What do we want?

30Jun11

The constant drone of the Police helicopter hovering overhead was becoming more than irritating. I decided to go out to get a sandwich for lunch.

One of the occupational hazards of part-time working near Westminster is that national events sometimes intrude on your daily routine.

I walked towards the sandwich shop. The road in front of me was blocked with a constant slow moving stream of demonstrators carrying placards, balloons and grudges.

Sandwich shop 1 was down the road to the left. Sandwich shop 2 was up the road to the right. If I decided to go to shop 1 I would have to walk along with the demonstrators. An observer might think that I was part of the mob. I would be filmed on CCTV and my biometrics might be recorded in a database of mobsters.

If I decided to go to shop 2, I would have to walk against the demonstrators, as if I disagreed with them. In my business suit I might be mistaken for an enemy of the people. I might be photographed and pilloried on Twitter.

I stood at the kerb with a rumbling stomach.

Then I took the plunge and decided to get a spicy Swedish meatball hot wrap instead of a sandwich, from the shop directly across the road. I walked straight across, apologising, and avoiding any sign of partisan direction change, as neutral as Sweden.

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