It was a day of stark contrasts yesterday, and one which should stick long in our minds.
Police and public servants in their hundreds of thousands were out on the streets fighting against becoming the target of indiscriminate cuts to their pensions.
Meanwhile in Parliament, MPs were hearing the government cheerfully writing off an additional £250 million in the latest saga of the two new aircraft carriers, one with new fighter jets and the other in mothballs because it couldn't afford planes for both.
Now, apparently, there may be planes for both - but they won't be the planes that they were being, or rather one of them was being, fitted to carry.
Apparently the new planes that the Tories wanted are working out as too costly so they are reverting to the ones Labour had specified in the first place.
But it's an odd economy because if both carriers are now taken into service, the additional operating cost for crew and maintenance would run to about £60m a year.
Still, enough of that. It's just yet another Tory cuts-frenzy cock-up and it can be paid for.
We know that because the people who are footing the bill are marching on the streets outside Parliament.
But rest assured that they are not in the streets celebrating that dubious privilege.
No - they are fighting against being the mugs who pay for bankers' and Tory politicians' serial screw-ups.
In the words of one of the Tories' own - Monmouth MP David Davies, who wrote to his local paper yesterday - "May I... offer my apologies to those who feel the Conservative-led coalition has let them down.
"I must acknowledge there has been incompetence at the highest levels of government over the last few months."
You aren't joking, Mr Davies, although you probably aren't apologising for the same things the marchers are complaining about.
More than 30,000 off-duty police officers took to the streets - nearly a fifth of the entire force - warning that government cuts are putting public safety at risk. Sixteen thousand of them wore black caps to symbolise the number of jobs under threat.
Hundreds of thousands of other public-sector workers were on strike as well, despite the deliberate and blatant attempts by the BBC to diminish and underestimate their numbers and their importance.
Prison officers in Scotland were out in force, while their colleagues in the rest of Britain, who are legally barred from stopping work, courageously faced threats of legal proceedings to take action to demand that they would not be left maintaining order in the nation's prisons until they hit the ripe old age of 68 - maybe not old to some, but...
Pharmacists, paramedics, health visitors, MoD staff, a huge variety of NHS workers, immigration staff, Crown Courts workers, DVLA staff - even the Royal Navy's support staff were all out on strike.
The best part of half a million people were protesting in one way or another yesterday.
And it wasn't just their pensions or their pay that they were worried about, although those were the trigger issues.
From the police to NHS staff, they were all concerned about changes to the quality of the services they supply as a result of the Tory cuts.
They are, whether they articulate it or not, all fighting against the "austerity" that is paying for capitalism's crisis.
It's no wonder the government is determined to keep secret the risk assessments that its legislation has attracted.
Because if people knew the full extent of the coalition's crazy policies, a half-million-strong strike would be the least of their worries.
This protest is "unnecessary and futile," sneered a government spokesman. "People shouldn't waste their time. The government has made its final offer."
If you appreciated this article then please consider donating to the Morning Star's Fighting Fund to ensure we can keep developing your paper.