Friday, 5 September 2003

Not our first "flash mob"

Edinburgh's New Town has experienced its first flash mob:
I’m standing at the junction of Castle Street and Princes Street. It’s 5:37pm precisely. Several hours ago I synchronised my watch with the speaking clock and I can just about guarantee that the hundred or so people around me also have accurate timepieces. Why? Because we’re here to flash mob and timing is everything. As we point to the sky and chatter loudly about an impending spectacle, I wonder how I came to be here.
For those who don't know:
Flash mobbing has become the doyenne of the "silly season", as seemingly random groups of people converge in a public space to behave in a rather odd manner.
As is often the case, this kind of thing has been going on in the Old Town for much longer.

In the Church of Scotland building just off the Royal Mile a group of about 129 people have been flash mobbing for the past four years. They too behave oddly, chatter loudly and, for all I know, point to the sky to seek inspiration on how to save the Scottish economy. But the members of the Scottish parliament haven't succeeded so far:

JIM Wallace set out the Scottish Executive’s approach to enterprise and the economy yesterday, but immediately came under attack from business leaders and opposition politicians for failing to articulate any kind of vision which could turn the economy around.
And the hapless Jim Wallace wasn't the first Enterprise Minister without a clue. Young entrepreneur Keith Anderson of Boston Networks is contemplating quitting Scotland because of our incompetent politicians and Anderson doesn't think much of Wallace's predecessor:
"I feel we have a lot of politicians who haven’t run businesses. Iain Gray was Enterprise Minister and his credentials were he’d been a teacher and worked at Oxfam," he complains.
The trouble is that virtually none of our politicians have any experience or understanding of business. They probably think that introducing university degrees in flash mobbing would be a way to revive the economy.