Monday, December 15, 2014

Choosing to be Beggars

Last week, an environmental coalition – Butterfly Conservation, the League Against Cruel Sports, the Mammal Society, the Ramblers, the RSPB and the Wildlife Trusts – held a ‘Rally for Nature’ at the Palace of Westminster.  Why?  To lobby MPs ahead of the next election, reminding them of how important nature is.

MPs need reminding.  Because across Wessex, wildlife is under siege.  In Alton, for example, there’s currently a campaign to save its wildflower meadows from housebuilders.  This area is a beautiful example of Hampshire countryside and a haven for butterflies.  Spearheading development at Alton is the Homes & Communities Agency, a central government quango.  Yes, it’s our own taxes that are paying for our destruction.

Any campaign against imposed development has our support.  Wessex is, for us, a community of communities, every one of which must be truly free to decide its own future, without interference from those in London who think they know best. 

But how effective are these isolated actions?  The rallies.  The petitions.  The implorings?  Not very.  Look at Winchester.  At Twyford Down, the Department of Transport carved the M3 through one of the most heavily ‘protected’ landscapes in England.  Nearby, the battle for Barton Farm was lost, due to the winning combination of Winchester College as landowner, a dogged developer, and a government that spectacularly failed to deliver on localism.

The system can be beaten.  Occasionally, a developer goes away empty-handed.  But such cases are all too rare.  They serve mainly as ammunition for those who claim that the system works and that it can be beaten, with reasoned argument, and that therefore there’s no cause to change it.  Most folk don’t engage with the system until it impinges on them, and so they fail to see the bigger picture, the campaigners in neighbouring shires facing the same developers, the same arguments, the same strategies aimed at defeating them.  They place their faith in non-party pressure groups like County Wildlife Trusts or the Campaign to Protect Rural England.  More hardened campaigners refer to them as the ‘fluffies’, those who are simply too nice to win.

They really are their own worst enemies.  They lose because even when they do think politically they do not act politically.  Development is being imposed on Wessex by a Tory/FibDem coalition.  So what does Wessex do?  It votes Tory or FibDem.  Alton has a Tory MP (with 57% of the vote).  Its district council, East Hampshire, is 100% Tory/FibDem.  Hampshire County Council is 79% Tory/FibDem.  You get the lies you voted for.  These are folk from whom you cannot expect anything better.  And you chose them to represent your views.  Do they not represent your views?  Then why do you keep voting for them?

How do they get away with it?  ALL London-party politicians play pass-the-parcel.  MPs will insist that planning decisions are for local councils to make and nothing to do with them.  But councillors will point out that as decisions can be overturned by Whitehall they are never truly masters in their own house.  Some of them undoubtedly enjoy putting the blame on the faceless mandarins, knowing that voting loyalties are too tribal for this to make any difference at all come polling day.

Because who would you vote for if the Tories and FibDems disgust you?  The argument goes that there’s only one realistic alternative – the Labour bogeyman – and that ‘socialist’ Labour would be so much worse.  That’s widely believed because it happens to be widely true.  (Except for the socialism, transformed long ago into the petty spitefulness of political correctness, which, being obsessed with individual reward and punishment, is everything but social.)  Labour are the party of Big Growth.  But no more so than the other London parties.  Labour are worse because, as an urban party, they aren’t shy about destroying the countryside.  For them, protecting countryside is the hobby of the well-heeled who want to keep house prices up.

Maybe, but the butterflies have committed no crime.  Those who defend them may well be sincere in believing that a better England is not the overcrowded concrete jungle it’s becoming.  The problem for the Tories and FibDems is that the outrage is bound to grow as ever-more-sensitive sites reach the top of the ‘to build on’ list.  That’s when a belief in the free market reaches revulsion point.  Labour meanwhile, accustomed to State intervention as a means to facilitate growth, not to reverse it, are left hopelessly unable to respond to that opportunity.  Grand analysis gives way to marginal differences.  Should we build more flats in villages?  Or convert old Dutch barns in the middle of nowhere?  Would using floodplains for housing be fine if we just raised defences?  What’s the cleverest way to undermine support for the Green Belt?

