UK Politics

And the award for the best article written so far about Saturday’s demonstration goes to…

Mehdi Hasan.

It might, in other circumstances, be enough to convince me to start buying the Staggers again, but unfortunately this publication is also home to possibly the worst article written about the same event.

Small quibble: whilst Hasan clearly resents Penny’s labelling of the vast majority of peaceful marchers as “hummus munchers” – a clearer example of projection it would be difficult to come by – I don’t think it’s good enough to defend such a comment from a staff journo on the basis that the NS is a “broad church”. However many people attended Saturday’s march, it represented the biggest mobilisation of this country’s labour movement for a very long time. To write so dismissively of what I assume Hasan would hope is the magazine’s core readership, demands either brazen arrogance or unbridled stupidity. Either way, the writer responsible should not be picking up a cheque at the NS.

Before anyone accuses me of trying to get Penny the sack, can I just reiterate that I don’t buy the NS any longer and therefore couldn’t, at the end of the day, give a rat’s ass who it employs. I would say, however, that her latest piece is exhibit Z for those of us who have in the past remarked upon Penny’s upbringing and youth and how they would, on occasion, conspire to compromise some of her journalistic output. She can’t help having a privileged background and being only 24 and in her first proper job, but I would now suggest it’s more or less undeniable that these characteristics present, collectively – and currently, at least – an insurmountable barrier to her developing any meaningful empathy with ordinary working men and women. I’d venture that the hummus quotient was somewhat higher amongst those occupying floor-space in F&M’s, vacuously ejaculating on the walls on HSBC and kumbaya-ing it around the campfires in Trafalgar Sq. hours after the hundreds of thousands of union-affiliated and non-union-affiliated workers had gone home to their mortgaged abodes to spend their hummus-free evenings worrying about their jobs, their pensions, shit like that.

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