I’ve spent a very long half-hour at Methodist Central Hall to soak up the “strike” vibes. There were all the usual trimmings; hand-made flags, people outside playing the drums and lots of strong rhetoric, viz, the government has a “loaded gun” to the heads of teachers et cetera.
Most interesting, however, was the thoroughly negative response to even the mention of Ed Miliband, who has sat right on the fence over today’s one-day action.
Mary Bousted, the head of the ATL’s behaviour, said Miliband’s response had been a ‘disgrace‘ – to sustained jeers and catcalling by hundreds in the hall against the Labour leader.
Up in Miliband’s spacious offices in Norman Shaw South, I imagine his aides were rather pleased by that reaction; a clip which helps to negate any lingering “Red Ed” brand.
UPDATE: The anti-Miliband howls of rage were exceeded only a little while later – when Mark Serwotka, gensec of the PCS union, subsequently mentioned Lord (John) Hutton, the former Labour cabinet minister who wrote the coalition’s pensions review.