Freedom From The Mundane - A Writer's Blog

Friday, June 03, 2005

Crumbling Walls

The city was in a good mood this morning - I could feel the vibe. People were smiling; the bus driver stopped outwith a bus-stop to collect an old lady; a taxi driver helped a woman with directions and walked away smiling; people weren't getting in each other's way and a general feeling of happiness abounded.

Cities have feelings of their own. There are days when something exists in the air, caused by too many people having bad days all at once and you feel glad to get home and out of the angry mist. But days like this are good, and you know you are going to have a good day.

I suspect the good natured feelings won't last, however, as I refer to a matter that I've kept silent on for long enough. A situation, that is winding me up more and more and I feel compelled to respond to in this medium - Bob Geldof, Midge Ure and Live8.

I think it's very honourable for Geldof and Co. to stand up to the people who govern the planet - it's everyone's right in a democracy. But the man's "couldn't give a shit about anyone else" attitude is really getting up my nose.

He is actively encouraging hundreds of thousands - a million - people to swarm on Edinburgh and protest to the G8 leaders about their handling of certain world affairs. He is asking the people of Edinburgh to "open their doors" and provide accommodation to these people and for us to welcome them with open arms. He is asking us to bend over backwards and put up with several days of over-congestion in the name of a good cause.

All very fine, but has anybody asked the people who live here if we actually want this on our doorstep? Everyone I've spoken to doesn't want it. Personally, I'm not comfortable with the prospect of thousands of sporadic campsites popping up on my doorstep, smashing up MacDonald's (as much as I dislike the food) and getting drunk and behaving violently. We've all seen the previous G8 summits with the violence and destruction that accompanies them.
These so called protesters have a reputation for not giving a shit about anyone else because their cause is bigger than anything else. So they think this gives them free reign to cause mayhem, behave ignorantly and cause destruction and inconvenience to the thousands of law-abiding tax payers of this city. It is us who will foot the bill for these people while they are here and when they leave.

Leaving my own personal political persuasions out of it, I really cannot blame our government for warming up for the occasion with Apache helicopters and for Bush bringing over an aircraft carrier.

I hope I'm wrong, and if I am, I will reassess my opinion of Geldof and his followers. But if anything goes wrong - and we are waiting for it to happen - his head should roll as should the pillock that decided to have the G8 summit in Scotland in the first place.

Here's an idea. Why not have it in Hyde Park next time - or is that too near to the heart of the establishment? In fact, why not have it near Geldof's mansion? Then all the protestors can pitch their tents and cause mayhem in his back garden? Or is that too close to home Sir Bob?

At lunchtime I couldn't face another afternoon drinking iced-water in Clark's so I nipped out to the shop to get some lunch with the intention of only being away from the office for five minutes. I had things to take care of so it looked the best thing to do.

I passed Clark's on the way to the cash machine and looked in; very appealing, I thought. I phoned Dave and asked if he fancied a pint. He was over in two minutes..

In Clark's, I had a pint of coke. Not the end of the world, but as I finished it off and saw how much Dave was enjoying his Guinness, I felt the walls start to creak. It was my round and I went to the bar. The wall caved in.

I returned to our table with a Guinness and a pint of perfectly chilled Tennent's Lager from the new font installed only last week. It was perfection and as I tasted it's sublime coolness and allowed the lager to run down my throat, the bubbles spoke to me in a little understood language of desire and love. I surmised that I although I need to lose some weight, why should I deny myself the smaller privileges in life - like a pint on a Friday afternoon. Life's too short. I could be dead tomorrow.
Colin 10:45 am


Also, the majority of people who actually cause destruction at these events aren't even doing it out of political conviction -- they travel from site to site knowing they can get away with vandalism.
Plus, they don't EVER destroy anything that actually matters to people in power -- they wreck businesses, homes, and cars of people struggling to eke out a living.
Hamburger United mate
Get well soon mate!
Hey Col, where've ya been?
Did you fall off the face of the planet?

Come and visit us soon--We miss you!

Lara :-)
Col, we miss you! Hope all is well with you.

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