Wednesday, October 13, 2004


...or so it seems, anyway. Paul Anderson puts it pretty well in his latest online rant, which you can and should read here (11 October entry). I don't know if this marks me down as being naive or foreign or both, but I'm amazed at how many high-level social activist events seem to get taken over by a cavalcade of far-left groups intent only on boosting their own membership. Grassroots politics in England seems to be suffering from a level of People's Front of Judea syndrome that you just don't see on the other side of the pond.

Not that a two-party, BushnKerry-style system is any better, by any means. Of course people should put forward their own opinions and try to mobilise for change. But *rant* I'm getting increasingly annoyed that once these groups have sunk their hooks into a media-monster event like the European Social Forum or the Stop the War march, not only does the mainstream momentum to push for change and government accountability get lost (StW), but the organisation goes completely down the pan (ESF)! Bloody incompetence! What's the point of having a social forum if people have nowhere to stay while in the city, and journalists can't get in because the press office is manned by a staff of two (or so it seems)?! Why does the left always seem so incapable of organising anything bigger than a barbecue? */rant* I know these aren't ground-breaking thoughts... But ugh!

I'll be covering one ESF workshop on Saturday, freelancing. Only found out for sure that I was doing it on Sunday, and I sent off for my press accreditation yesterday, so it's looking a bit iffy whether I'll get in at all. Even real journalists - well, the ones that I know - are finding it impossible to get press passes. So who knows, crampons and wall-scaling gear might be in order.


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