No wonder UKIP are rejoicing.  UKIP can expect to pick up votes from three sources.  There are the true believers, those who think that to be really cynical is to be really cool.  Then there are the protest votes, finding a home, any home, that gives vent to their anger and frustration.  Finally, there are those who are easily fooled into thinking that UKIP is them.  Those who believe, for example, that UKIP is an anti-immigration party when it has made clear that it’s nothing of the kind.  It’s pro-immigration, but on the UK’s own terms.

And so it goes: Third World immigrants might work for less than eastern Europeans.  Don’t mention the argument that filling a glut of vacancies by stripping developing countries of their most skilled workers is far from fraternal.  Or ask what it is that made those countries so relatively unattractive.  Above all, keep folk well-confused and focused on immigration – THEM – instead of on population, which is them AND us.  UKIP is yet another economically libertarian party, whose main gripe is that the EU, unlike little Britain, might just conceivably stand up for sovereignty and tell the globalists and the growth junkies where to go.

A vote for UKIP is not good, but neither is it bad.  In the long view, anything that breaks up the hereditary, class-based tribalism of British politics has to be a positive development.  The more fragmented the vote becomes, the less credible it will be to continue with first-past-the-post or with a media focus on just the ‘top three’.  Those who have left the Tories behind will have shown that it’s possible to move on.  And beyond UKIP, or maybe the Greens (enthusiasts for ‘green growth’, so hardly sound), lies what?  Territorial parties like ours have a vital role to play in the 21st century.  The long-term limitation of UKIP is that it isn’t actually interested in the territory of the UK, in the way that, for example, the nationalist parties are interested in the territory of Scotland, Wales or Cornwall.  For UKIP, the UK is just Airstrip One.  Any hint to the contrary in its 2010 manifesto need not be taken seriously, since its own leader condemned it as ‘drivel’.

Essentially, the smaller the territorial focus of politics, the better the chances of defeating Big Growth, because the closer the connection between those who make decisions and those who live with the consequences.  That might suggest localism rather than regionalism, let alone europeanism, but there’s no contradiction so long as subsidiarity is observed.  Wider solidarity can avoid one area being set against another for a third party’s benefit.  Regions, properly designed from below (not the Prescott zones imposed from above) can be a shield for local democracy, not its negation.

We want a self-governing Wessex because we want a completely different kind of politics, taking for granted changes like proportional representation to break the hold of the old parties here.  Instead of admiring Switzerland, with its self-governing cantons, citizen initiatives and binding referenda, why not imitate it?  What are we waiting for?  Why would we rather choose to be beggars before the lords and members of a despotic and self-obsessed Parliament, the guardians of an English democratic tradition that objective observers might judge to be no better than tyranny?  We should talk politics with our neighbours, because they are part of our ability to change whatever we choose, not with our MPs, who exist only to abuse the power we lend them.

In 1992, we issued a pamphlet entitled Your Region Needs You!  Its ever-more-relevant conclusion is as follows:

“Wessex is for its people West-Saxon or not, native or settler who cherish it for what it could be and should be.  But what of its future without regionalisation?  The answer is disaster! – The remedy in your hands…?”

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Extravagance of Austerity

Good chancellor, bad chancellor.  George Osborne played a little double act with himself this week.  It started with lots of spending announcements.  A whopping £15.1 billion on roads and £2.3 billion on flood defences.  Oh, and Bicester is to be a new town.

Then there was the Autumn Statement, seized on with the claim that public spending as a share of GDP could be heading back to the levels of 80 years ago.  A golden age as far as the Tories are concerned.  Grinding poverty, plus all-round militarism.  The Jarrow March and the Blackshirts.  Plus the Greenshirts having a go at the bankers: sounds familiar?

How do we reconcile spend, spend, spend with a policy of downsizing that has no end in sight?

The spending announcements are real, but not all new.  Some just firm up details of spending already announced.  And at Bicester, many of the houses have already been built.  Smoke and mirrors then.  Just what you’d expect from a government with a former PR man at the helm.

The roads programme can be unpicked from many angles.  One is to point out that an opportunity to rebalance the national economy away from over-reliance on London has been under-played.  The self-fulfilling prophecy of ‘invest in success’ has triumphed again, with £250 million re-pledged for yet another Lower Thames Crossing near Dartford.  At least development at the estuary would take some of the pressure off the environment (and house prices) in eastern Wessex.  But not a lot.

