There are times, however, as someone whose main form of activism is within partisan politics, that movements like UK Uncut and Occupy can seem quite distant from my way of looking at society and political change. They can seem quite extreme to someone who wants a Keynesian style stimulus, not to completely do away with capitalism. That’s not to say that everyone in movements like these is that radical, but they are defiantly idealistic, and often anti-establishment in a way that pulls them away from partisan politics; the vehicle through which, really, the greatest change can be made. They also often lack in specific alternatives; it is very clear what they are against, but less so what they are for.
I want to see Labour in power, both nationally and locally; I think securing this is the best way to create change, which is why campaigning for the Labour Party will always, for me, be a priority over engaging in protests like the one I went to on Wednesday. But I’m glad I had a free Wednesday morning to go and support UK Uncut. Because these movements can provide a voice for an idealism that cannot come from a political party. This idealism as it stands could not manifest into social change. But when it becomes part of the wider dialogue, it moves it, improves it, and strengthens the voice of progressive politics within it.