In the week leading up to the G7 Summit I saw some very strange things – things that were definitely not ‘NFC’ (Normal For Cornwall). It began with multiples of police vans, 12 and 15 at a time, zooming past. All full of Fuzz from afar, Police from Lancashire, Scotland, London & Wales, en route to their accommodation for the week, a cruise liner moored off Falmouth. I kid you not!
Land & Sky
Overhead, aircraft were flying inbound that I have only ever seen in movies or on Tracey Island. And of course road signs telling us to expect disruption to pretty much everything, especially in exclusion zones like the one in Falmouth, where the worlds press were going to be camped out. No doubt the best place to commentate on who was wearing what.
I looked up at the sky and was really pleased that Cornwall itself, was protesting against the G7. The sea fog and mizzle had rolled in and put in a mighty appearance. No helicopters were going by to be flying about in this pea-souper.
Behind the Scenes
I was glad that I could pretty much avoid it all, feeling incensed that this lavish, brazen shit-show was coming to a county that is one of the poorest and deprived in Europe. 34% of kids here live in poverty, there’s a five year waiting list just to get on a dentists books, and mental health care is a mere memory of an aroma on the breeze. Now, An array of radar, weaponry, security and mini buses full of armed forces had been brought to our once tranquil shores by road. The rest flown in via our ex MOD mini airport which has now received a hasty extension to the runway in order to facilitate Air Force 1’s touchdown along with the addition of becoming a space port for Branson’s Virgin Orbit. A Space Port based at the home of clotted cream and Cornish pasties.
The Only Isolation
We quickly found out that you can actually ring-fence an entire hotel and part of the beach with a ten foot steel barrier. Primarily so that a ‘head injury in a cheap suit’ can have a waddle & a swim while a cargo of elite can do a crazed half-chicken elbow dance and eat toasted marshmallows for the cameras.
Meanwhile 6.5 thousand armed police (from 43 forces) form a high-vis wave of intimidation on the streets (not a mask in sight), warships replace the local fishing fleet, beach beds are nudged aside by mobile Rapier Rocket Launchers and protesters are arrested and dispossessed of their phones, cars and money. This all in a place where I’ve not seen half a dozen police vehicles in a whole year.
Cordoned off from crossing the road to my home I noticed an approaching fairground of flashing blue lights, this monster cavalcade was approaching and I had nowhere to go.
A discreet video had to happen and as I was doing this I looked up, you know when someone catches your gaze, just there, just like that Joe Biden was waving at me. It sent a shiver down my spine, I still feel violated. Even after nearly a week, his fragile little wave reminded me of a resident in a care home that I knew once.
I also found out that a Navy Seal was not a dark blue mammal with flippers but an enormous geezer with a gun.
I wondered why the royals turned up to this usually exclusively political affair, but they did. And I had the misfortune to witness Charlie boy’s cavalcade off to pick his mum up from the local station. Lead Hat Liz, with her ‘weekend saver return’ tickets in hand, dutifully arrived to brown nose Boris & Biden at the BBQ… Maskless and undistanced of course, vulnerable pensioner that she might be.
There have been reports of fields being hired for a million bucks, SAS surging out of the bushes and arresting people, the good folk of St Ives being offered 12 grand to host a sniper in their garden. It’s been bloody crazy.
But, to top it all, I was asked on Monday if I wanted any left-over G7 food. I asked them not to send it my way cos I’d fucking choke on it. A lady said quick go get some free food there’s loads of it.
‘Yeah but it’s not free is it? ‘ you already paid for it. ‘Oh yeah I see what you mean, but there’s pasties and apple pies!’
In all, 58 tonnes of left-overs was distributed to food banks throughout the county. It’s generous of this lavish lot to recognise that poverty exists, but an absolute disgrace that they can even admit the amount left over. It took a Cornish company months to distribute 200 tonnes around the county. This was a quarter of that in one weekend.
The cost of this is whole debacle is incalculable, both in monetary terms and for the community, I have a feeling that this bullshit malarkey will have changed this beautiful land forever.
There may be some things that never come back.