UK Uncut, a radical leftwing protest group, has been exposed for what it really is - a bunch of young angry violence prone thugs who, as usual, misuse the term "peaceful protest" for "vandalism, trespass and intimidation".
It is they that formed the backbone to the breakaway protests in London on Saturday, and the cover for the so-called anarchists who went on a vandalism and trespass spree across London's West End. I say "so-called anarchists" because if they really were anarchists, they wouldn't have wanted the Police to step in had the owners of the premises they trashed used force to defend their properties.
UK Uncut are an odd bunch, you see they want more government (not exactly aligned with anarchists then) and want more tax, so the government can spend more money, presumably on them. UK Uncut is waging war on successful British businesses because it wants to strongarm them to pay more in tax - not that any of them are alleged to be breaking the law - but UK Uncut doesn't think these businesses should arrange their affairs to minimise tax. The philosophy being that when businesses make profits, the state is entitled to take part of that.
I can't quite understand how anyone, particularly groups of students can get excited about getting businesses to pay more tax, like they worship the state as big mother, which has weaned them and gives them what they want. It's so anti-aspirational as to be pathetically sad.
Tim Worstall of the Institute of Economic Affairs has fisked this lot with ease, showing the economic illiteracy of UK Uncut. UK Uncut assumes bizarrely that British companies would remain if taxes were raised dramatically, it assumes that when companies pay more tax that somehow that means that "rich fatcats" lose - when many of the companies have shareholders which are pension funds and the like, with profits shared among thousands of shareholders. Full details of the fisking here.
However, the mob who vandalised are more than just disenchanted idiots. They vandalised the Ritz Hotel because they were "anti-rich", they occupied the exclusive department store Fortnum & Mason; Mason because it is upmarket (one wit said "Proper Tea is theft", as Fortnum & Mason has an excellent tea section). Banks including ATMs were wrecked because they just oppose banks. Didn't matter that the banks attacked in some cases were not bailed out. In fact nothing mattered other than trashing the property of businesses they had an ill-conceived prejudice against. Nice.
However desperate the TUC and Labour are to distance themselves from these thugs, there is a more fundamental underlying point. Whilst neither entity provoked or encouraged the vandalism (and both are embarrassed by it), the simple truth is that they all share the same philosophy - a fundamental hatred of entrepreneurial success and a belief that the property of others is not sacrosanct.
Both Labour and the TUC perpetuate the myth that the recession is entirely the fault of "the banks" and that "the banks" must pay - they blame the budget deficit on the banks, when it is palpably not true. Labour had been running large deficits for years, only the collapse in tax revenue has made it more rapidly unsustainable.
Labour and the TUC want to tax banks more, vandalise them in a far more civilised way, without sticks and stones, and make Britain even less attractive for the financial sector. They want more of your money, they want to give the money to those who haven't earned it, they want to spend it on monopoly state run health and education services, regardless of whether they meet your needs - because government is good, government always knows best.
They hold the same empty belief that capitalism doesn't really work, that the reason the world isn't the way they want it is because people trade, people make money, people produce goods and services and sell them to people who are willing to pay, employ people who are willing to work, and that life isn't fair! They belief there aren't equal opportunities (there aren't, the Khmer Rouge tried to fix that), that everyone has a right to a job (a right provided by whom?) and that the "rich" make money off the back of the poor.
It is the same belief that other people owe you a living, an education or health care. The idea that if other people have property or money, then you have a right to some of it. It is moral cannibalism, the idea that the mere existence of someone gives them unchosen obligations to give the fruits of their labour, effort, exchanges and mind to others who demand them. It is the Marxist myth - from each according to his ability to each according to his needs. The cleverer you are the more of that is demanded from others, and what you get back is just 'what you need'.
The only way this can be imposed is by force, by violence. The anarchist protestors are willing to do this directly, the politicians and unionists will use the state to do it (and already do).
The best response to this is an unashamed defence of capitalism. A defence of the principle that people should be entitled to set up businesses, make money, hire who they wish and keep the proceeds, as long as they don't use force or fraud to do so. It is more than just pointing out that waging war on capitalists means they will leave, with their money, Zimbabwe like, and the looters and vandals will have nothing left.
UK Uncut is ridiculously stupid - if it got its way, businesses would flee the UK and so would wealthy entrepreneurs rather than be taxed.
Of course if you are weaned on a state education that teaches you how wonderful the things are government does, and to be envy and hate filled about those who have more than you, then you're going to concentrate on hating rather than creating.
That's what you saw on Saturday in London.