once. Boden, I’m told is posh. But I was derided as the Boden Bolshevik anytime I wore it out. Now I’m back in demin.

  4. “Aging boot boy” has a certain resonance here, to be honest. Subconsciously, I think I’m still the fey, willowy youth I was at 20. When I was still living in London (almost 10 years ago now) I was walking down the street when a man came up to me and said “You know who I thought you was for a minute, Mate. That bloke in Eastenders – the one what runs the pub.” He meant Ross Kemp.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s