I know, I’ve already hinted at this somewhere before, but let’s face it ,the way things are going in Northern Ireland , it could easily become an ongoing series, like a syndicated comic strip.If I pop my clogs , maybe some  other creator can take up the torch and roll out a few more ideas on to the twenty first century. We might get something sorted before the year  3,000, eh?

I think we’ve established beyond all doubt that our local politicians may individually be very nice lads or otherwise, but what they are not overflowing with, sad to say, is creative juice. I think we get the picture now .There.’s not going to be a “Great Moment” when they astound us with their  creative thinking .There’s going to be no Albert  Einstein, no Frank Lloyd Wright. We are not going to get a Buckminster Fuller  surge of  political or social creative thinking in Northern Ireland anytime soon. It’s going to be prevarication and lightly coddled mayhem in ever decreasing circles.

It’s with that sense of civic responsibility that I think it’s time to unveil another potential solution to our “Marching Season” problems. Remember that kite I flew several months ago about maybe building a “Marching Stadium”. The idea was to take the “heat” off the streets and therefore police the day’s events more precisely and safely ..and to give everybody’s head a bit of peace . ? Remember that?

Well , I  know some of you wise- acres out there thought it merited deep thought until next Tuesday and some of you quibbled that it should be called a “Walking Stadium”, because it was somehow almost blasphemous to call “walking”, “marching” or vice versa.. Semantics , you see.Lots of argument about the colour it should be painted, no doubt ; whether the” Cacklicks” should pay as much in their taxes as their Prod” neighbours as it wasn’t such a Big Deal for them anyway. Then there was the Awkward Squad who thought the whole thing should be banned and there should be martial law and complete lockdown on the streets  from just after Wimbleton Fortnight until  Halloween. That kite was fairly peppered with buckshot alright.

The figures for costs and the like for hosting this annual marching  jamboree are a bit vague , but some amazing money has been mentioned .It’s the kind of cash that could sustain a Third World country or at least provide clean drinking water for a lot of unfortunates. It’s being used to help the men and women  of our esteemed police force to add that new sun-room to their bungalows or at least take them all to Florida for their holidays…just like their mums and dads made a fortune during theTroubles. Security….It was called a “Cash Cow” back then and now that we are in peacetime , we really could put all that cash to better use.

 You didn’t feel the time was right for a stadium, okay.Maybe that was a bit radical , but we’re heading in a trajectory for Groundhog Day again and nobody has had any other ideas. {It’s so lonely , in here!}

What about annually transforming every contentious marching/walking route  into a “Funfair  Road” . it would work like one of those “Pop up Shops” or “Pop up Galleries” that have been so popular lately .In this case , all we have to do is hire fun- fair experts such as …”Barry’s of Portrush “….or maybe “Duffy’s Circus” would be available….

 You get the idea?The  “traditional route” could be transformed for a week or so into  a beautiful inviting  thrill ride. Anyone entering the route would be guaranteed a Magical Mystery tour of splendiferus thrills, spills and sunny gaiety .Each year could have a theme  …like Paddy’s Day  except in the sunshine and without the serious drinking…….and, crucially , all the locals would have input .There would also be catering and concessions.There would be local barkers and stewarts hired .It would work like those great old summer “fruitpicking”  or “Kentish hop picking” jobs of yore . Anyone working would take a “sickie” to work the rides and make a double- whammy wage. Meanwhile our marching friends would be welcomed with open arms {and wallets} and swept up in the undoubted hospitality that the residents would invite them into.

How could it miss ? It could be subsidised with all that saved money.We could then still have our Free Prescriptions and our Cancer drugs without making any cuts.It would get old Pootsie off the hook too. It would make a self-sustaining  annual wage every year  to boot and take the sting out the Marching Season.Everyone would win . Maybe the “Marching Standium ” was a bit isolating for some of you but I always thought it worked okay for music fans and their differing tastes …..

This would be more inclusive….Our marching friends who just have to get down that road, {Well…it takes all sorts}….would have a surprise every year. Light shows. Tunnels of Orange/Green love. water chutes and flumes  to cool the tempers  and ice -cream and candyfloss galore… There’s all that great CGi technology to tap into for schemas..

The police mightn’t like i,t as it will sadly cut into their annual overtime, but a little sacrifice for the common good might put a smile on our dour Northern faces for a change.

What’s not to  like?


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