The bracelets arrived yesterday – I ordered 5 from MakePovertyHistory early last week, and even with the high demand and last minute nature of the order, the Royal Mail still got them to me just as things are starting to get interesting in Edinburgh. One recent pitched battle between protesters, who sound like an unruly but well-coiffed lot, was described by The Guardian as “The Battle of the Gerania.”
The paper’s Backbencher adds some amusing and/or alarming details of conditions in “Auld Reekie,” when the shops were full of people taking advantage of sales while waiting for scruffy activists and anarchists to move on. She reports a conversation with the diplomatic editor, who took a pretty gloomy view of Things In General and also of Live 8 In Particular:
“Though we like to think that the Live 8 concert has an impact on the summit, I doubt it very much. I doubt that what Bob Geldof has said has affected Bush’s thinking. The officials who basically drew up the dossier met last Friday morning, and although the concert was still going on, they had finished their work by then. A lot of these decisions are hard-headed. Each country is acting in its own interests – economic, social and, obviously, political. It’s not influenced by a concert.
Well, that’s kind of depressing. I hope he’s wrong.
I’m sure there are many well-meaning people who are honestly hoping that marching and attending concerts will make a difference, but at the same time there are probably plenty of other people who just want a chance to put the boot in. It’s already happening in Edinburgh, where the local football fans (known as “casuals” in local police parlance) jumped in to some of the protests just to raise a little hell.
I watched HBO’s “The Girl In The Cafe” the other night – you could call it the first geopolitical romantic comedy - and enjoyed it. It’s a strange beast – it was written and produced very quickly, so that it could be released the weekend before G8. It’s the story of two awkward, isolated people trying to reach out to each other, who just happen to feel strongly about world poverty, and one of whom is a minor functionary in the British delegation to the G8 meeting. For the movie, the location is Reykjavik, but at the end there’s a silent notice that the real meeting takes place this week in Gleneagles, Scotland. For a personal film with an agenda, it’s not bad; Bill Nighy as the incredibly repressed minor bureaucrat is amazing. The ending is left ambiguous, so that you don’t know what the final declaration was.
I only just now realized he also played Slartibartfast; quite a range. And apparently he’s better known for playing rakes, roues, and scalliwags, but not usually as a leading man. Well done.
Anyway, the bracelet stays on until further notice. I don’t know what I’ll do with the remaining 4.