it’s all about us, or them

A market researcher was here yesterday, asking all sorts of random questions, for a range of different companies. One of her questions was “Have you heard of the G8 coming to NI?” We both fell about the place laughing.

A bit like London before the Olympics, the G8 is the only story in town. The protests. the thousands of extra police, the imported water cannon, the temporary holding cells and judges working overtime. Then there’s the empty shop fronts covered with decals to look like thriving businesses, the gallons of extra beer, and Girl1 hoping that her school bus won’t make it on Monday morning.

The G8 is not being held in Belfast. It’s going to Enniskillen in Co Fermanagh- home to the McSpec family for 20 years. World leaders in Enniskillen. I wonder will the internet and phone signals be improved as a result?

Of course, Enniskillen has been in the news before. After the First World War, a younger Churchill spoke of the dreary steeples of Fermanagh and Tyrone still causing problems, despite all the changes in the world order. Some of you will have seen the devastation caused by the bomb on Remembrance Sunday 1987. Queen Elizabeth called in last year, and crossed between some of those steeples.

I have mixed feelings about it all.

from @belmorecourt
from @belmorecourt

Enniskillen is beautiful, and any possible boost to the economy and infrastructure is a good thing. But Dave didn’t choose Enniskillen because of the pretty, or to boost local business, or to improve the roads.

The venue is remote, last outpost of Empire stuff. More easily managed security (one road in and out, surrounded by a huge lake). Despite politics and geography, Dave thinks that the UK is one country, and that he owns all of it.

I can’t escape the feeling that part of the agenda for choosing Enniskillen is less “promote this area, change the world’s perceptions of NI” than “Didn’t we do well? Look how wonderfully we have managed NI.”

Yup, that could be the source of my unease- I’m feeling more than a little patronised.

Of course, it could just be that Dave annoys me every time he opens his mouth…

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17 thoughts on “it’s all about us, or them”

  1. It remains to be seen whether the big set-piece will be a political flop, security disaster and economic damp-squib or whether it’ll be a great success. A tenner says the second, but then I’m just an incurable post-Troubles optimist….

  2. I swear they chose County Fermanagh, in order to avoid this disruption in London, which would be harder to control. I have nothing to do with G8, Fermanagh, Politics, Dissidents or Demonstrators, yet I will be stuck inside a five mile circle of home on Monday! I think I’ll pack a picnic and stay in bed. 😉

  3. I didn’t realize the G8 was literally to be on your doorstep, Fiona. I understand why you feel wary. National Public Radio will keep me somewhat informed as to how things go, but let us know how you experience it! I’ll be listening!

    1. I have a bit of distance- Belfast is where I live now, Enniskillen (only 84 miles away) where I used to live. NI is so small that we’re all affected by road closures, swarms of helicopters, ever more police etc, etc

  4. The 36th G8 Summit was hosted by Canada in Toronto (our 5th time) in 2010. I wonder, do you remember (without google-ing, no cheating allowed) what came out of it all or what was on the agenda for that one? Cause I sure as hell don’t. Other than ‘it’ costing a gazillion dollars. The court cases against protesters and police officers are still going on to this very day -the wheels of justice go in reverse in this country at times. I could be wrong but I think even some of the port-a-potties are still in storage in a remote lot somewhere in the burbs ………anyhoot, have fun with the circus ….peanuts? popcorn? indifference?…..we’ve been there, done dat, hope we never do it again, as there just is not enough cleaner to adequately remove all the smoke of the mirrors. I better stop before turn cynical or conservative, the later more evil an sinister.

    1. Nope! I have no idea about any G8 in 2010, or later. I remember the last one in the UK, but not even when that was!
      I’m totally comfortable with cynicism, but pleeeeze don’t go all conservative!

      1. I don’t wear cynicism often it clashes with my curmudgeon sereneness. Fat chance of me going conservative, so no worries.

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