Saturday, 11 September 2010

Can a politician ever switch off?

I'm currently typing this out as I sit around a camp fire on day 134 of the Meriden RAID vigil against the inappropriate development undertaken by travellers over the Easter weekend. I sit with ordinary members of the public, not particularly political but who are incensed that the law infers special rights to minorities, in this case gypsies rather than equal rights we should all enjoy. We have also been discussing the upcoming trip to Strasbourg of over thirty people as my guests. We will be demonstrating outside the ECHR.

I had intended to take today off. I was in London earlier, taking in a museum, a bit of shopping with a friend etc. However, I don't seems to be able to stay away from politics. In Trafalgar square we came across a demonstration by socialists for the release of Cuban political prisoners from the US 'The Cuban Five'. I became involved a debate with one of the activists. I was interested as I recently visited Cuba to investigate possible EU waste of taxpayers money. I enquired his opinion on the political prisoners that currently languish in Cuban jails and the recent refusal of the Cuban government to allow the UN Human Rights inspectors access to the country. His reply was that their imprisonment was justified because they were enemies of the revolution! I pointed out the hypocrisy that he was blinded to.

Their protest lacks credibility because of their evident hatred of the US and capitalism and the valid points they make are as difficult to find as a needle in a haystack. It got me thinking about the way we campaign on the EU. I think we need to take a step back and review our strategy. It seems for the last fifteen years we have followed the same strategy albeit rather splintered. We may have won a few minor battles but we are far more integrated with the EU than we were in 1995. Something has got to change.

Later in the day, with my friend rolling her eyes,I engaged with protesters outside the Zimbabwean Consulate protesting at the continuance of Mugabes regime. It is about time the international community took some positive action. Apparently he is in bad health but the sooner this dictator is removed the better.