November 27th, 2010


I can think of two famous occasions in my lifetime when police cavalry were used against demonstrators. The first was at Orgreave in 1984 when Margaret Thatcher defeated the striking miners in a pitched battle. The second (Thatcher again) was during the Poll tax riots of 1989. 

Earlier there was Peterloo. The cavalry that charged the demonstration in St. Peter's Fields in 1819 have been described as "younger members of the Tory party in arms". An unknown number of people were killed that day- sabred, shot, trampled by the horses. Among them was a two year old child.

The Tories have an affinity with cavalry charges. Maybe it's in the genes-  all that ancestral fox hunting, all that riding down of peasants.

They don't see as us as citizens. They don't know us. We don't count.  We don't feature in their world except as annoying noises off.  We are the "enemy within" (Thatchers phrase) to be kettled and ridden down. In this latest episode of class warfare the "enemy within" are our students and school children. 

I'll Be Glad When It's Bedtime

It's been a very cold day. I didn't bother to get dressed and have been slopping around in my plaster-bespattered dressing gown. The room I spend most of my time in is piled with stuff that has been moved from other rooms and looks like the Steptoes' front parlour. Ailz has spent the day in bed, watching Harry Potter movies. I joined her for The Half-Blood Prince, which is the only one I hadn't seen before.  It is deliciously gloomy. In the evening my father-in-law had another of his panic attacks and has been whisked back into hospital. We could hear the ambulance whining as it drove past the park.