As protesters at Balcombe prepare to pack-up camp, we have to ask ourselves what is wrong with the pictures in the press of the demonstrations. As far as I can tell, quite a few things. Taken out of context, they look like the photographic record of a particularly unruly rave - from 1992 (look at the fashion). The last time I witnessed scenes of this kind was when, as a blemished 13-year-old, I watched a documentary about Woodstock. The only difference is that, now, there is less nudity (thank god).
We have been told by The Guardian how the protesters have been ascribed various roles, including that of 'entertainment'. Since when was striking a conga-drum with the elegance of an inebriated baboon considered entertainment? Believe me, I've watched the footage and it depressed me more than the auditions for Britain's Got Talent.
If I hear another rendition of 'Hit the road Frack', I am going to start vandalising public property.It offends all my musical sensibilities. The only protester who did lend a bit of style to the proceedings was Vivienne Westwood, but then, if she could make John Lydon glamorous, she is probably above criticism.
If most of us are fundamentally against fracking - whether we happen to be located in a fracking hotspot or whether we are just environmentally aware - why do we find it so difficult to unite behind a common purpose?
Part of the answer, in my 'humble' opinion, can be found in the photographs I so callously lampooned in my opening paragraph. You see, to outsiders, the demonstrators can seem thoroughly obnoxious. Even I, if I didn't think their cause so noble and brave, would be sorely tempted to tell them to 'fruck' off. In future, please can I ask the worthy demonstrators at Balcombe to make themselves more personable to local communities and, by extension, to the UK public at large. If it helps, I hereby offer my services to musically tutor all forthcoming protests.
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