A Day of Rage - Remembering Downing Street 50 Years Ago  

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A Day of Rage - Remembering Downing Street 50 Years Ago  
« on: June 22, 2017, 12:29:12 PM »
A Day of Rage - Remembering Downing Street 50 Years Ago
---You are welcome to pass this on.   Sonya (S A Jay as I was then)
Today, 21st June 2017, has been named 'Day of Rage' by the British Marxist/Labour Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell who has called for one million demonstrators to descend on Downing Street to bring down our democratically-elected Government.   It was so different just 50 years ago:
Hardly more than fifty years ago, I worked in Downing Street for six weeks, being taught the skills of a ‘Departmental Lady’ at the Foreign Office – the term ‘Secretary’ was already taken for much higher positions – before being sent to a British Embassy abroad. I was as proud as a peacock!
Every morning I took the underground to Westminster and then, with the Houses of Parliament on my left, I turned into Parliament Street. After the Cenotaph, I crossed the road and, along with many other workers and even tourists taking a shortcut to and from St James’ Park, I walked into Downing Street.
Just walked into Downing Street!
A few yards along, on the right hand side, was No. 10, Number Ten Downing Street, the best-known address in the world. And standing outside was a police constable. Just one police constable, smart uniform and helmet, polished buttons, hands behind his back, feet apart. No gun.
From the left hand side of the road, I would often wave and with a smile, he would nod back. Then I turned into the magnificent Foreign Office building, immensely proud. This was my London, this was my Government, this was my England.
And now, hardly fifty years later – a mere moment in our history – Downing Street, along with so much more, has changed.
Following an IRA mortar attack on No.10 in 1991, gates were placed at both ends of Downing Street with a guardhouse and several uniformed police.  Who now carry guns. Then frequent riots outside of the gates began and in 2011 for a short while, armed soldiers were brought in to guard No.10. Last month, May 2017, as yet more demonstrators poured along Whitehall and Parliament Street following the Islamist attack in Manchester, the Army was brought in again, this time to guard not only No.10 but even Buckingham Palace.
How could this have happened to my London, my Government, my country in so short a time?
Sonya Porter
Woking, England

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