• What (A) To Do?

    If the response of the authorities to the protest on Parliament’s grounds is to be appropriate and effective, it is important that we understand who these people are and what it is that they want.

    There are, of course, some of them who are committed to a wide range of different and particular causes, and some who are just broadly hostile to the present government, but for the majority, the goal is simply to be there. That is because they are people who are accustomed to being ignored and overlooked. The prize they seek – and are delighted to have secured – is to be taken notice of, to be at the centre of events, to be the cynosure of all eyes. If they agree to move away, they will have to give up these gains.

    If just being there is the goal, the rest follows. It becomes a great adventure, a chance for a holiday (of a kind), and to enjoy – as they look overseas to North America and other areas – the sense that they are part of a great international movement. Above all, it gives them – the usually powerless – the thrilling sense that, at last, they count for something.

    If this analysis is correct, it provides some clues as to the proper and most effective response. The deployment of police to remove them simply adds to the sense of crisis and drama and confirms to them that they are doing something that matters.

    It may be that the best tactic is simply to ignore them – to use the police only to prevent illegal behaviour, to protect the innocent (including the unfortunate children who find themselves involved) and to defend Parliament against invasion, but otherwise to leave them to feel the disapproval of most of their fellow-citizens, as they pursue their attempt to enjoy the mud and filth of the disease-ridden campsite they have created.

1 Comment

  1. Mike Garner says: February 19, 2022 at 2:57 pmReply

    I’m enjoying your comments on the current situation – reasoned and level headed. I found your blog because I was searching for comment about the critical, to the point of bias, approach our media has taken, especially the Herald, towards the present government. Good to read what you had to say.

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