Quite memorable or I hope so, which is why I record it. A walk, pleasant to the extreme, from London Bridge to Liverpool St. I took this picture late last week.
There I met my very old, very fine friend MP (by Sweet Chariot – I bought aniseed balls but they were poor quality – spineless). On the way in I passed some Truthers – they were young and normal looking, harmlessly calling themselves We Are Change (www.wearechange.org – copy and paste into your browser address bar, I’m not linking to that bunch of nutters), pledging to ‘ask questions, demand answers’. They want 911 investigated because they have decided it was an inside job sponsored by ‘the government and the corporate elite’. From the site:
“We Are Change is not so much a group but an idea, an idea that “We the People” are the vehicles of these “ideas” and of the freedoms, liberties, and truths we are seeking all across the globe. An idea that captures the spirits of our forefathers who just desired freedom; that together, as residents of this planet, we grow like a snowball of truth and justice rolling down a mountain of tyranny growing bigger and stronger, recognizing the beauty in our differences and the diverseness of each other, but at the same time strengthening our cause because we learn and grow from each others individuality.”
I got MP and we went back to have a go. They think every terrorist incident is suspect. They believe that power inevitably corrupts and that the elite conspires. And their project: decentralisation of power. They’re never going to give it up. I could get my and Matt’s friend who’s a counter-terrorism engineer to do a debunk, but they’d dismiss him as a puppet of the government. I could make Matt’s point that conspirators can’t keep secrets and they will always leak. They’d say “Exactly, look at our leaflet”. I could point them to government investigations of corruption scandals at Enron and Worldcom as evidence of a will to uncover crimes rather than perpetrate them – they’d just say that these were smokescreens. I could point to the fact that governments are fairly inept, and how on earth were they going to organise four planes to fly into targets on the ground and do it so convincingly that one even went wrong. They would call me complacent. Nice lads – completely bats. The part of this that really frustrates me is that when they say they want an investigation, they’re resorting to a legal system they must already believe is corrupt. They instrumentalise the law not to bring justice to bear, but to amplify their nightmarish delusions. A bit like the Socialist Worker Party faction in UCU which seems to be prepared to sacrifice our anti-discrimination statutes for the sake of boycotting Israel. Scarey.
Then we ended up sitting in a plate glass corner of Moshi Moshi Sushi right over the platforms – it was the best table. I had miso (brash, not good), a little pickled salad and the most boring plate of vegan sushi I have ever eaten. The worst of it was that MP’s fish one was so varied and colourful. The waiter asked if everything was fine, I took a deep breath and began “Actually – ” and then Matt called and the moment was lost (she never asked again).
He also told me the gobsmacking story of the Scottish Elections, covered in the Guardian, which the Open Rights Group were observing (the government is insisting on trying out an imperfect e-voting system). A counting error very nearly gave victory to Labour. Suspicions were raised when the Scottish National Party, expected to win two, maybe three votes in the Highlands and Islands region, seemed to have won none. The returning officer was stopped with shouts literally on his way to the podium. Do you know what had happened? The spreadsheet containing the data had been too wide for the screen – the SNP column had been hidden. The counters hadn’t scrolled over the file properly and had left out the SNP votes. Can you believe that?
Then we went to Dirty Dick’s on Bishopsgate for a pint or so of Youngs and to view the cabinet containing the mummified cat on a piece of wire. Dick was a publican who let himself go after his fiancée died. From the web site:
It seems that successive owners of the Bishopsgate Distillery and its tap capitalised on the legend. By the end of the 19th century, its owner, a public house company called William Barker’s (D.D) Ltd, was producing commemorative booklets and promotional material to advertise the pub.
For years it kept the cobwebs, dead cats and other disgusting things in the cellar bar, but these have now been tidied a to a glass display case.
The display case also contains an ancient menu – the effect is nauseating. Why do I always do it to myself?