How many makes a successful protest?

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Ben@Forest
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How many makes a successful protest?

Postby Ben@Forest » 31 Aug 2019, 7:36pm

Listened to the news and flicked across the newspapers about the UK protests today. All, obviously accurately, report thousands have turned out; but it was clear numbers weren't huge, or certainly not as huge as anticipated or hoped.

When Hilary Benn was questioned about the relatively low numbers in Leeds he didn't answer the question (natch) but it was clear it wasn't a great turnout. So the question is - what number of protestors does it take to really believe in strength of public feeling?

reohn2
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Re: How many makes a successful protest?

Postby reohn2 » 31 Aug 2019, 7:50pm

Compared with the counter demonstrations it's pretty impressive at such short notice.
Another thing worth consideration is the petition over a million signitures in 48 hours,whilst it's counter petition can be counted in the hundreds.
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pwa
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Re: How many makes a successful protest?

Postby pwa » 31 Aug 2019, 8:04pm

The protest in terms of numbers looked small, reflecting I think the fact that with the exception of enthusiasts (on both sides) most people are feeling jaded and just want to turn their attention to other things. The same with the petition. You would expect it to get to five million if it gets the wind behind it, but so what? We have five million very unhappy people. We knew that anyway. Undoubtedly several times that. The general mood out there is weariness. Not anger, not mutiny, just weariness.

PH
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Re: How many makes a successful protest?

Postby PH » 31 Aug 2019, 8:12pm

I don't know what the purpose was, it's only against that that success or failure can be measured. If it was to make enough noise to let the government know lots of people were unhappy with the direction they're going, well it did that but it isn't like they didn't know that already. If it was to be measured against getting a change of direction, it was never likely to succeed whatever the numbers, which probably accounts for the lower turnout.
The only demonstrations I've seen that achieved their aim of a change in government policy were the Poll Tax ones. It wasn't the numbers that scared them into a U turn but the demonstration that people were prepared to go beyond marching and into civil unrest. At present the chances of civil unrest are just as likely if they change as if they don't, I hope history is unkind to those who got us here.

Psamathe
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Re: How many makes a successful protest?

Postby Psamathe » 31 Aug 2019, 8:39pm

I wonder if protests decline as everybody has learnt that politicians totally ignore expressed pubic feeling. Iraq war, ever No 10 petitions, all totally ignored. So spend your time attending a protest and you know our politicians will just ignore you.

Ian

pwa
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Re: How many makes a successful protest?

Postby pwa » 31 Aug 2019, 8:50pm

A waste of a Saturday for the most part.

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horizon
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Re: How many makes a successful protest?

Postby horizon » 31 Aug 2019, 9:31pm

It's an odd thing but a protest march is presented as a demonstration of strength whereas I see it as an admission of weakness: you don't see the owners of off-shore corporations demonstrating in the street.

I have to say that I'm not particularly exercised by prorogation. It's a parliamentary device in a long parliamentary dispute. The underlying issue is much more important: although the country is divided over Europe that isn't really the problem - we've lived with that for nearly fifty years. The problems are (a) it's not clear what role referenda play in our constitution and (b) Leave won the referendum but Parliament is pro-Remain.

Today's protests do nothing to resolve that issue (but then neither does prorogation).
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Ben@Forest
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Re: How many makes a successful protest?

Postby Ben@Forest » 31 Aug 2019, 9:39pm

pwa wrote:The general mood out there is weariness. Not anger, not mutiny, just weariness.


I agree with that. Last week l was in the company of several who were/are? Remain supporters, but their take was far more resignation and 'get it over with' than outrage about prorogation.

reohn2
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Re: How many makes a successful protest?

Postby reohn2 » 1 Sep 2019, 9:22am

In short,as a remainer I'm not wearied by the brexit debate but I am wearied and angry with the past decade of a socially,economiacally and environmentally incompetent and inept government that's divided and led this country to the point of disaster.
We now have a silver spoon abject liar as PM,who sees himself as some latter day Churchill,voted into that position by 0.25% of the public who are members of his own club,a party not even with a working majority in parliament and no mandate for a no deal brexit,attempting to bypass parliament to achieve his twisted way.
Can it get any worse?
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Psamathe
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Re: How many makes a successful protest?

Postby Psamathe » 1 Sep 2019, 9:46am

reohn2 wrote:In short,as a remainer I'm not wearied by the brexit debate but I am wearied and angry with the past decade of a socially,economiacally and environmentally incompetent and inept government that's divided and led this country to the point of disaster.
We now have a silver spoon abject liar as PM,who sees himself as some latter day Churchill,voted into that position by 0.25% of the public who are members of his own club,a party not even with a working majority in parliament and no mandate for a no deal brexit,attempting to bypass parliament to achieve his twisted way.
Can it get any worse?

