Saturday, July 23, 2005
We have indeed grown more tolerant
of the idiots:Everyone who comes wants to know the answer to the same question. The Zambian journalist blinks at Brian through thick glasses. 'Why are you here, sir?' he asks.
There is an obvious answer to this question, the one which Brian Haw repeats to anyone who will listen. It is the answer that is painted on the placards that surround him and that stretch along the railings. He is here for peace, to stop the war in Iraq. 'I am here for all the world's kids,' he tells the Zambian reporter. But there are, I guess, other more personal answers, too.
Brian keeps a little Biro reminder of the 1,500 or so days and nights he has spent on this pavement; Robinson Crusoe adrift on his traffic island. He sleeps under a green tarpaulin a few hours a night, sits on a deck chair most of the day. Facing Big Ben, he's never stuck for the time. He eats whatever he is given, soup or chips, washes in a bucket, take one shower a week at a friend's.