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Strange Priorities

By ATWadmin On July 21st, 2007 at 4:40 pm

Were you queuing for ages in the middle of the night to get your hands on the new Harry Potter book?  It seems half the world couldn’t wait to grab a copy of Harry Potter and His Bad Breath in the Shallows….or whatever it’s called.  If you are a Potter fan, fine.  Whatever floats your boat.  Personally I’ve never been in to stories about magic and make-believe.  As a keen follower of politics, you get to analyse people who are expert at the latter anyway.

What I can’t fathom is why so many people put the energy into going out to the centre of a major city in the middle of the night to get hold of a book they could have bought the next day.  It wasn’t as if there was a deadline to adhere to before Harry Potter volumes disappeared forever.  Getting out of bed long before daylight is always a fatiguing experience, as you will know if you’ve ever had to catch an early morning flight.  What is annoying about seeing people becoming hysterical, and going to extreme lengths, over a simple book is the fact that you know the vast majority of them wouldn’t exercise the energy of an AA battery about anything that actually matters.

What do I mean?  Well, for example, I would happily queue for hours in the middle of the night to sign a petition calling for the re-introduction of the death penalty for acts of terrorism.  I would happily visit a polling station in the middle of the night to put an ‘X’ on a ballot paper to get rid of this obscenity of a government.  I would happily sit in the public gallery of a court room in the middle of the night to see people like Martin McGuinness and Abu Hamza on trial.  I would happily join a midnight sit-down protest in Downing Street about the endless burden of taxation placed on hard-working families.  I would happily join a human chain at Folkestone in the middle of the night to prevent any more ‘asylum seeking’ freeloaders from entering the country and further diluting our country.  How many of those who were jumping up and down with frenzy about the impending purchase of a bloody book could actually plough a fraction of that emotional energy and commitment into changing things that really are important?