Monday, 9 March 2015

Facebook pick-n-mix.

Twitter, does not do it for me, It's not a good place for someone interested in writing. Its enforced brevity, which might be good in one way, stifles creativity in so many other ways. By way of a comparison I enjoy reading many of the various writing, photographic and boating forums on Facebook. These topics are amongst my favourite interests in life. Facebook also provides insight into the micro cosmopolitan life played out each day along the canals. 

Over time as you read the various forums you slowly begin to recognise the various regular contributors. At the same time it's something of a pick-n-mix arena. One where even the most innocuous of comment can suddenly inflame even those who are usually more genteel amongst the throng. There are some I would call life-long protagonists for a variety of reasons. I say protagonists because for some there is this air of automatic nay-saying about individuals. Its seldom based upon the subject under discussion. 

There is the common bond of the canal life that draws them together in the first place. Each in their own way actually wants the world along the canal to flourish. The unfortunate bit is that the measure of success for many, does not have a common reason.  The only common point is the boat and from then on its division. Plastic and steel, narrow and wide, CCer and marina based, sadly even young and old. I remember those history lessons from school. The ones where much of the success was based upon divide and conquer. To a point its the same along the canal the deep divisions it seems will never heal. In fact it looks like they are about to get much worse. 

We have the police on our streets to uphold the rule of law. If a group of people decide to take the law into their own hands we call them vigilantes.  We certainly don't describe them 'street rangers.' On the canal we have CaRT who should be managing the canal system, and any miscreants are in their remit to manage. Though CaRT prefers to use the word enforcement, which itself carries certain connotations.

Now the IWA have published that they are going to be the vigilantes of the cut but with a dressed up name of moorings rangers.  Stating that in 2015 it will be 'Resolving the issues caused by congestion especially in urban areas where large numbers of boats remain in the area in contravention of the requirements of their licence'. The IWA openly admits that being vigilantes will make them unpopular. 

Its true, you look along an idyllic length of river or canal and you think of it as a serene and peaceful place.  But underneath it all, is a sub culture of distrust, NIMBYism and spite. The future in 2015 does not look to rosy at all. 

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