TV news is gripping today with anarchists and anti-capitalists running around London’s streets and illegally occupying buildings. We will long remember police officers risking their own lives to prevent a young anarchist from throwing himself off the roof of a building in which he had presumaby been illegaly squatting? Quite why he was so angry with policemen who saved his life and why the crowds down below were so wound up to see this chap bleeding from what was almost certainly self-inflicted damage is beyond me.
However, my real interest lies in a different direction. Another G8 protester gained prime time media coverage. His name was Jamie Kelsey-Fry and he features on Twitter where he describes himself as ” Contributing Editor New Internationalist, Rax Active Citizenship Toolkit author, often on BBC Radio London or BBC Radio 2 talking news.” Here he was on a Tuesday afternoon, parading around London’s streets and giving media interviews. I think we are all entitled to know if our taxes have been used to keep him on benefits while he carries out his anarchist campaigning or by funding some publicly-funded, left-wing front organisation that provides him with employment? If not, I will give three cheers or, more likely, two cheers but if we are paying for his political activities, I think we are entitled to know.
Thinking through the havoc these G8 activists are causing in Central London, I am very grateful that our security services can share US monitoring of e-communications to identify violent trouble-makers and anarchists. It makes me feel a lot safer.