In an Ideal World …

Train pulling into Lockerbie station

‘… woman takes train to Edinburgh without any problems’ would not exactly be interesting even by the low bar for ‘interestingness’ set by this blog.

After all the contingency planning and general fretting, Saturday’s trip to Edinburgh was entirely trouble free – the train came in approximately 2 minutes late, and the return train left without a hitch, and I even got a coveted table seat in both directions. It was notable that every person who walked into the station while I was waiting (ahem about an extra half hour as I’d decided to get the early bus just to be sure) felt they had to ask the ticket lady if the Edinburgh train was actually running. But other than that (and the fact that two trains to Glasgow had been cancelled), the only evidence that this could be a difficult journey fraught with complication and delay, was in my own head. Had I done entirely no contingency planning and rolled into Bigtown a good half hour later after a leisurely coffee at home, it would have had absolutely no impact on the outcome. There’s a lesson there, but I’m not sure I’m ready to learn it.

Holding the Pedal on Parliament 'this machine fights climate change' banner

And then we marched, along with thousands of others (and then went to the pub, because marching and shouting is thirsty work).

I know from my own experience that it took a hell of a lot of planning and preparation by what was probably a team of unpaid volunteers to get all those people out on the streets in an orderly fashion. And I also know that lots of people had come quite a long way, and given up their Saturday, to be out there. So it’s kind of galling, but not surprising, that there was effectively zero coverage of it – compare and contrast with a small handful of people closing the M25 or dishing up some soup to an artwork. Whenever someone glues themselves to something inconvenient there’s a massive outcry at the use of such disruptive tactics, and angst that it’s not doing the cause any good. But then again, if asking politely and doing things the proper way doesn’t work, what are people going to do?

Don’t worry, I’m not about to start gluing myself to anything soon (if I were to take any more direct action, this would be much more my style). But I can see why people do.

Meanwhile, I am glad to see that the slogan I thought up (or rather stole from Woody Guthrie) last year for POP has taken on something of a life of its own, and has even popped up on a bike at COP:

Perhaps if it goes far enough it will end up having more impact than anything we’ve directly organised, legally or less officially. Either way, every little helps.

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