These #occupy demonstrations at St Paul’s Cathedral are brilliantly revealing.
It’s like a Pepsi Advert. They are talking a different language to the rest of the world and getting nowhere fast.
The stunt in St Paul’s Cathedral churchyard is from the ‘media friendly’ humous-munchin’ cool-campin’ demo-hashin’ building-trashin’ revolution-mashin’ police-bashin’ wibble-generatin’ Starbucks-lovin’ anti-capitalist campaigners who have been doing PR stunts for 2 years now.
And still they have not found a political message that has any bearing on reality.
The self-declared representatives of the cruelly oppressed 99% majority who have been camping out in the middle of cruel October in sympathy with the victims turn out mostly to have been … at home tucked up in bed.
Please let me know if you have any problems viewing the video, as it is the first time I have embedded one at Anna Raccoon.
Given their rhetoric, it’s marvellous how the protestors attempt to prevent someone with a camera filming in a public place, when much of their campaign has been based on intruding on other people in non-public places.
Congratulations to the Telegraph on a piece of brilliant exposé journalism, which has collapsed the #oslx credibility balloon.
The movement has consistently claimed that it is ‘non-violent’, critiquing capitalism through ‘peaceful protest’, yet in the last 2 years we have seen:
- Millbank trashed by a violent assault.
- Various occupations of various universities, shops and any number of other venues.
- A variety of demonstrations, many of which have also turned violent. Do you remember Cenotaph Charlie, who was observed democratically hefting rocks to throw, setting fires in the doorway of a government building, dismantling safety fences, running with the mob which attacked Prince Charles’ convoy, and shouting “They broke the moral law, we’re going to break all the laws.”? Peaceful protestor Charlie’s most persuasive excuse was that he was too pissed out of his brain to know what he was doing.
- Leading protestors amongst the anticuts movement celebrating the summer riots, and seemingly not giving a sh*t when ordinary people are burned out of their homes.I give you, for example, Jody McIntyre or “people cleaning up after riots represent the physiognomy of an old fascism restored” (*) Simon Bard-Rosenberg. The piece has since unsurprisingly been deleted from the Third Estate, where it was first published, and from UK Uncut, where it was republished.
Jody has – inevitably – been down at St Paul’s, still with his head wedged firmly in his own rear end, still happily fantasising away as if this was an Arab dictatorship, and he was a member of a new class of home-brewed urban Messiahs brought to Sesame Street by the letter J.
- At Dale Farm a fortnight ago they tried to turn the simple enforcement of planning into a farrago, with comparisons to human-rights atrocities, ethnic cleansing and police states.
- The ‘Jonnie lost-his-Marbles’ assault on Rupert Murdoch, disrupting normal Parliamentary process. Yes, of course Jonnie turned up to Dale Farm to use that episode to further the revolution.
At each stage, those publicising themselves as ‘peaceful’ have signally failed to distance themselves from their twins who have embraced violence, whilst being willing to co-ordinate their actions.
They have made risible comparisons of themselves with protests against dictatorships, such as Egypt and Libya, while disrupting rather than using the democratic process of our own democracy.
And they have, over two years, failed to come up with any coherent political proposals.
The movement in St Pauls Churchyard includes the same groups as have all the other events. This, for example, is a photo of a cash machine in the area with posters from various groups on the unhinged left, most of which have defended previous violence.
Events at St Pauls were kicked off by Rev Giles Fraser welcoming the protestors, an admirer of historic groups such as the Diggers, who previously held seminars in their memory at his parish church in Putney.
My view is that Fr Giles allowed his radical sympathies to run away with him, and he welcomed the protest without either being aware of the thoroughly unpleasant groups at the core, or thinking through how the Cathedral would cope should the Protestors suddenly expand their operation 10-fold and refuse to co-operate. This was perhaps both slightly naive and slightly idiotic.
As the Canon in charge of the Cathedral’s Teaching Programme, and not the boss (ie Dean), I suspect Fraser may have gone way beyond his own authority, and has now probably had a very genteel strip torn off him, the Cathedral having been caught in the elephant trap he created.
A cleric of my acquaintance describes St Paul’s as “hoisted by their own petard”. He’s right.
They have left themselves vulnerable to conspiracy theories such as that put forward by leading left-commentator Richard Murphy of Tax Research UK, with no evidence whatsoever, that the Dean and Chapter are glove puppets for the City Figures who are trustees of the fund raising body for the Cathedral restoration trust, the St Pauls Foundation:
Hmmm, let’s see the sort of people who govern St Paul’s. Of course there are the clergy. They’re listed in here.
But the St Paul’s Foundation gives more clue about who really influence things.
… (list of trustees omitted for brevity) …
And the St Paul’s Foundation is going to provide an objective report on the protests in the City? I have my doubts.
The St Paul’s Foundation has no role in running the Cathedral, shares only one member with the the Dean and Chapter, and provide no reports about public affairs to anyone (that’s the Dean and Chapter) so this is simply mischevious.
The conspiracy theory was, however, immediately asserted as fact by Occupy London supporters, and St Pauls suddenly changed from being sympathetic supporters of protest to evil lackeys of capitalism in the twinkling of an eye.
Any number of charitable organisations have strong links with and support from City Companies, so I wait for all of those to be subject to similar denunciations.
Looking at the facts on the ground, it is church organisations which have provided the backbone of support for the real downtrodden in London, such as homless people, for centuries, rather than demonstrators pitching their tents, drinking their corporate Starbucks coffee, and going home to sleep in their own beds.
These demonstrators are not the 99%. They are the noisy 1% trolling around the country in their portable wibble-bubble, demanding that money which doesn’t exist must be spent on meeting their
The real 99% are getting on with trying to help the country recover from a recession and the consequences of a government which took tomorrow’s money and spent it yesterday without though for the future.
The St Paul’s protestors have had their opportunity to publicise their cause, after two years have shown themselves to have precisely nothing substantive to contribute, and are now a mere obstruction.
So I’d suggest that it is now purely a policing and public order matter; treat it as such.
One thing I will say though, is that St Paul, as a tentmaker and publicist-for-a-cause himself, would smile at their productivity and media manipulation skills:
Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them. 4 Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.
St Paul didn’t cock up his PR quite so badly as both the #oslx protestors and the Cathedral, though.