As tribes of students made their way to central London, to ring loudly on the doorbell of power, it became increasingly clear that although Cameron’s name was above the door, Clegg and his party were very much the pin-up boys of this catwalk of effigies.
As all armies merged in the most fitting of venues, Trafalgar Square, an almighty war-cry filled the vicinity, tapping any Liberal MP on the shoulder to remind them, that although they may have forgotten their promise, there were many present that hadn’t.
However the momentum and collective scrutiny that had been growing steadily throughout the day, was stunted. The rally at the end of the march was not the emphatic crescendo that must have been intended, but more as if the lights had been dimmed, and the cheese and biscuits wheeled in.
A PowerPoint presentation, followed by a documentary and a music video exploiting MC Hammer, called ‘Can’t Cut This’ quite simply bored the crowd, quelling high feelings, leaving what was rising pressure in freefall. Hiatus set in, leaving people to reach in their bags for nibbles and gloves, rather than flares and banners.
As many sobered up, those still with enough political liquor, found a new drinking hole, the Millibank centre. As the windows of the Tory HQ succumbed under waves of air and ground assaults, and the roof became commandeered by red and black flags, Sally Hunt and Aaron Porter must have wondered why so many were leaving their well organised speeches for such an unorganised event.
However there was still an opportunity to successfully deliver the ‘solidarity’ message that was such a key word on the day. If both the NUS and the UCU had condoned the Millbank siege then the media and politicians would have no choice but to confront a truly ‘united’ effort. Instead politicians were let off the hook, as organisers insisted on separating themselves from the most photographic part of the day, leaving politicians answering questions about violence, rather than a violation of promises.