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Observer: Jasper Gerard: oh so (not particularly) piquant


Jasper Gerard’s supine admission that ‘protest is dead, but it’s
somehow still so nice to see those superannuated anarchists
blockading the G8’ (my summary of his piece, Observer 10.6.07) was
extremely helpful. I only buy the Observer once in a foolish blue
moon, and this time it was his piece that reminded me where the paper
sits when it comes to actively standing up against injustice, social
and climatic…unless of course it can be eased painlessly into one’s
daily routine as part of a suddenly achingly hip, ‘ethical’ (but
still ferociously commodifiable) lifestyle choice.


Mark Brown, London


Ah, look at those sweet German protesters

Germany doesn’t do retro-cool, for everything there remains vaguely in
fashion long after other countries have consigned it to the back of the
wardrobe. Witness its continued penchant for handlebar moustaches, the
back catalogue of Sarah Brightman and international law. Or take all its
anti-globalisation protesters at the G8. In Britain, anti-globalisers
were big in the Nineties, but post 9/11 became last season. In a world
of globalised terrorists, it seemed quaint to rail against globalised
cafe lattes. It was not that anti-globalisers were proved entirely
wrong, but rightly or wrongly, the debate galloped on. As Leonard Cohen
sang: ‘Everybody knows the good guys lost.’

So national governments got on with squeezing what they could from
multinationals, without scaring them offshore: unheroic, but the best
that politics can do. Meanwhile, developing countries ‘exploited’ by
globalisation boomed. Just as there was no alternative to the dark
satanic mills, so to Starbucks: tax it and regulate it, then spend the
dosh on something more worthwhile. Still, a warm wave of nostalgia
washed over me as I realised there were still anti-globalising rioters
out there, gobbing and clobbering most merrily, dressed as clowns – as
period in their way as parasol-twirling maidens in a BBC costume drama.

Source: http://observer.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,2101053,00.html