Today one of Britain's most senior police officers with responsibility for public order raises the spectre of a 'summer of rage', with victims of the increasingly bitter recession taking to the streets in possibly violent protest.
Superintendent David Hartshorn, who heads the Metropolitan police's public order branch, warned that law-abiding middle-class individuals who would never have considered joining demonstrations may now seek to vent their anger through protests this year.
Thousands of workers demonstrated in Dublin on Saturday. Police fear the worsening economic situation will lead to mass street protests in the UK.
Many will consider such a scenario unlikely, or point out this has not been the 'British way' over the past two decades.
Violent protests take place in Europe - in recent weeks Greek farmers have blocked roads over falling agricultural prices, a million workers in France took to the streets to demand greater protection for their jobs and wages and Icelandic demonstrators have clashed with police in Reykjavik - but not here.
But can we really be so sure? The public's rage with the banks and the Government is growing by the day.
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