Wessex gets at least £500 million for two miles of tunnel to by-pass Stonehenge.  Cornwall and Devon have been agitating for years to put the environment of Somerset and Wiltshire at their service, speeding up access to the London market.  Why is the London market so much more important than any other?  That’s where the money is.  And why do we allow that to happen?  Turning the A303 into a motorway in all but name won’t just increase accessibility to London.  It will increase accessibility FROM London, cutting precious minutes off the drive to the weekend cottage in Salcombe.

But for how long?  The strategic vision for roads spending does not include the words ‘Peak Oil’.  Instead it reassures us as follows:

“In the short to medium term, as domestic production declines, our dependence on imported oil and gas will grow and we will become increasingly exposed to the pressures and risks of global markets. Over the same period, global energy consumption is anticipated to increase significantly, implying increasing competition for available resources. Despite this, fuel costs are not projected to rise significantly over this time period.”

Apparently, that’s all down to increased fuel efficiency.  And wishful thinking.  And beyond the short to medium term?  Infrastructure is for the long term.  Are we planning for the next five years, or the next fifty?  Are we buying the wrong kind of infrastructure because no-one will admit to the necessity of a radical re-think?  We aren’t building a resilient future, because we can’t accept that the comfortable present is just an illusion.

So the spending plans are all part of hiding the harsh facts.  The real state of public finances ought to give real cause for concern.  An analysis of the background to the Autumn Statement done by The Independent (a London newspaper) shows that the plan to boost growth relies on boosting borrowing by the general public:

“According to the small print in the latest report from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), the public is forecast to add to its pile of unsecured lending, which includes credit card debt and bank overdrafts, by £360bn over the next five years.  If the public fails to spend, then growth would collapse and the Government’s deficit would be likely to start increasing again.  The £360bn figure represents a £41bn increase on the OBR’s forecasts just nine months ago and would take households’ unsecured lending, as a share of total household incomes, to a record 55 per cent by 2020.  That would be well above even the pre-financial crisis unsecured debt ratio of 44 per cent.”

Add-in secured lending, like mortgages, and total household debt is projected to rise from £1.7trn to £2.6trn by the end of the decade.  With that figure rising faster than incomes, the ratio of total household debt to household incomes will rise from 169% to a new high of 184%.  But this has to happen if public spending is to be cut, because economies are sustained by spending and if the Government is unable or unwilling to run a big budget deficit, then someone else has to.  (Even though governments, as a lower risk, can borrow more cheaply than anyone else.)  Like all Ponzi schemes, it’s about using an imagined future to sustain the actual present.  And it’s a trick that only works so long as the population continues to grow and natural resources continue to come on-stream to support it.

One of the easiest ways to grow the economy, here and worldwide, is to spend more on armaments, things created for the sole purpose of being destroyed.  Civilian expenditure meets human needs, which are finite.  Military expenditure is not subject to any such limit.  At September’s NATO summit in Newport, the UK successfully lobbied for defence spending to be raised to 2% of GDP across the alliance.  Military budgets ought to have some relationship to expected outcomes but a budget expressed in terms of inputs – a percentage share of GDP – looks very suspicious.  A 2% share doesn’t automatically translate into a given level of security, not least because it fluctuates with the size of the economy.  All it does for sure is sustain or increase NATO orders placed with the arms trade.  DO panic, because panic is good for business.

With the NHS, schools and overseas aid budgets protected, defence now set to be protected too, and pensions politically unassailable, the Chancellor has little room for manoeuvre.  Paul Johnson of the Institute for Fiscal Studies said this week that voters would be justified in asking whether Osborne was planning “a fundamental reimagining of the role of the state”.

Others are planning a fundamental reimagining of the state too.  Not so much in terms of its role as in terms of its territory.  Scotland and perhaps Wales may yet see a future outside the UK as more attractive than one within.  England will not be so lucky.  Our political establishment is so entwined with the City financial establishment that we can only break free by reimagining both our constitution and our economy, dispersing power and wealth to the regions.  And on a scale beyond what it’s acceptable to contemplate in London. 

It has to be, because the cost of maintaining the status quo is unsustainable and this cannot be admitted.  If power is to remain centralised it cannot remain even nominally democratic because that would cost too much, and if it’s to become truly democratic it cannot remain centralised because that would cost too much as well.  The really big savings come from letting go, from setting areas free to do their own thing, precisely what the likes of Michael Gove or Eric Pickles, or any other champions of ‘British values’ handed down from above, are in politics to prevent.

