Jun 15

I can’t help but remember a brief exchange I had with a woman on Saturday, which I thought I might pass along for some small amusement. There I was, out shopping and generally enjoying the short burst of sunshine that seems to account for Scotland’s 10 minute summertime, when my eye fell upon a collection of banners, stands and stalls. These were all grouped together to protest various political and social issues, from the treatment of animals to the relief of African debt. Thinking about it I can only put the sheer concentration of protestors down to the fact that the G8 conference at Gleneagles is looming closer and closer.

Some of the protests being made I agreed with, some not and some I was just plain indifferent to. One in particular caught my eye above the others – a group of young men and women protesting against the proposals to introduce ID cards in Britain. Having little time for this idea myself (I think it will start off as voluntary, and end up as punishable if you don’t have one – a dangerous path for us to start walking down, especially if we’re using the fact that we’re a free nation to promote our way of life to other areas of the world) I approached and signed the petition to object to the idea.

The young woman who handed me a clipboard to sign was most pleased I had signed up, and chatted with me for a moment.

“You know,” she said, “They (I presume she meant the Government) say that most people are in favour of these things, that they have polls saying most people like the idea.”

I nodded, trying to look attentive even though my mind was by this point starting to drift on to other subjects. After all I agreed with her, I signed my name, what more did she want?

“But you know what?” she went on, not really pausing to give me a chance to answer. She was quite heated by this point. “I haven’t met one person today who likes the idea. Not one bloody person.”

At this point a thought occurred to me, but I didn’t give it voice. I made some noises that sounded like grunts of general agreement, and made my way back to my shopping. And so my brief foray into politics on this sunny Saturday came to an end.

What was the thought though? Well simple really. I wanted to say (but didn’t) that she wasn’t likely to meet anyone in favour of ID cards while she was standing under a 30 foot long banner that had “NO TO I.D. CARDS! THEY ATTACK CIVIL LIBERTIES!” written across it in huge red letters.

Just a thought.

4 Responses to “Well you wouldn’t, would you?”

  1. averagejoe Says:

    I’m all for a good protest and such, just don’t expect intelligent debate and discourse when you’re being obnoxious.

  2. FawnDoo Says:

    I assume (hope) you don’t mean when I’m being obnoxious Joe? :-)

    I don’t think the woman was trying to be obnoxious – she was nice enough, if a little fervent and slightly heated – but I agree that she shouldn’t expect reasoned debate on an issue when she’s standing under a banner that so polarizes points of view.

    After all, you could be for ID cards but still hold civil liberties in high regard – but the way that banner was worded it didn’t leave much room for manoeuvre.

  3. TheWriteJerry Says:

    Yeah, standinig under that sign is a little like wearing a “I can’t get a date button” and then wonder why every girl you ask out says “no.”

    You just have to love self-fullfilling prophecies.

    Well, actually, no you don’t. In fact, you should go back to that place and say your comment to her. Yeah, and right after that, I’ll walk into my company’s CEO and tell him some of my thoughts…

  4. Meepers Says:

    I am convinced that we surround ourselves with people of the same political persuasion and then decide that our group or community is an accurate cross-section of the larger political body. I find that the only place I’m really regularly acquainted with people of differing opinion are the authors of the blogs I read.

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