Saturday, March 17, 2007

Burning issues

Originally uploaded by joellaflickr.

We went to Luminox last night. Oxford's Broad Street, normally one of the world's most picturesque car parks, was for three nights turned into a part medieval part post-apocalyptic scene featuring fire tubes made of metal stencilled with hieroglyphics, spotlit steam pumps, street lighting made from flaming buckets, and a smell reminiscent of places far, far away in time or space where fire is the only source of heat and light.

It was great. Everyone was hyper and happy, and although the only thing standing between the public and red hot metal was rings of sand and volunteer stewards in fluorescent tabards, all the St John's Ambulance teams had to deal with was a few cases of over excitement. As we left I wanted to have a big button to press which said 'More Public Art Like This Please'.

They are saying, however, that the money pit of the Olympics will drain the provincial left-field art installation pool bone dry. There will be Less Public Art Like This if we are to provide the world's athletes with cutting-edge table tennis facilities for two weeks in 2012. If this is indeed the case, it will be a great shame, and even if it isn't I am beginning to suspect that the whole thing is going to turn out to be a colossal waste of our hard-earned cash.

Spend more on large-scale ephemera, I say. It might not make the world a better place, but it will sure make it feel like it, and isn't that a good enough reason?

But before you do that, oh once brave new government of mine, spend it on food for the destitute. Asylum Welcome, our local organisation supporting asylum seekers and refugees emailed out an appeal this week for food donations* for asylum seekers who have had government support withdrawn and yet are not allowed to work.

I know budgeting is complicated, but it is morally incomprehensible to me that in modern Britain we can have a situation where all that stands between human beings and starvation is the goodwill of small charities and private individuals.

I am reminded of Princess Diana's famous comment when someone said to her that she needed to be aware of all the complicated political issues surrounding landmine laying and clearance. She apparently replied 'I don't see what's so complicated about children getting their limbs blown off'. I wasn't a huge fan of hers, but that was a genius statement. SORT IT OUT. That's what we pay you for.


*For those local enough to do something about it, they are asking for tea and coffee, tinned fruit, tinned vegetables, pasta, rice, couscous, tinned fish, tinned meat, UHT milk, tinned soups, lentils and fruit cake. They can't take fresh food as they have no storage facilities, but working tin openers that you don't need would be very welcome.

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Blogger Tim said...

Tip top excellent post, as usual.

But I think we really need to hear about flanning, don't you?

9:00 pm  
Blogger Jo said...

I'm doing it, I'm doing it...

5:00 pm  

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