Rowenna Davis may not have come across Stuart Fox's evidence regarding the satisfaction levels of young people with respect to British democracy. Whether she has or not, she's re-telling the story of how the Iraq war disillusioned her generation – remember, those protesters of February 15 2003 who weren't obeyed. Forgive me for sounding like an old cynic, but reading Davis you could get the impression that the generation she belonged to was that of the playgroup population finger-painting its way through London in support of love and universal goodness. But in any case it's the familiar tale:
For many, the Iraq war was a demonstration that power could ultimately bypass any civil protest. Two million people came out marching and 2,000 young hands were raised, and they were overridden.
Except that Davis then departs from the usual script by allowing that street demonstrations don't in fact rule:
But here there has to be a 'but', and so there is:
Of course not every protest can or should be successful...
... but this one felt defeated by something disingenuous. The left was supposed to be the party of peace and democracy, now it was the one misleading us into conflict for reasons that kept changing. It marked the beginning of the disenchantment with party politics in general.
The reasons kept changing? I don't know – I had a pretty firm grip on them. As for the left being 'the party of peace and democracy', it's just obvious to Davis that such a party wouldn't want to see the end of a fascistic tyrant and his special forms of peace. Note, in passing, that she uses the phrase 'brutality of power', yet absolutely not with reference to the regime overthrown by US and British arms.