Saturday, January 14, 2006

Primrose Hill, allegedly

The most successful Direct Action I've ever been part of took place on Primrose Hill about thirty years ago. The authorities had decreed that the park, of which the hill is the main part, should close at sunset like the neighbouring Regent's Park which already did. On the first night of the closure, without, as far as I know, any collusion, a couple of hundred people turned up at sunset and sat quietly on the hill. It was a mild evening and the poor park-keepers, who'd been sent by their pen-pushing masters to lock the gates, drove around for a while and then went home. Next evening there were more people, one determined couple had brought camp beds. Hardly any of us spoke but we just went on turning up each evening. After less than a fortnight the absurd policy was abandoned. How civilised.

I lived then in St John's Wood which is on the other side of the hill to the area of North West London that shares the hill's name. I was delighted to learn that the young turks allegedly destined one day to run Labour allegedly are called the Primrose Hill Set. It's so much nicer there than in Notting Hill where the young millionaires who allegedly think that they've taken over the Tory Party (but many Tories are not so certain) allegedly live. But I'm dismayed to learn more about another Primrose Hill Set, a bunch of C-list celebs who allegedly don't confine their intimacy to their marital beds and whose medicine of choice is allegedly stronger than is aspirin. Gareth McLean tells us about one Barry Smith today in the Guardian.

BTW has anyone noticed the striking similarity between the photograph on the same page allegedly of James Harkin and the one allegedly of Norman Johnson four pages further on? Could they, in any way, be related? I think we should be told.


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