People keep pointing out the similarities between what's happening now, and the recession of the 80s.
They're right in one sense. It does look the same: all those abandoned shops, people crowded outside of Job Centres.
But in any substantial way it's completely different. Back then people were politicised, if they didn't have their snouts in Thatcher's trough.Every second person in the dole queue knew who had put them there and was intellectually engaged in how to change things. I know. I was in the dole queues with them. And the lucky ones who had jobs but weren't seduced by Thatcher's call to the baser side of their nature looked on with repugnance.
And the bands supported the people in the dole queues and in all the other places that the Hand of Greed was smashing culture and tradition. They showed leadership. They talked politics to NME hacks. Some even toured political shows to galvanise the anti-Thatcher vote.
There were vegetarian whole food shops run by anarchist students in every town. The Communists took caravans of people out to tie white doves on the fences at American air force bases.
Now the people on the street talk racism. Hate foreigners. Crowd in black trackies and stupid white baseball caps like Primark versions of the thugs in "Clockwork Orange" and swear and spit at anyone who looks different. Wish jail on the few who have the courage and intelligence to know what's really going on and want to protest against it.
Now football is the only thing the average kid gives a fuck about. Which is fine: I like football too. But unless my memory is failing me it seems like there used to be so much more.
The 80s were awful. The triumph of everything monstrous in human nature, and, I might add, the progenitor of the collapse we're living through now. But everybody who hadn't been bought off knew that and refused to take the side of the racist homophobic book-burning swine who ran the country.
These days it seems like almost everybody takes their side.
I am sure it won't be too long before the Government takes away our right to engage in political protest.
And when they do it the majority of people whose freedom is being destroyed won't even notice its passing.They'll be too busy reading TV gossip in gutter press Tory newspapers and thinking that the world's going to hell.
On that, if very little else, I can agree with them.