Yesterday, a mere 35,000 protesters [by contrast, between 60,000 and 80,000 folk participated in the Peterloo protests of August 16, 1819] took to the streets of London to shout about - er, well - everything, from evil bankers to ‘global warming’ and the urgent need to support motor-car manufacturing. To say that the protest was both inchoate and incoherent would be to understate its naivety. Moreover, it took no fewer than 150 separate organisations, from trade unions to charities, to muster the 35,000 souls. Meanwhile, some 70,000 diehards trekked to Wembley to watch a fairly boring friendly match between England and Slovakia (at least England won 4-0).
By contrast, in 2002, the Countryside Alliance persuaded over 400,000 people to march in defence of hunting the fox and country living, a figure confirmed by the Metropolitan Police; and just think of those 1819 Peterloo statistics when adjusted for relative population size. Moreover, the ‘global warming’ contingent yesterday was, as usual, a small, if rather noisy, runt. As ever, it was a case of empty vessels making the most sound.