Cambridge's pedestrian zone

Have you tried walking briskly through the pedestrian zone in its times of operation, going about your planned business, going to shops to buy things you know you want?

If so, you will have noticed the crowds of window-shoppers to whom nothing matters more than the impulse to dart across the road to look at something they've just spotted. If you refuse to stop for them, but carry on with your own business, you'll hear how much they resent you. To them, you, going responsibly about a constructive task, should stop so they don't have to look where they're going; they're engaged in the all-important life of the window-shopper, and are not going to accept the extra burden of looking around before they step out. You, the intellectual oppressor of the poor and simple, perhaps presumed to have earnings beyond their imagination but too self-centred to buy for them the material things that they assume would help them to feel that they're your equals, must serve them and do their road safety for them.

These people, I gather, are the ones who the County Council is interested in representing. To the council, that is what Cambridge is about. To people like that, drifting couch potatos, the University (the organization on which their precious tourist trade with its gift shops is an opportunist parasite) is the enemy who keeps them down... look for the classic `townie' hatred not only of students but also of graduates working locally...

John C. G. Sturdy
[John's home] Last modified: Sun Jun 10 22:12:57 GMT Daylight Time 2007