So, that rally. Yes I went, and yes it was my first ever demo… and by all accounts I wasn’t the only one breaking that particular cherry on Saturday.
My impressions of the day? Not a huge turnout (The Met said approx 350 people; a petition being passed around is said to have collected 400 signatures) but then again I can’t say I was expecting anything huge. Among those who did show up were Helen, Devil’s Kitchen, Bella Gerens, Dick Puddlecote, Penny Dreadful, Katabasis, Mark Wallace, Old Holborn, Olly Cromwell and members of the LPUK. The Facebook group might have 1,400 plus likes but there is no way on earth that such numbers are ever going to translate into boots on the ground. Clicking a button is easy, getting to London for a Saturday morning on your own dime isn’t necessarily so.
We even managed some light relief in the shape of about half a dozen anti-protestors.
I didn’t hear much of the brief speeches made by Paul Staines (Guido Fawkes), Mark Littlewood, Director General of the Institute of Economic Affairs, Priti Patel MP, Conservative Member of Parliament for Witham, Harry Cole, (Total Politics), Matthew Sinclair, Director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, Bill Cash MP, Conservative Member of Parliament for Stone, Martin Durkin, documentary filmmaker and Nigel Farage MEP, UKIP South Eastern Region as I was at the back of the crowd behind all of the placards when they were going on. A note to the organisers: next time get a better sound system sorted out.
Then, when it was all done, we decamped to the Westminster Arms and proceeded (in my case anyway) to consume far too much alcohol.
Was it a success? The Left said no and proceed to laugh at us for what they considered to be a pathetically low turnout. That didn’t however stop them talking about it. There were plenty of members of the MSM around, including some from everyone’s favourite state broadcaster and their print wing so, to paraphrase Guido, if it was a publicity stunt it was certainly a successful one given that it generated publicity well beyond it’s size, even trending on twitter at one point.
The big question though is where does it go from here? If it isn’t followed up on then it will have been for naught.