I Fucking Hate This Wall

By Patrick Brogan

“All in all it was all just bricks in the wall.”                                                                                      -Another Brick in the Wall (Part One), Pink Floyd

Walls are en vogue again. Donald Trump’s biggest promise was building a wall along the Mexican border. Many Americans rejoiced as they seen this as a solution to all their problems. All other factors, like the banking collapse and political accountability, were ignored. And this is the problem with walls. They paper over cracks rather than solve the real issues.

So, where is this wall in the photograph? It’s around the corner from where I live in Finglas. Finglas has a reputation as being very anti-social. This has been greatly exaggerated by those looking to sell newspapers, but the fact remains, there are issues regarding joyriding and speeding here. I suspect that’s why this wall was built.

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This wall encloses a cul-de-sac, so the original gap in the wall was an easy way for motorbikes to access the main road on the other side. Then the council filled in the gap by adding more wall. Nobody wants to see speeding vehicles in their area, and this is doubly dangerous as there are young children regularly playing around here. Something must be done as the joyriders are still out there. And in a sense, that is the real issue. What are the authorities doing about the individuals causing all the mayhem?

Walls really are the authorities’ way of saying we give up. Would the Israelis and Palestinians and British controlled Belfast not be better severed working towards peace and working on socio-economic factors rather than building and maintaining walls? And this is the problem; nobody seems to want to work on the root cause of these issues. It’s easier to build a wall and pretend the problems don’t exist. Problems don’t go away if they are ignored.

I could go on about the psychological impact walls have on people, but there is a practical issue here as well. The wall in my area is forcing an ageing population to walk the far side of the cul-de-sac to reach the shops nearby. This might not seem like a big deal, but this does cause some distress to older people. Now imagine this on a national scale. Berlin and Germany were systematically divided by the “great powers” after World War II. This did not affect just commerce but families were torn apart and it was for no good reason.

For me, this wall represents many aspects I detest. Firstly, the alienating nature walls have in the first place. Then, the interference of government on all levels to tell people what is best. Central planning at its worst. This hiding behind a wall is a cowardly attitude of no benefit to the people. It’s a way of making it look like you are addressing the problem when in reality you are ignoring it. In other words, spin. When these issues are put on the long finger, they always come back worse than before somewhere down the line. If these issues were addressed properly at the time, they would not be as bad as they are now further down the road. Whatever about the argument for external walls, internal ones are just a way of punishing everybody for the indiscretions of the few.

 

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