"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Monday, 20 June 2011

'Don't Be Surprised, Don't Be Sad'

So said one middle-aged Greek protester in Syntagma Square at the weekend. The troika-imposed austerity measures have brought together a wide variety of people, from the young to the old, the workers to the workless, with only two things in common: they're Greek and they're angry.

The protests show no sign of dissipating and the people understand that a change of government will not mean a change of policy. Voting has become truly worthless so the Greeks are doing what disenfranchised people have done for centuries; making their voices heard on the streets.

It doesn't take much thought to describe an entire country of people as tax-avoiders and siesta-takers. It's almost as easy to label an entire country as being full of fat, beer-swilling, couch-sitting, benefit-scrounging work avoiders with loose morals!

Echoing  Cameron & Osborne's mantra, the  Deputy PM, Theodoros Pangalos, said:"My friends, we all ate together." And the crowd's response? "You lying bastard! You're so fat you ate the entire supermarket."

Debtocracy International Version by BitsnBytes

Spain is also reeling from nation-wide protests:  MadridValencia,

The only way to save the euro-zone (and the EU construct) could well be to split it into two tiers with northern countries retaining the euro and others reverting to their own currencies. No deal on the terms for a second Greek bailout was reached at the weekend.

Italy isn't immune - Moodys put the country on a credit ratings warning last week; Portugal & Ireland still have big problems and you can smell the fear of contagion. The UK won't be protected from the consequences of any breakdown in the euro; we're heavily exposed to debt but not quite as exposed as France and Germany. It will be painful when it comes but it will be a price worth paying if we can begin to rebuild on more solid and democratic foundations. Our political system has been shown to be a sham - wasn't it snake-in-the-grass Mandelson who called this the 'post-democratic age'? How right he was. It won't last.

The full quote from the Greek protester mentioned above is, "Don't be surprised if Athens goes up in flames. And don't be sad, either." Substitute any city.

Whether the demonstrators in the videos know it or not, they're demonstrating against the EU. Our government is in Brussels, not in Madrid, Athens, Dublin, Lisbon or London.

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