Saturday, 9 September 2017

Another pro-EU march

People wear the flag any way they can. A woman with a seaside-postcard cleavage is wearing a plunging tight blue sheath dress and gold stripper heels. She sits next to the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Parliament Square.

You can't beat a good reversible hand-embroidered placard.

The man wearing an ersatz space outfit didn't expect to meet a veteran of the Apollo moon landing programme. Pat Norris received the Apollo Individual Achievement Award from Neil Armstrong in 1969, and the Arthur C. Clarke Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.

David Davis has said: "Half of my task is running a set of projects that make the Nasa moon shot look quite simple." But he's having a bash, on our behalf. Marvellous.

Brexit threatens to harm the UK space industry. Athough the European Space Agency sits outside the EU, a third of ESA programmes have EU funding. The UK is preparing to shut itself out of those.

The speakers here are a mixed bunch. Protest marches depend on volunteers and donations. But we're trying to look like the top team, not something dumped outside Oxfam in a bin-liner. So can we apply a bit of quality control? Be ruthless about who's allowed to speak. Set time limits. Screen out the ranters and the laboriously unfunny. Jab speakers in the arm with a darning needle if they go on too long. Today an emerging star is Conor McArdle, a twenty-year-old law student from Northern Ireland.