Those who wish the grip to tighten really need no identification.  Those who wish it to end are to be found among nationalist and regionalist movements across Europe, each one sparklingly particular, but linked in solidarity against centralism.  The politics of change today is territorial.  The choice is between non-government – in the sense of a state whose will to intervene has shrunk back to defending the property of a global elite – and self-government – in the sense of a society organised for the benefit of the community.

The Labour Party sits uneasily between these two visions.  Miliband – with his call for ‘responsible capitalism’ – is as determined as Cameron to outsource the job of government but thinks asking for things nicely might help.  Having ditched Clause 4, what remains of Labour cannot be other than fraudulent, all sound-bites and cheesy grins.  The public appetite for taking back the commanding heights of the economy is huge but Labour no longer knows how to tell that story.  In the Celtic nations it’s losing ground to those who can.  The English regions will follow.

One of the lies that Thatcher got away with all too easily was that the State doesn’t have any money.  All the money it has is money taken from taxpayers.  Not true.  That’s the kind of state that has sold off or given away every other source of revenue, from land, from minerals, from trading services and from sovereign monopolies.  And done so because it’s clear to the politicians responsible that a state dependent solely on taxation will be a precarious state.  It’s a state left without those assets that could have given it a high degree of practical independence (and which therefore now need to be repossessed).  The Thatcherite State, designed to be economically crippled, cannot avoid becoming politically crippled.  It’s a state with a death-wish, clinging to an exalted imperial vision it can no longer fund, digging an ever deeper hole for itself.

If that’s truly the state of the UK, then we need to imagine its replacements and work to bring them into being.  We must defend our local services, and link them regionally.  If the London regime won’t do these things for us then we need to do them ourselves.  Or it will take us down with it.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Green as Gravel

Natalie Bennett, Leader of the Green Party in England & Wales (& Cornwall) was one of the panel on BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions? this week.  To the amazement of anyone concerned about the ecological crisis we face, she launched into an impassioned defence of massive urban development and a rejection of those measures that might keep population growth within locally acceptable bounds.

So, what’s the Green Party for?  Why does it pretend to be part of the solution when it clearly has the same analysis of the problem as all the other London-based parties?  Namely that the damage done by growth is to be cured by yet more growth.  It has over recent years courted the red-green vote, by playing up the red, but seemingly at the expense of the green.

All parties are constantly challenged to say what they would do to create more jobs.  A really courageous party would challenge the question.  We don’t need the maximum number of jobs.  We need the optimum number of jobs for the optimum size of population, given the sensible limits that define our region’s place in a sustainable world.  The UK has far, far too many jobs for its size, many of them in the wrong places and many of them financially profitable (for others) but socially useless and environmentally harmful.  That’s one reason why it’s importing folk at the rate of 250,000 a year net.  It also has a failed education and welfare system, because it has 2 million unemployed who should be matched to the jobs available and trained to do them if they lack the skills.  Come on, this isn’t rocket science, it’s the basic sustainability that corporate interests prevent us enjoying.

Growth isn’t necessary for economic reasons.  It’s necessary only for fiscal reasons, because without it the UK cannot pay the interest on the imaginary debts it’s been fooled by bankers into believing that it owes.  The continued refusal to confront this fact is what’s leading to planet-wide disaster as rising debt outstrips the capacity of the real, resource-limited economy.

The future needs green politics.  What it obviously doesn’t need is Green politics.

Friday, November 28, 2014

The People v. The Profit

In Nineteen Eighty-Four, Orwell painted a picture of the future as a boot stamping on a human face, forever.  The boot now has a name.  TTIP.  The Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership.  Hammered out in secret talks between Europe and the USA, it will make democracy illegal, by giving corporations the right to sue governments for passing laws that restrict their profits, such as laws that raise environmental or social protection.

Campaign group 38 Degrees gave evidence this week to a select committee at Westminster.  One of their members described the experience as follows:

“This week I was shouted at by a group of MPs.

I'd been asked to explain to the Business Select Committee why 38 Degrees members are so worried about TTIP.  That's the dodgy EU-US trade deal that could bring further privatisation of our NHS.  But once I got there, they didn’t seem to want to hear why we were against privatisation.  Or why we want to stop American corporations having the power to sue our government in secret courts.

