A New York Times reporter was held hostage for 9 hours in the toy factory that manufacturers the famous Thomas & Friends toy rail sets when he found that it was run by “a gang of armed, unaccountable outlaws who control the police and the government”.
The scene was farcical. We were locked inside the factory gate, surrounded by 16 security guards and 4 or 5 factory bosses. All trucks trying to bring supplies in or out of the complex were rerouted. Inside, large crowds of factory workers in blue uniforms were gawking. A crowd had also gathered outside the gates.
The police arrived an hour later, listened to both sides and then stood around. More police officers came. And more police officers stood around. It was clear they had no power to intervene.
When we were released early Tuesday from a local police station, where we were sent to fill out a report, we noticed that while our translator was giving an account of the day to the police, the factory bosses were laughing and dining in another room, making the nexus of power in these parts and in this age ever more clear.
What would Ringo make of all this?