Thursday, 5 June 2008

Trouble just follows me round

It's true! I can't go anywhere in the world but trouble flares up. My old IT manager used to call me a jinx because I just had to look at a computer and it misbehaved - but things have got far worse over the years and now I appear not only to jinx IT equipment but world peace!

I went on holiday to Dusseldorf with some SNP friends a few years ago. Despite all being political, the deal was NO POLITICS until the second day when we unwittingly ended up in the middle of a very noisy demonstration. As my friends never tired of reminding me, it seemed that the war in Sri Lanka reignited itself almost immediately I got off the plane!

And now, here I am in Brussels and there are riots, not just in the city but right outside the building where I was to have a meeting with a Commission official! Fishermen clashing with police - flares being thrown, cars overturned, water cannons drenching them - over EU regulations which prevent individual governments from giving them financial aid. Like everyone they're suffering from the escalating fuel costs and it's worse for them because of course if they can't afford the fuel they could go out of business.

Although it looks scary on the BBC video, I didn't see or hear any of that. I saw the protesters gathering in the morning. The night before, the barbed wire barricades were all over the place. I shivered as van loads of police arrived early yesterday, the visors went on and they appeared to be limbering up, batons at the ready. But I didn't witness any of the televised riots.

I like to think of myself as a bringer together of people, a catalyst for co-operation if you like - but I'm beginning to think that the evidence against me is mounting ... I'm going to Perth at the weekend so people of Perth, stay indoors!

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