Monday, April 03, 2006

Fools and fairies aint what they used to be

So, there we were strolling around town on Saturday, taking advantage of a beautiful spring day, and we decided to make a couple of minor detours to check out the Fool’s Day Parade at Westminster and the Fairy Raid on Piccadilly Circus.

The Fairy Raid was a particular disappointment given that it

  • didn’t feature any real West End fairies, in spite of the bounteous potential shown by the publicity flier
  • was essentially an apolitical event intended to spread peace and happiness around the streets of London in keeping with the objectives of

Sod that

No interesting pictures taken


The Fool’s Day Parade was intended as a protest against SOCPA and offered the tantalising prospect of being able to watch police officers arrest someone dressed as Coco the Clown.

It didn’t happen.

Not while I was lurking around anyway.

So disappointed was I at the lack of police arresting Coco the Clown action that I couldn’t even be bothered to take any serious pictures. Never fear, that bearded and scarily prolific doyen of London event photography Peter Marshall was working the two dozen or so people who constituted the protest and I’ve no doubt that his pictures will appear in his London Diary soon enough.

I’ve said this before but I walked away from this well-intentioned but ludicrously under attended event thinking back to the more than adequately attended, and heavily copyrighted, scenes of mayhem that were the poll tax riots.

A few quid on their local taxes and tens of thousands of people attempt to dismantle and/or burn entire swathes of central London in an orgy of militant chaos .

Fast forward fifteen years, remove age old rights and liberties and twenty people slap on red noses, run in circles around Parliament Square for two hours then sit down and eat a vegan picnic.

We are so fucked.


Round about the same time all this far from frenzied Fool and Fairy activity was taking place the press was reporting Condoleezza Rice’s comments on the protests that accompanied her UK tour/ photo op…

"People have the right to protest, that's what democracy is all about. I would say to those who wish to protest, by all means."

Blair said something similar before pushing SOCPA through

My first thought is that we don’t need Condi’s or Tony’s blessing to protest. Well, we didn’t until SOCPA

My second thought is that Condi and Tony implying their own association with rights and liberties established by much worthier people than themselves is a pretty slug-like, repugnant thing to do. No surprises there then.

My third thought is that it’s pretty rich to publicly extol people’s right to protest whilst at the same time using security forces paid for by those same people to shove them out of sight

Aside from that, I really valued Condi's contribution to the debate.

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