On the day of the Jubilee River Pageant the other week I found myself herded along with other cattle to a bridge I couldn’t even identify because of the crowds. The police seem to have developed a penchant for ‘kettling’.
Admittedly I could have adopted a more urgent attitude and got to the Strand earlier, but chose instead to set off in the early afternoon and have lunch in a pub before wandering naively down in the direction of Somerset House at about 3:00pm, expecting to be able to lean against the Embankment wall and enjoy the spectacle before heading off for another drink or two.
However, all those small alleyways that connect the Strand with the river were closed off by security men and despite angry objections there was no choice but to go with the flow. This was most frustrating because we could see that the alleyways and Embankment beyond were empty.
There were about twenty rows of people between me and the entrance to whatever bridge we eventually were penned onto so I gave up and went home.
I was furious, and I wasn’t the only one. I pay taxes for this sort of thing and was made to feel like a third-class citizen in my own city. It seems that you only got to see the pageant if you sat queuing up all night or had the right connections or enough money to wangle or buy a place.
I’ve had enough of the Jubilee and the Olympics.
I’m glad it rained 😦