In the aftermath of the student riots, and as the nation surveys in horror the wreckage of Millbank Tower, Westminster, the Prime Minister today announced that there was to be a National Day of Mourning for the lower windows of Millbank Tower. He spoke in Parliament with quiet dignity and a solemn demeanor to announce the Day of Mourning.
"We are all horrified at the loss of these windows and the vicious, mindless aggression that caused it, and this day will help people going through the different stages of grief," he explained. "In particular my heart goes out to the nation's journalists, who seem utterly inconsolable. It touches my heart that those who have been so stoical in the face of the cuts we have made, cuts that will result in mental health problems, family breakups, homelessness, stress, and even death, have yet dug deep within their hearts to express pain, disappointment and grief at the loss of those fine windows, once polished proudly every day by our minimum wage cleaning contractors."
The Prime Minister went on to pay tribute to Aaron Porter, president of the National Union of Students. "The temptation must have been so strong," he said, "To stand behind those he represents and their expression of dissatisfaction and rage. Instead he too felt deep compassion for those simple, innocent panes of glass. There goes a true man, thought I, when I saw him refuse the temptation to say that we deserved it."
At several points during the speech the Prime Minister almost gave way to his emotions, even brushing away a tear at one point as he spoke of the tenacity of journalists who "by their habitual refusal to distinguish between violence against people and violence against property, are making a stand for the rights of windows everywhere."
The Prime Minister went on to thank all those who, while denouncing the violent demonstrators, had never once referred to his own cutbacks as violent, nor his waging of war in Afghanistan, nor his refusal to roll back the anti-terrorist laws that grant the police cover for any number of abuses. "It is these fine distinctions in definition," he said, "And it is in the beautiful poetry of asymmetrical denunciation in favour of those in power, that civilisation thrives. Me, I like civilisation. It's worked so well for me. So thank you."
The National Day of Mourning for Millbank's Windows will be this Tuesday. When asked after the speech whether people would get the day of work for the Day of Mourning the Prime Minister's spokesman quickly made it clear that this would not be the case. "We're trying to get people to work more, not less," he said. "Just mourn in your hearts, okay? And get on with your work. It's what the windows would have wanted."