The Berlin Wall was a concrete barrier erected by the German Democratic Republic in 1961 that split Berlin in two. The barrier became much more than this, it was fortified with a wide area (that became known as the ‘death strip’) that contained anti-vehicle trenches and other things to stem any flow of human traffic from one side of the wall to the other. According to Wikipedia from 1961 to 1989 (when the wall came down) around 5,000 people had attempted to escape over the wall, with an estimated death toll of between 100-200 people.
So, quite a serious wall, politically, symbolically and physically.
Fast forward to 2009 and head west to Britain, a fairly liberal country which respects human rights (of its own citizens at least, on the whole) and has a democracy in which people can criticise the government and not only do they not get punished they actually get paid handsomely and work for tabloid newspapers. However, all is not well and the quiet streets steeped in history are ready to flood with the flow of blood spilt in the lawnmower of civil unrest stirred up by… BRITAIN’S OWN BERLIN WAR! That is right, you heard it here second, one town in Britain has been torn in two by a barrier so fearsome, pensioners must drive their lethal electric buggies literally YARDS to get round it. The death toll for those circumventing the barrier is currently thought to be nil, but surely it is only a matter of time before that pensioner dies.
The article that first shook British society with news of the terrible barrier appeared in the Liberal Daily Mail newspaper – champion of the little man (providing he’s white, middle-class, is called Gerald and lives in a lovely detached house worth at least £250,000 with a docile wife and 2.1 white children who attend Sunday school and play woodwind instruments) – who shockingly broke the story with a typically restrained headline: ‘Neighbours’ fury after school erects ‘Berlin Wall’ across road to allow pupils to cross safely‘.
The comparison to the Berlin wall here is well-founded and provides a clear indication of just how serious this wall is. Built to protect school children – who might not even be white – the wall has succeeded in blocking off the end of an entire road. The restriction on human movement has affected literally 10 people, who – rather than walk the 45 yards that they used to – are now faced with a terrifying 150 yard walk around the block (quite literally in this case!).
Naturally the invasion of liberty and the inhuman demand that people walk an extra 105 yards has caused utter outrage and horror from a people usually slow to revolt. Beverley Mason, a 46-year-old art student, said: ‘It’s ludicrous. Why don’t they just ban traffic? ‘I can’t think of anywhere else this has happened, apart from Berlin.’
Pensioner Joe Beckles, 73, said the school had been unwilling to compromise: ”The school is not committed to having the road opened. We will carry on protesting until access is authorised.’ The whole community senses a divide much like that of Berlin, like the families torn apart for 28 years by the Berlin Wall, non-war hero Joe Beckles continues with a tale of his own grief:
They say it’s an inconvenience but we’re saying it’s much more we’re being deprived of.
‘The extra diversion the wall has created has caused me grief. People who come to see me can’t find me as the street is blocked.’
The school at the centre of the monstrous division refused to comment, but the local council (who can be unfavourably compared to the Communist Stasi or Nazi stormtroopers) insisted that the hoarding was only a temporary measure.
A spokeswoman (too evil to be named) said:
‘After a thorough consultation process, dating back to 1999, planning permission was granted in 2006 to turn Lant Street into an attractive space which would benefit the whole community and add to the outstanding facilities provided to Charles Dickens pupils.
‘Any objections received were fully considered at the time. Temporary hoardings are in place to address the issue of safety for children attending the school.
‘We understand that the hoardings can be an inconvenience and we do appreciate people’s patience while we improve the area for the benefit of all.’
One can only speculate as to whether the council actually intend on disbanding the ‘temporary hoardings’ or whether the whole city – or country – may eventually be divided by a rampaging council and school.
One can only sympathise for the divided residents in a town that could be any town in England. The residents can only hope and pray that the mighty pen of Richard Littlejohn will bring their crisis and misery to a wider audience on Friday, and that the school and council will be brought down by the masses chanting: ‘IT’S ELF ‘N’ SAFETY PC GONE MAD’.