Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Death takes all sorts

I spent the morning answering a bewildering number of emails about our rally-cum-event-cum-midnight parade on the streets of Soho this coming Friday. I was mainly talking to the police about Philip’s attack, and I have to confess to being rather unimpressed. Far from there being no CCTV footage available, as previously claimed, I discovered today that the officer in charge of the investigation simply hasn’t looked through it. I suspect all of this may well begin to change. I had a meeting with a Met Police LGBT liaison officer today; a highly impressive individual, who took things incredibly seriously and says that our whatever we’re calling it, is exactly the sort of thing we should be doing, not just to raise awareness, but to give certain members of the Met a much needed kick up the arse. It’s astonishing how much faith I realise I put in police to do the right thing – but a week and a half on from the attack, I seem to know more about

the case than the officer in charge!
Soho was looking pretty lovely today. The temperatures have dropped noticeably, but it was still sunny, and the air felt fresh and clear. I had a meeting with a man about a potential project for Channel 4 – at least we hope it’s going to be something that Channel 4 will be interested in; a fusion of fugue and documentary. It sounds utterly mad, but I think we might just pull it off!

The rest of the emails I’ve been ploughing through have come from various people saying that they either can, or more usually cannot come to the event on Friday. I do think if you’re a member of the LGBT community and live in London, you'd need to have a fairly water-tight excuse for not coming along. I’m sure we’d all like to think that if we were attacked on the streets, and the police weren’t being as effective as they perhaps ought to be, that someone would bother to go out and demonstrate on our behalves - regardless of gender or sexuality.

There are various arguments that suggest we shouldn’t be calling the event a vigil; vigil apparently has religious connotations. It’s not really a vigil anyway. A vigil implies death, and remembrance and lots of candles and sitting down. I want us to be singing – and moving through the streets like one living, breathing joyous celebration of equality and togetherness. We also have a purpose... to hand out fliers to anyone who will take them – in the hope of gaining more information about what happened to Philip.
Philip, of course wants to come... Part of me hopes the hospital allows him to get into a taxi and at least drive past us... but only, of course, if he’s considered well enough.

Friday 12th April, 1661 was Good Friday and Pepys ate a fish dinner with Sir William Batten. After lunch he went for a walk in the City to see how the preparations were going for the Coronation parade. Whilst Pepys was writing his journal in the afternoon, a bloke arrived with an invitation (I guess that’s what you’d call it) to Captain Robert Blake’s burial. Pepys was very sorry, and somewhat surprised to hear of his death, describing Blake as a man as “likely to live as any I knew.” Death takes all sorts.

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