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  1. This takes us to
    I am wondering where to start, given that all my starting points – Handsworth, Lozells, Birmingham, and all my points of leverage present me with such tiny opportunities, that the most I can ever do is help rock the local boat, like an enormous stone I once encountered in Brittany which was said to be moveable. It was ten metres long and nearly three high but balanced so as to allow a human being to make it stir. I was confounded until I saw a local bend down beneath one end of the great stone and press up with his back. I watched bemused at the total futility of his action – then as he beckoned me over, I placed my hand on the stone and realised it was gently but invisibly rocking. I had a go. Pressed up with my back. Nothing. tried again. Nothing. Tried again and then – delayed action – the mighty rock had begun to rock ever so gently like some enormous sea swell in the deep ocean that is too low to see but whose length carries the weight of vast acreages of water. You could feel but not see. I was exhilarated but I needed to be shown how to do it by the local Frenchman, who was palpably as delighted as I at my success. I needed to believe it was possible and that it was possible for me to do it. I needed time. In local politics I have been involved with two projects – Handsworth Park and the Victoria Jubilee Allotments. These involved many others. My participation started over 20 years ago. These projects continue. They rock. Now there are others that for the moment seem as immoveable as that rock. Here’s a photo of someone a lot smaller than me demonstrating the technique for moving ‘La Roche Tremblant’ at Huelgoat

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