Monday, November 09, 2009

The Wall: Baldrick's cunning plan

There is a story that a couple of weeks before the Berlin Wall fell, an English hippie was standing in front of the Wall, rattling his can and wondering what to write. The immortal words "Never fear, Baldrick has a cunning plan" came to him, so he put them up, and two weeks later, a sense of awe, of being part of a Great Plan Beyond Comprehension stole over the hippie as he watched events unfold on his flickering snowy black and white TV screen.

Maybe it was that graffitum that caused the wall to dissolve into a blood and tear stained pile of rubble, to be sold off as the East Germans' first foray into entrepreneurialism. It sure as death wasn't the political commentariat, because there were no pundits in 1988 going "I predict the wall will fall sometime in the next twelve months".

What happened is best described by chaos theory applied to social matters. Things go on as normal on the surface of social life, while dissident thoughts build up pressure, until a threshold point is reached, the people act together spontaneously, and the mighty politicians lock themselves in the lavvie with a travel brochure.

Maybe we are in a 1998 situation here, with the seething anger of the public over bonkers bankers bonuses and MP expenses. The Green Party should be drawing up contingency plans for what to do in the case of a non-violent democratic movement for political and economic reform.

In other words, we need to draw up a plan so cunning that we could tie a brush to it and call it a fox.

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