Edinburgh Summit: Fringe works to influence 'warriors'

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CONCERN in Edinburgh is not just about words such as 'subsidiarity' and 'ratification'. Yesterday, along the Royal Mile, away from the official talks, there was concern for languages 'too small to survive in Greater Europe'.

Professor Mike Cooley, a consultant to the European Community on the future use of technology, told the 'Other Summit' that one little-known Nordic language had 45 words to describe movements of the sea. 'English, for example, now has virtually only two: stormy and calm,' said Prof Cooley. Tonight, if the EC's leaders fail to deliver something positive in Edinburgh, 'stormy' could be used to describe Mr Major's return to the Commons. Douglas Hurd, however, was reported to be remaining calm.

The Other Summit, a parallel gathering in The Mound's assembly hall, is playing host to green politicians and alternative economists worried about the environmental impact of the EC's renewed commitment to growth.

Prof Cooley, delivering yesterday's keynote address, was not only concerned with language. The growth in markets for cars was a worry. Eastern Europe will offer new opportunities for Western manufacturers. 'Do they know that since it was invented 30 million people have been killed by cars? That is like all the deaths in the Crusades in one week.' European technology was the result of a culture dominated by 'white male capitalist warrior heroes'.

Influencing Edinburgh's gathered warrior-heroes (via 2,000 visiting journalists) is the aim of the many demonstrations and conferences organised around the summit. Some 1,500 people marched along Princes Street yesterday in the hope of saving the Scottish battalions earmarked for extinction by the Ministry of Defence.

Yesterday Scotland's fishermen protested against the EC proposal to reintroduce a conservation measure aimed at keeping them tied up in port for 190 days a year.

Today Edinburgh is expected to see the largest street demonstration of the summit with a march organised by groups demanding a devolved Scottish parliament or outright independence. They claim thousands will turn up, angry that, while the EC leaders discuss the importance of subsidiarity and the devolution of power to Europe's regions, Mr Major's idea of subsidiarity starts in Brussels and stops in London.