Past EED rants


Live leaderboard

Poker leaderboard

Voice of EED

Thursday 20 November 2003

(Don't) Stop the War! [beej]

Pinko anti-war lefties are starting to accumulate outside the World Service, students with banners are outside the LSE Uni opposite this office, and the anti-Bush march past will go down Aldwych later on today.
Right to free speech - fantastic - but why do these people want to 'Stop the War' which has has already happened? Aren't they just protesting for the sake of protesting? Will they protest every war until they realise we're all (to quote Eminem) just mammals?


  1. I don't know about the more mature rabid lefties, but certainly, the students for the most part don't seem to protest against war (that is or is not occurring) due to deeply held beliefs, but rather because it is just a 'student' thing to do. It also allows them to say: 'Ooh look! I'm making a difference, despite doing a basket-weaving degree that consists of 2 hours of lectures a week! I'm making good use of government money, no, honest!'
    It's ridiculous. Another prime example of student idiocy - at Warwick, university service units are not allowed to recruit at Freshers' Fayres in the Union, for no other reason than the fact that the current Union officers have no great love of the military. Lunacy.

  2. 'You should have Stopped the War' doesn't make such a snappy banner slogan, though.
    I think most of them are protesting under the 'Stop Bush' banner now, though? Which seems altogether more sensible.
    Shame it's on a busy weekday, I think I'd have gone along myself otherwise. Regardless of the war or the Middle Eastern situation, Bush and his administration have done enough things which directly and aversely affect ME that I think protesting is pretty much in order.

  3. Much as pains me to agree with lefty scum, Shinji makes some good points there. The most obvious being regardless of what wars the US may or may not be fighting, the Bush administration is nothing short of farcical. The fact that they somehow managed to dupe the American public into believing that a war on Iraq was in some way analogous with a war on terror doesn't suddenly make it true. Has anyone got any figures about Bush's approval ratings, and his chances for re-election?

  4. According to the Washington Post website, Bush's approval rating is currently at 56%. It's on a downward slide at the mo, which is probably a bad thing in an election year. It's been on the slide since the Iraq war was oficially decalred 'won' - can't think why that might be :).
    In the same period, disapproval has gone from roughly 25% to around 40%. He's still ahead but it looks like the 'don't knows' are going over to 'disapproval' in the main.
    Overall, not good. Right now, he'd win an election. In a year, if things don't pick up, from the WP's graphs, he probably won't.
    As to the current protests, I struggle to think of anything more pointless. Bush doesn't listen to powerful opposition at home to his foreign affairs policy, he certainly isn't going to listen to a public protest by people who don't even have a vote in his country. I mean, get real..

  5. They're not listening, so we should stop talking?
    What the hell kind of attitude is that? Sustained, vociferous public pressure from thousands of people CAN and WILL slowly but surely push public opinion and government policy in the right direction. Just because Tony Blair doesn't stand in front of 10 Downing Street and say 'oh yeah sorry, I was wrong all along, I see that now' doesn't mean that the combined voices of 100,000 people taking to the streets are doing nothing.
    In government it's usually assumed that one person writing a letter of protest represents about 100 disgruntled people at home writing nothing. By that logic 100,000 people in London represents at least 10 million people feeling the same - and that's just 10 million at the very EXTREME of this political feeling.
    You think any politician ignores this stuff? Even if he brushes it off on the surface, you can be damn sure that it scares Blair shitless, and that there's a lot of frantic policy and perception management going on under the calm exterior...

  6. Public pressure about what? War is bad mmmkay?

  7. does this mean we should stop playing desert combat?

  8. Well, Bush sure as fuck doesnt care about protests, but the american public is picking up on the whole hate america thing. Sure, it didnt bother them when it was 3rd world pe0ns that made some noice, but now its their likes. So its bound to have some use if you think about the real target, the american voters.

  9. I'm not against protest if there is prospect of actual change. However, the prospect of Bush changing his opinion even if a million people roll up outside the HoP and scream at him to change is bordering on zero. It's a hugely canute-esque gesture. You might as well protest against the rain. I don't object to people picking a fight, I just think it's daft picking a fight they stand no chance of winning.
    I agree they would be much better putting the emphasis of their protest against Blair who, what with them being voters in british elections, is at least under some compulsion to care what they think. And i they could move Blair, it would at least weaken Bush's position alittle. However the ptests they are making and the way the media are protraying it are a huge tactical mistake.
    I'm wholeheartedly for them standing up for an issue, it's just this is the wrong fight to pick. What's the point of shouting at someone who is under absolutely no compulsion to listen? He can get back on air force one and forget they ever existed. And two months from now, the american public will have forgotten they existed. A year from now when Bush is in front of the polls, british people protesting won't even be on the agenda.
    So yes, protest. But for god's sake protest constructively, about things you can change to people who have to listen. Otherwise you're just standing round in the rain making a racket.

  10. Actually I think that you'll find that the majority of the focus of the protest is on Blair's 'special relationship' with Bush, which practically rubber-stamps the American president's excesses as being approved by the British public.
    Your comments about this being the 'wrong fight to pick' are exactly the kind of bullshit that's allowed the democratic process to end up at this impasse in the first place. My single largest beef (although only one of many) with Bush is the American environmental stance - the Kyoto treaty and all that's followed since. Should I just ignore that and moan about something local to my local MP, becuase my single voice is worth nothing on its own when dealing with an issue that large?
    Yeah, that's right Jon. We can't change the large issues, so let's allow corporate-backed politicians to fuck us over because we can't win anyway. It's all hopeless. Why do we even bother?

  11. I hear where you're coming from Shinji, I agree with you on a purely ideological basis. On the other hand, I'm not one for being counted as one of the people engaging in futile activities so I wont be popping down to park a cardboard box next to a smelly protester in town this week.
    The problem I have with protesting, is that I just don't like most of the people who do show up to protests. Most sensible people will, like Jon, conclude it's futile and not bother. That just leaves the raving loonies. The type of folks which will get mentally written off by the media and anyone remotely connected with the parties you're protesting about.
    I'd be up for showing my face at something opposing American policy on the environment, for example. The trouble is, if I did that, I'd be standing in a group of people eating lentils with molding wooden forks from recycled baked-bean cans and if I made eye contact, they're probably start to tell me about how the Earth Mother is most unhappy with Mr Bush.
    Credibility is the key for me, and I'd rather make my protest by writing a poingnant letter to a newspaper to make my view known. Then I can avoid being accosted about saving the bolivian rat-faced marmoset, because I'll be at home with a glass of wine instead.

  12. Took a photo as I left the office on my way to TV Centre...

  13. Can't you make these pictures smaller or link them so it doesn't fuck the web site formatting completely at 1024?!