Is this how to protest in election year 2011?
Riot police had to force back protesters who were smashing windows of the the Treasury and the Supreme Court.
Scuffles broke out in front of Westminster Abbey. A flare was thrown, and placards and sticks flew above the crowds.
The demonstrators pushed at the police line to shouts of "no ifs, no buts, no education cuts".
One of the protesters struggled back through crowd with blood running down his face as another held a burning placard aloft.
As the sun went down and the vote neared, groups of students in the rest of Parliament Square gathered around bonfires.
The warmest and the biggest of the bonfires turned out to be a park bench.
Students in the UK who have lived the charmed life of individualized consumer culture fuelled on credit have suddenly found the pinch of poverty helps direct solidarity.
The power in finding ones voice on the street is a necessary reminder that only protest stop the powerful from getting away with austerity measures caused because of the greed of the few.
The anger amongst the underclass of UK youth on display during the protest however was raw and genuine, their fury at bennefit cuts along with higher University fees locks them out to any tertiary educated future. These protests will only get bigger and louder, that kind of anger at suppressed possibility does not go away.
So how will NZ cope as things get tighter with National signaling more public service cutbacks and slashes to welfare while Treasury dust off their privatization agenda from the 1980s? Because let's be clear, the economy ISN'T getting much better, look at the gloom in Alan Bollard's face...
Domestic weakness surprises Bollard
A downbeat monetary policy statement from the Reserve Bank yesterday bolstered expectations that it will be June next year before Governor Alan Bollard raises the official cash rate again.
The Reserve Bank yesterday held the official cash rate (OCR) at 3 per cent.
The bank has been surprised at how weak the domestic economy has proven, drawing the conclusion that low interest rates are having a less stimulatory effect than in the past.
...you can almost see him yelling angrily at the sky, "Nothing works god damn you! Nothing works!"
And of course nothing will, the old models of consumer growth on credit cards with legislation that favours unregulated corporate greed capitalism is broken, big time. So until some real new ideas come to the table about how we are going to weather the growing recession nothing will change.
Thankfully there are alternatives...
Call for 50 per cent rise in benefits
An alternative welfare review group will call today for raising welfare benefits by as much as 50 per cent to meet the basic needs of jobless families. The alternative group, chaired by Massey University social policy expert Mike O'Brien and including former Green MP Sue Bradford, says current benefits of $194 a week for a single adult or $366 for a sole parent with one child are "simply too low to live on".
...but nothing will change until people get angry enough to change it.