i Editor's Letter: Are you a lover or a fighter?


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The Independent Online


In today's i, Matthew Norman tackles disaffection with political parties, Mark Steel gives us his wry take on charity donors, and Archie Bland dissects Bahrain (p14). This leaves me free to address today's vital question: are you a lover or a fighter?

If you didn't see the photograph in rival newspapers or hear the radio phone-in(s) on the subject, Britain has gone a little nuts over David Walker and Laura O'Meara, the 30-something couple who, we are told, share a passionate kiss daily on the platform at London Bridge station before parting to go to work.

I am saddened by the number of miserable people who have been bothered to write in to websites or call phone-in shows to moan about the love-birds. Some people have even resorted to criticising their looks as a warped excuse for berating them for having the very audacity to show a little Public Display of Affection (PDA).

Why do we have such a problem with PDA? Why do lovestruck couples lost in their own universe of bliss so upset the rest of us? Are we jealous? Do we recall when the lip-locked lovers were us? Or is it more visceral in we Brits? One last way in which we can show we are not the same as those lusty "continentals"?

I'll never forget my first time in both Rome and Paris. Yes, yes, the wonderful architecture and the food were revelations, but so too was the amount of PDA on every via and rue. It was only liberating.

There is so much ugliness, hate, and incivility on our streets. Isn't the sight of two "oldies" holding hands or teens sharing a tentative first kiss among the all-too-rare grace notes of everyday life, and therefore be cherished?

In culture, we like a snog. Look at the popularity of The Kiss, be it Rodin's or Robert Doisneau's. I defy anyone not to tear up at the poignant spliced-together, once-censored, end-kisses sequence in Cinema Paradiso. Why then do we tut and scream "get a room"?

Baci xx