Instead they attacked 38 Degrees members for wanting to have a say.  They kept arguing that 38 Degrees members didn’t know enough to have valid opinions about the deal.  And when I said we don’t trust politicians to deal with something as important as this behind closed doors, the chairman told me to shut up!”

If, like us, you’re sceptical about the value of trade and concerned about the threat that trade poses to democracy, you’ll understand where he’s coming from.  TTIP has to be defeated but, in the long term, it’s just as important to defeat the mindset – totalitarian liberalism – that thinks something like TTIP could ever be acceptable in a society that values vital democracy.  We’ve become numbed to the idea that it’s not for business to compete for access to our markets, it’s for nations to compete for the privilege of investment by businesses.  Because if the businesses are disobeyed, they have the power (that we gave to them) to lay waste to everything.  Faced with the threat of our sovereignty now being for sale, defence is nowhere near enough.  Politics must re-conquer economics or go down fighting.  A boycott of US goods might be a start?

It’s just a shame that David Babbs – the man who now complains about being shouted at – is the man who decided only last year that the voters of Eastleigh ought not to hear from Colin Bex.

Seeing the Light

Here’s a story from the North Somerset Times, a story with outlines applicable throughout Wessex, and maybe across other regions too:

“A long-standing member of North Somerset’s Conservative party has resigned from the organisation which he believes ‘has no interest’ in the area’s issues.

Arthur Terry, who is the representative for Portishead’s East Ward on North Somerset Council, has left the party and will continue his work for residents as an independent councillor.

Cllr Terry has been a Tory party member since 1981 and was elected to Woodspring Council [as North Somerset Council was then known] in 1984.

He cites issues including police funding and new housing figure demands as reasons for leaving the Conservatives.

He said: ‘Over the years it has become increasingly clear to me that the national political parties of all persuasions have no interest in this area.

‘This is demonstrated by their repeated failure to address the serious inequities in the distribution of the revenue support grant to our local authorities and it would appear the consistent failure of our local Members of Parliament to influence this.

‘Clearly as a lone voice I can do little to influence these issues, but I can be honest and no longer represent a party that has no interest in the views and concerns of ordinary members.’

Comment is barely necessary.  Centralist diktat steamrollers on, oblivious to promises of localism.  Unfair funding arrangements continue.  Protests to those at the top of the London-based parties go unheeded.  Experienced local councillors draw their own conclusions, and so we see the centuries of deference to London dominance slowly start to wither and die at the root.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Scotland the Bold

How’s this for a map to follow?  Not perfect, indeed, but certainly perfectible, as much for Wessex as for Scotland.

We too have the ability to wake up and grasp a better world.  Let's give it a try…

Scared As A Bully

On 9th November 2014, Catalonia voted 4 to 1 for independence from Spain.  Madrid isn’t ready to begin talks on separation.  Instead, it’s determined to prosecute Catalonia’s leading nationalists for organising the vote.  Will David Cameron protest?  Will there be airstrikes?

On 20th November 2014, the French Parliament voted to abolish many of the historic regions of France through forced mergers, against the wishes of those affected.  An amendment calling for the reunification of Brittany – split since the Vichy era between two regions, one predominantly non-Breton – was haughtily rejected.  Will David Cameron protest?  Will there be airstrikes?

In both these states, the full force of the law is being used to crush democratic feeling.  All in defence of the outdated primacy of ‘France’ and ‘Spain’, and of the power of centralist politicians to glorify a long-dead past and view other, more human-scale loyalties as a threat.  This is what happens when the Europe of a Hundred Flags steps up from bookish theory to impassioned practice.  There are those who really don’t like the idea one bit.  Warmongers, austerity-merchants and lovers of technocracy.  David Cameron is among them, so watch this space.

Let’s step back to 14th November for an insight into the true depth of establishment paranoia.  Cornelius Adebahr’s article for the Carnegie Endowment explores the problems facing a fragmenting Europe, from the perspective that fragmentation is somehow a ‘bad thing’.  Xenophobic hatred certainly is, but that isn’t the subject matter of debate among Europeans seeking greater autonomy.  All we want is genuine subsidiarity free from centralist manipulation.

