Friday, 24 April 2009

Police as Protector - not Provocateur Part II

It's been a while since my last posts, but what has emerged since then has unfortunately proven a point, with very sad and dire consequences.

It's not that I am sitting here and yelling 'I told you so'. A full and proper investigation is needed. You can see from the incident with Ian Tomlinson that the police response to the slight dragging of his feet needs to be questioned. Proper answers and explanations must be given to why the police even acted in this way.

What does make me feel sad though is the new recruit of Jade Godfather, Max Clifford. I just felt it was such a shame that Nicola Fisher had to run to the PR guru to appear to cash in on the incident. Oh dear. I feel she would have had more kudos had she come forward and not cashed in. Made a statement without the 'I'm a victim, now give me some money' weighting.

There is no denying that the police reaction to Ms Fisher's goading was disproportionate. There is also no denying that some of the police officers had been having a tough time, with all leave cancelled. There is no denying that the way the police handled the G20 protest has left a legacy. I do hope this will be a legacy that means people can march again, peacefully and effectively. My only fear is that it may lead to the end of protests for fear of more deaths (please, no!).

Now it's time for those in charge who are so in fear of protestors to take stock and reevaluate. There is always an element of troublemakers in these protests, yes. When all and sundry are boxed in isn't it harder to tell the good guys from the bad? Ms Fisher seems to be a (albeit wobbly) case in point.

Let them march, let the protest be heard. Let the good guys go home after a day they spent standing up for something that they thought was right, no matter what people watching them thought. I can't help feeling that had the protestors been allowed to march as they had planned that there is every possiblilty these two incidents would not have happened. There. I told you so.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

G20 - The Hokey Cokey?

'Cops attacked!' cries Sky News. Looks more like the Hokey Cokey to me.
Check out the protestor getting thwacked by the police before another protestor thwonks one of the policeman, who you see being led off at the end...

Police as Protector - not Provocateur

I'm sitting about 300 metres away from where all the G20 meltdown action is taking place, and watching live news feeds on my PC.

The helicopters are buzzing overhead and I, working in my City office, feel as though I am the one being herded in and watched (it's not paranoia! it's just a very claustrophobic feeling). If I feel this way, and given the recent news reports that protestors have just been barricaded in in the square around Bank station, I'm not sure that the peaceful atmosphere practiced and advocated by many of the protestors will be easily evident, and certainly will be very hard for them to put into practice.

I know that there is always an element in these protests that take anarchy to a new level, but I cannot help feeling that if the police took more of a backseat and acted more as a reassuring presence, then the reaction of this element would be disproportionate and the peaceful protestors would be on the same 'side' as the police. Get them out, get them away, and let the true changemakers have their march, and their say.

'All police leave cancelled', '4000 protestors vs 5000 police' - the way this has been reported you could feel the antagonism creeping up on the City over the past week, and you could feel it in the air in the City this morning.

I've watched 'Taking Liberties' and was upset by the over use by the police of aggression towards those wanting to partake in peaceful and worthy protests. Already today I have seen police filming protestors, who are filming the police to document who may have instigated what against who. I think this is what saddens me the most. Leaflets have reportedly been handed out to protestors to give them advice IF they are arrested. People should have the right to protest without fear of being arrested. This could jeopardise their future or current job prospects as it could lead to a criminal record. One must remember the reason for this march, and the call for hardworking people who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own to march against institutions that many feel are to blame for their misfortune.

Then there were some City workers goading protestors by waving £10 notes in their faces. Really? Was this really necessary? From your banking parapet high up, looking down on those willing and courageous to protest by walking the streets under the threat of possible violence from unsavoury ranks within, and from the threat of possible arrest, because well, that just seems to be the given. Unnecessary, and pathetic.

I felt optimistic upon exiting Moorgate tube and seeing a group of people, of all ages, willing and ready to march in protest about something that they feel is wrong and injust. I felt proud that I live in a country that currently allows people to be able to do this. Then I glanced at the number of luminous jackets in proportion to the number of protestors. Was the greater number to silence? Was the camera to intimidate?

Let people speak. Even those waving ten pound notes have the right to do the same, no matter how seemingly futile. Freedom of Speech must not be muffled.

The spring in my step had waned, as had the steps of those marching due to the police barricade.

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Post-post modern Capitalism - the new capitalism?

I cannot see how we can cyclically return to the capitalism enjoyed in the eighties and nineties once we are out of this current mess, however long that might take. Boom, following bust, following boom, following bust cannot be an acceptable way for current Capitalism to continue. Not only does the instability lead to extreme poverty and extreme wealth, it's getting a bit dull for me. There must be another way that works better?

I do not believe that a lefty ideal of an equilibrium between all could exist either. Too much of a social divide has been spawned from the capitalism we have all enjoyed for the past twenty to thirty years for this to form any part of a new economic model. Of course, one must not forget the rise of 'The Celebrity'. Get rich, and die trying. Although I am still not sure how 'Celebrity' figures in any economic model?!

With the G20 summit about to take place, it will be interesting to see what solutions might be introduced to change how capitalism has worked, or failed in the past few decades, and whether these measures will be acceptable to all.

Introduction : Wabi-Sabi - a lesson to be learned?

So I was watching another 'infodocumentary' with a 'let's follow something around with a wobbly camera' Theroux the other day titled, 'The search for Wabi-Sabi'.

Wabi - Sabi, it was shown, is an indefinable way one should exist. What struck me about Wabi -Sabi the most was its acceptance of imperfection, and its emphasis on everything having a natural process. 'How refreshing!', I thought (even though this ideal has been practiced for centuries in Japan).

In a world and climate where everyone feels and sees failure, maybe there is some Wabi - Sabi to be had and incorporated into the building blocks we will need to put in place to get ourselves out of the current mess we are in. In a recent age where everyone seemed to be striving for perfection and valuing their worth by their status and possessions, wouldn't it be a great turn if imperfection became the new post-postmodernist way to go? 'Who has the better/bigger house?' and 'Who has the better car?' gives way to a new way of measuring one's success, to looking at imperfection as quality and worth. Going back to nature as 'God/Allah/any number of other deities' intended.

I'm not sure whether failure would figure in this, but surely if we stopped focussing on perfection in manufactured goods and aesthetics and with everything in general (boobs and butts included), surely so much of what is produced would not be wasted, but admired. This in itself would mean that we would inadvertently be looking after the environment, by throwing less imperfection away. Surely the pressures that we place on ourselves would not be so great. It would be okay to be imperfect. It is what is beautiful about us. The old adage 'nobody's perfect' - could this have been injected into our wonderful old sayings by a Wabi-Sabi follower, way back when?

Maybe this sounds as though I am advocating mediocrity. Or that I am advertising a form of Buddhism. I'm not sure, but whatever I am advocating, it is still stuck in the rut of what is, to me the traditional way one is expected to progress through life. A 20th Century girl at the start of the 21st Century.

So here begins my blog. Any suggestions and ideas welcome. It's not intended to be subversive, patronising or educational. Maybe just a stream of thought. All contributions welcome. Wouldn't it be nice to change something, however small that change might be?