I was shocked to see a Tweet this weekend claiming that the BBC – and indeed the mainstream media as a whole – was not covering the huge Enough is Enough rallies that had taken place in Manchester and Liverpool. But I was quickly able to verify this when I searched the BBC website and found no coverage at all.
Manchester Enough is Enough rally
The march in Manchester was so large that much of the crowd spilled out of the cathedral and speeches were made outside. Here’s a rousing speech from the RMT’s Eddie Dempsey for example. It’s no wonder so many people are saying the RMT is now the official opposition party. Hats off to him and his colleague Mick Lynch who have set British politics alight this summer with their speeches against the cost-of-living crisis and corporate fat cats paying themselves millions yet refusing satisfactory pay rises to cope with the crisis.
You can see how huge the crowd is in the video, so why was this not reported by the BBC? Is it to do with the Beeb’s relationship with the current government? In other words, is the Conservatives’ editorial grip on the BBC so firm that the news desk dare not report on such a huge uprising against the party’s policies?
This is one of the main reasons why we formed the Bylines Network. So much of our media is no longer reporting news, they have become political broadcasters and those in the middle and left no longer have a voice.
The lack of reporting certainly backed up Emily Maitlis’s recent speech, where she claimed that former director of communications to Prime Minister Theresa May and now BBC board member Sir Robbie Gibb was “an active agent of the Conservative Party”.
Liverpool Enough is Enough rally
Things were no different for the rally over in Liverpool, with queues forming around the block to get into St George’s Hall. Once again, I couldn’t find any mention of this from the BBC.
The event was absolutely packed to the rafters inside with well over 1,000 people gathered to campaign against the cost-of-living crisis which is set to plunge millions into financial turmoil, yet no one from the BBC thought this was worthy of a mention in their news coverage.
Speakers included Coventry South’s Labour MP Zarah Sultana who addressing the large crowd, saying:
“In fact, they are experiencing wealth and profits like never before. It’s a crisis for our class not theirs. For them it’s record profits. It’s a record number of billionaires.
“They talk as if there’s nothing they can do to stop millions of people being plunged into poverty. And it’s not true. It’s a lie. They’re bullshitting us and we’re not going to accept it.”
Sultana ended by telling the crowd, “The crisis we have isn’t because there’s not enough wealth, it’s because those greedy f**kers have hoarded all the wealth”. You can watch her speech here:
Child poverty across the country
The government’s apparent attack on the working classes is certainly uniting the country. Up in Scotland, the bitter rivalry between Rangers and Celtic is well known, but now fans from both sides are uniting in telling this government that enough is enough.
Parts of the Northwest are now facing near 50% child poverty rates and this is before this winter’s explosion in energy prices and all the follow-on costs associated with these rises. Nationally, it is so bad now that four regions have child poverty rates over 50%, namely the Northeast, Yorkshire and Humber, London and the West Midlands.
Let that sink in. We are one of the richest nations in the world, yet in four of our nine regions child poverty is now over 50%. The government has been told for months of the impending crisis yet has been too busy holding their internal leadership battle – closed to just the 150,000 party members who are more likely to be “male, white British, a Leave voter, middle class and living in the south of England” – to put measures in place to stop people having to choose between heating and eating this winter.
We are now literally finishing these children’s childhoods right here and now.
Civil unrest is now likely
I can see civil unrest coming; this is going to get very real, very quickly. The situation will be made harder by the fact that many people don’t understand and haven’t been taught the basics of food preparation, such as making chicken stock. And I’m not talking about the poorest in our society, I mean the middle classes. I remember a few years ago seeing a family member throw away about 1/5 of a chicken as they “didn’t like those bits”. I would have been able to make two more meals from what she discarded.
This is likely to be on the same level as the winter of discontent, perhaps on a par with the post-war years. But back then home economics was more widely taught. Baby boomers grew up with skills that our current generation often doesn’t have, often because these skills simply haven’t been taught. My mum, for example, was a home economics teacher, a role Margaret Thatcher’s government largely got rid of in the 80s as it was ‘no longer needed’. Arguably this contributed to us becoming the fattest nation in Europe, with a generation that has become deskilled in some of the essential skills needed to survive this current crisis.
I’ll end on this fantastic quote from Dempsey. It sums up the situation in the UK right now, a situation that has built up over decades and that now looks like it is coming to a head. Enough is enough.
“When they say we need to modernise they mean we need to work harder for less pay. Well, that doesn’t sound very modern to me.”
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Next Enough is Enough rallies
Enough is Enough – Norwich Launch Rally 6 September – Tonight, 6 September 2022 7–10pm
Epic Studios, 112–114 Magdalen Street, Norwich, NR3 1JD
Enough is Enough – Glasgow rally – Wednesday 7 September 2022, 7–10pm
Old Fruitmarket, 100 Candleriggs, Glasgow, G1 1NQ
Cost of Living Crisis: Enough is Enough! – Wigan, Saturday 10 September 2022 11am–3pm
The Edge Arena, Riveredge, Wigan, WN3 5AB