The rooftops of Sydney

Here’s a sight I’d rather not have seen. On the rooftops of Sydney someone waits with gun assembled and ready for use… just in case they get the word to fire on some terrorist suspect or over eager protester. I smudged out the face of the policeman near the gun. I figured he had enough problems without being identified to the entire world as a potential sniper.

Sniper in Sydney

Point is though how sad it is that it’s become necessary to see this sort of thing in clear view on a rooftop. One of the reasons the UK was always a comfortable place to live was that the police didn’t carry guns as a matter of course. This was the norm even whilst the country was under periodic attack from the IRA. Now, because terrorist threats, things have changed there, and of course with good reason.

Even in the time we’ve been here in Oz we’ve seen changes of a similar sort, for example Parliament, House, once so approachable, is now surrounded and closed off turning it almost into a fortress. So sad.

Either way, like it or not, APEC is here, and it seems the total disabling of traffic in Sydney (which even at the best of times isn’t exactly free flowing) is just one of the smaller obstacles Sydney-siders are having to face. Motorcades are screaming across the city from the airport carrying VIP’s from all around the region. Dubya actually had the entire route kept open from start to finish and the rest of the world just had to wait until he was safely ensconced in his hotel with his huge entourage. And this sort of thing is required even in a friendly country. What sort of life must he be leading I wonder?

The sooner this is all over and we get back to normal the happier a lot of us will be.


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