Including the power to judge for ourselves what functions we’re capable of exercising.  Europe is in crisis because it has become a project of elite dominance, the preserve of a managerialist class that denies the right – or even the ability – of ordinary folk to shape their own governance.  Adebahr sneers at what he terms ‘populism’ because it’s too democratic.  He sneers at nationalism because it isn’t driven by a narrowly economic conception of rationality.  Because it rejects that ‘rationality’ in which economic power rests not with democratic states but with anonymous global ‘investors’ shopping around for the choicest bargain.

The Europe of the Investors is an integrated economic space in which barriers to the movement of capital do not exist and democratic ownership of key economic assets is repeatedly eroded.  Together, these two things make it easy for markets to punish policy-makers who dare to be different.  (UK governments make things more than usually hard for themselves – and for us – for contorted ideological reasons that stem from City overlordship of our political system.)  Populism is labelled as bad because it’s the opposite of what we might call investism.  TTIP and the Lisbon Treaty are part of the process of declaring democracy illegal worldwide because it cannot be guaranteed to put investor interests first.  And we now see in France and Spain on which side of the argument nationalists and regionalists are judged to stand.  Voting is the way to change everything, or it is nothing.  OK, nothing it is then.

We’ve made clear our own view that vital industries, utilities and public services must be owned and controlled locally and regionally – not bought and sold by the multi-nationals.  Common ownership is a widely held ideal, even among Conservatives.  The consensus now needs to be put into effect.  Obviously, not through Labour or its continental equivalents, all tainted beyond recognition, but through radical nationalist and regionalist alternatives.

How radical?  Should compensation be paid to the present owners?  And if so, how much?  If the aim is to achieve common ownership, in the public interest, can the private (or foreign public) interests represented by compensation claims be viewed as anything but self-centred trivia, irrelevant to the core issue of achieving economic democracy?  Or should those who invested in good faith be reimbursed, it being no fault of theirs if they sank money into a politically sensitive industry?  In short, is the current set-up a crime against society or just a mistake?  Have the investment giants earned our rage or our pity?

Any such theories of ‘fairness’ can be laboured so as to slow down necessary progress.  Even to visualise the issue as a transaction is to bow to a hostile point of view.  Why not decouple progress from that which retards it?  Why not take back now, and pay back later (if at all)?  Our thinking has been so polluted by investism even governments claim to be 'investing' in roads or a better NHS when what they mean is they're devoting more resources to transport or healthcare that we miss the most obvious, direct answers to our problems.  Cut the Gordian knot.  Or perhaps, in the case of PFI, the Gordon knot.

Bear in mind (a) that many of our nationalised industries were created by seizing municipal assets without compensation (and this sort of thing still goes on, quite shamelessly), (b) that they were then privatised at an average 30% discount on the market price, (c) that as natural monopolies they have continued to be cash cows ever since, and (d) that corporations spent – and spend – millions on subverting the democratic debate, belying the idea that they exist only to serve.  False title.  False value.  False benefit.  False intent.  It would be entirely reasonable to conclude that the owners are worth rather less to us than they claim.  Moreover, the owners aren't the ones who know how to run buses, trains, power plants or treatment works in Wessex.  Their only expertise is in financial engineering, which any sane society would be better off without.  So how do we value their contribution?  On balance, negatively.  THEY should be paying US.  At the very least, let's start the negotiations at nil and work upwards EVER so reluctantly.  We can't increase taxes or borrowing, so the third option it has to be.

What we need is not so much ‘UK plc’ as ‘Wessex Common Estate’, our resources managed for this and for future generations.  Public assets belong to everyone, born and unborn, and should only ever be leased, never sold, let alone given away.  We need a politics of stewardship, not a politics of trading.  Friends are motivated by love to share, willingly, within the restraints of a common bond.  Enemies are motivated by fear to trade, suspiciously, without the restraints of a common bond.  It’s true for us, it’s true for Europe, and it’s true for the world.  You share with your friends and you trade with your enemies.  What does that say about those who want global trade to grow?

Europe stands at a crossroads.  A second Berlin Wall can come tumbling down, destroying the needless political centralism of old global empires AND, if the will is there, the needless economic centralism of new global corporations too.  These are two causes that can make common cause in delivering what folk clearly want to see happen.  Either that, or the military will be on the streets to make sure it doesn’t happen.  That’s how scared the bullies are.