Monday September 13, 2004
Batman went calling on the Queen today. She wasn’t home, and that was a shame because it would have added some zest to an otherwise rather dull story.
So, anyway, he climbed onto the roof of a side gallery, edged along the side and halfway across the front of Buck House, coming to a safe lodging point just to the right of the main balcony where he unfurled his Super Dads banner, and stood for a few hours waving at the crowds of tourists who wondered, so it seems, if this was some new twist on the Changing of the Guard. Then the sun went in, it turned chilly, the tourists wandered off and Batman was assisted safely to the ground by some police climbers in a mobile cherry picker crane.
The only interesting comment I heard as I dipped into several hours of obsessive TV news coverage came from an American tourist who asked, puzzled, “Why don’t they shoot him?”
Well, they could have, of course. Shot him, that is. Several police marksmen had their sights trained on him throughout and doubtless, had he cast his cloak aside to reveal a bandolier of grenades, they’d have taken him out without blinking.
However, we don’t shoot demonstrators here, no matter how embarrassing their activities may be to the security forces that guard Royal residences and other such focal points of the Establishment. Instead we chuckle at the sight of red-faced politicians and senior policemen on the TV, take cheer from their huff’n’puff discomfiture, and say with a quiet smile ‘No harm done, then.’
Finally, all the excitement done, everyone went off for a nice cup of tea. Makes you proud to be British, does an event like that.