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The March

September 2005
On Saturday a march assembled at Parliament Square and walked to Hyde Park where there was to be a concert with speeches. The theme of the march was to protest about the presence of British troops in Iraq. It included, as ever, a sprinkling of Workers of the World Unite proponents, which seemed a little irrelevant to the subject in hand, together with the Rama Krisha Temple lot jingling their bells, and quite a few bearded chaps in robes who periodically put their copy of the Daily Mirror on the ground facing east, bent over, and rested their head on it, with their bottom in the air.
An elderly couple came and sat by me on my park bench. ‘Nice to see so many young people on the march’, said the lady. ‘Yes’, I replied, out of politeness. I asked where she and her husband had marched from and they said Parliament Square, which was quite far enough and now it was time to sit down and eat a cheese sandwich from a plastic bag in their rucksack. I asked if they’d seen my friend Chris, who was playing the saxophone in a band and they said they thought they had, very good the band was too, in Whitehall. Older men wasn’t it? Yes. Oh yes, very good they were. I had to meet some friends in a café in Marylebone High Street at 3, so could not wait for Chris to march by tootling, or to watch any more unlikely-looking people pass by, so I wished the couple a happy concert, which they said they didn’t intend to go to, finding it much more pleasant to sit in the park instead, which indeed it was.


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