I caught a bit of a R4 program (after the 9:00am news this (Sun 1/Sept) morning) with Prof. Curtis talking about the prorogation and it was interesting (particularly given his neutrality on the subject).

Ian

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Cunobelin
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Re: How many makes a successful protest?

Postby Cunobelin » 1 Sep 2019, 9:59am

Shelley Murray , MP was enthusing about 6 supporters!

reohn2
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Re: How many makes a successful protest?

Postby reohn2 » 1 Sep 2019, 10:00am

Psamathe wrote:
reohn2 wrote:In short,as a remainer I'm not wearied by the brexit debate but I am wearied and angry with the past decade of a socially,economiacally and environmentally incompetent and inept government that's divided and led this country to the point of disaster.
We now have a silver spoon abject liar as PM,who sees himself as some latter day Churchill,voted into that position by 0.25% of the public who are members of his own club,a party not even with a working majority in parliament and no mandate for a no deal brexit,attempting to bypass parliament to achieve his twisted way.
Can it get any worse?

I caught a bit of a R4 program (after the 9:00am news this (Sun 1/Sept) morning) with Prof. Curtis talking about the prorogation and it was interesting (particularly given his neutrality on the subject).

Ian

I wasn't listening what was the gist of it?
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Cunobelin
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Re: How many makes a successful protest?

Postby Cunobelin » 1 Sep 2019, 10:03am

Protesting is a difficult thing to get right

What does amuse me though is that we were threatened time and time again with uprisings civil disobedience and unrest by the supporters of brexit, unless Brexit was immediate

...and now it is the Remain Lobby threatening

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Graham
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Re: How many makes a successful protest?

Postby Graham » 1 Sep 2019, 10:22am

reohn2 wrote:In short,as a remainer I'm not wearied by the brexit debate but I am wearied and angry with the past decade of a socially,economiacally and environmentally incompetent and inept government that's divided and led this country to the point of disaster.
. . . . . <SNIP> . . . . .
Can it get any worse?

Yes, it can and will get worse.

We all find ourselves at a point where "always a better future*" is no longer a realistic expectation.
. . . . . .
* As long as economic growth / GDP / material wealth remain the prime focus of the system and the voters.

We have to prepare and accept major changes to our social, economic and environmental ( etc. ) systems to cope with the future.

Much effort & desperation is expended to try holding together the broken system(s).

I don't see much effort for managing expectations and changes, from our political system that should be primarily about managing change.

Happy days ahead.

Psamathe
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Re: How many makes a successful protest?

Postby Psamathe » 1 Sep 2019, 10:31am

reohn2 wrote:
Psamathe wrote:
reohn2 wrote:In short,as a remainer I'm not wearied by the brexit debate but I am wearied and angry with the past decade of a socially,economiacally and environmentally incompetent and inept government that's divided and led this country to the point of disaster.
We now have a silver spoon abject liar as PM,who sees himself as some latter day Churchill,voted into that position by 0.25% of the public who are members of his own club,a party not even with a working majority in parliament and no mandate for a no deal brexit,attempting to bypass parliament to achieve his twisted way.
Can it get any worse?

I caught a bit of a R4 program (after the 9:00am news this (Sun 1/Sept) morning) with Prof. Curtis talking about the prorogation and it was interesting (particularly given his neutrality on the subject).

Ian

I wasn't listening what was the gist of it?

It's probably on some podcast or iPlayer, but the bits I caught he was talking about how our system relies on MPs/PMs behaving "like good chaps" about how it is crucial the Queen is never put in a politicised position, etc. and how Boris has failed in that regard. He has not behaved like a good chap, he has put the Queen in a politicised position, etc.

He was also talking about how there are "gaping holes" in the Fixed Term Parliaments Act. The main one I heard him talking about is that it does not define what happens should the PM lose the confidence of the House. It does not say if the Queen should then ask the Leader of the Opposition to try and form a Government or if the PM has another go at making a few changes and re-forming a Government or, if a 3rd MP could form a Government e.g. by a vote in the Commons but if that happened the Queen would be "taking the advice of the Commons" and she is only meant to take the advice of the PM.

When many commentators have been going on about the Constitutional Crisis we are in I'd sort of dismissed the language as really meaning "it's all a complete mess". But the bit I heard this morning made me appreciate how they (the "constitutional crisis" talking heads) are probably right. Boris has clearly used one mechanism (proroguing Parliament) in an un-constitutional way (there is absolutely no need for a 5-week prorogue for a new Queen's speech and as of when he advised the Queen there was such a need, there was no recess of Parliament for the Party Conferences set).

Ian