Horticultural damage

Yesterday was, of course, anti-Bush day. For weeks us British people have been happily united in talking about how we shall stand up and shout loudly at George W. Bush so that he is made aware of just how much we hate him. Oh, how shocked the American nation will be! we have gleefully been chortling over our sherry.

Being British, of course, when push comes to shove we don’t really like shouting. We don’t really like doing anything at all. Most would-be protesters probably realised yesterday morning that they had a very important quiche to put on instead. Or something.

The BBC have very helpfully put a detailed diary here highlighting precisely how nothing at all of significance happened yesterday. Some people went to London, one of them was George W. Bush; the protesters were generally outside, George W. Bush generally inside, so there was little chance for friction; a man sang some songs through a megaphone and a policeman told him to stop – he stopped.

So meagre were the actual events of the protest that a whole section addresses the fact that “One man has just been arrested outside Buckingham Palace after he apparently stole a policeman’s hat.”

Whilst I applaud the Wodehousian spirit of the man in question, I must ask whether this is really the height of what we as a nation can achieve when we decide we want to protest about something. Stealing a policeman’s hat is surely the kind of thing we expect after the boat race, not when we’re standing up to challenge a lying, cheating, hypocritical, clueless maniac with no more regard for human life and rights than a wet wipe.

Oh, but wait – spare a thought for the real victims here: “The main casualty appears to be the Queen’s flower beds which have now been thoroughly trampled.”

That the actions of one well-meaning but ineffective protester could cause such horticultural damage upsets me deeply. George W. Bush, having seen not a single protester because

1. they were mainly in a different place to him
2. they were mainly at home and
3. he is the most blinkered individual on the face of the earth

will go away thinking “what nice folk.” The American nation will think “what a welcoming country,” because that is all their TV networks will show. Our own beloved Queen, on the other hand, is probably inside her living room, peeping out of her net curtains at yesterday’s devastation, and weeping at what has been done to her flowers.

In short: we’re crap. The irony of the phrase “couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery” is far exceeded by the simple improbability of “couldn’t organise a protest during a state visit by George W. Bush.” Much as I hold to the assertion that George W. is one of the most useless twats in the history of the world, I am sorry to say that I have come to similar conclusions about the British people. At least George gets himself noticed.

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