The patch of grass outside parliament, often used by broadcasters for news reports, is now a haven for sinister hecklers who epitomise the breakdown of civil debate College Green is a little patch of grass diagonally opposite the Houses of Parliament, not big enough to go for a walk on, not small enough for a kiosk; almost purpose-built, in fact, for broadcasters to use when there is a political crisis. In normal times, this would be once every two or three years: elections, a major resignation. They might interview an MP there because they wanted a bit of fresh air. Right now, broadcasters practically live there. As a result, it has a queasy atmosphere, thanks to a combination of artificial lighting juxtaposed with the often dreary sky, the presenters’ lips slightly blue with cold, and a lingering, unspoken editorial question: why do we have to do this opposite parliament? Is it in case the whole thing bursts into flames? Nothing speaks of crisis so much as having to move 20 yards closer to the action – the regular studios are only down the road.
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