Monday, February 05, 2007

Breaking Down Barriers

There was another bout of political poo-pooing on Friday and over the weekend. Since the riots last September, Kossuth tér - the square where parliament is situated - has been closed to the public. There were protestors camped outside for a while but I think they all got moved on a couple of weeks ago. Some people would come to the barriers and mope around a bit and shout but it seemed to be dying down.

Whether the barriers are a good thing or not is hard to say. On the one hand, it would be good to keep an angry mob away from the nation's big house. On the other hand, the barriers also serve to remind people that there's a restriction of freedom in place.

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On Friday, the opposition party thought it would be a good idea to remove the barriers themselves. So complete with their leader they set about dismantling the cordon. Bemused and unsure, the police that were on watch, just watched. It all made for a good bit of media and so the cameras were out and the speeches were made. Later, there was a lot of huffing and puffing about whether the action was legal or illegal. Or better still, was it right or wrong?

Of course, with the increase in media interest, the protestors came back. With their flags and megaphones they were enthusiastic in exercising their freedom of speech.

All this is fine, but I can't help thinking that the leader of the opposition holding a meeting in front of the parliament and then (perhaps illegally) removing the barriers in front of an eager camera crew is not good for business. Surely you're going to keep or gain credibility with a good debate about why the current government is making a big mistake by keeping the railings up.

By going ahead and getting stuck in without debate, without warning, surely the message to the people believing in you is that the only option available is direct action and forget about the legalities.

People learn from example and this wasn't a good one.

* Images taken from

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At 12:01 AM, Blogger Hettie said...

Hi Timbo,

I have no idea how to do trackback, but i would like you to know that I put a link to this post in my blog.



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