- Politics and Social Issues
Occupy London: Differing views.
The Occupy the London Stock Exchange Movement’s tents still stand outside St. Paul’s Cathedral, and at Finsbury Circle, London, although an eviction notice has been issued against the individuals camping there. News reporters solicit the views of passers-by on whether they should be there or not. ‘The Moral Maze’ a BBC Radio4 radio programme debated the moral issues behind the protest. The Church of England engages with the young protesters, who, in, turn try to co-operate with the Church.
The Bankers and the city gents thought that they should be removed, but then, to paraphrase Mandy Rice Johnson, they would, wouldn’t they. However, those same protesters stood in silence at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, as all respectful people do, to remember the fallen. Remembrance Weekend was a busy one in London, with The Lord Mayor’s Show on Saturday and The Remembrance Day service at the Cenotaph and the March Past by the Veterans on Sunday. The protesters promised that they would not obstruct either event, spokesperson Naomi Colvin, said: "It will be a day of reflection and making sure the site looks as pristine as possible. We're going to keep things calm and serene so we can pay our respects. We will not be detracting from what goes on. Obstructing it would be bad; overshadowing it would be as bad. We will stay out of the way”.
The business community says it cannot understand what the protesters demands are. The Occupy demands might be a little woolly, but they express the huge anger within the British people. The business community would do well to begin understanding that anger. The British Prime Minister showed his incomprehension at that anger when he appeared before a select committee in the House of Commons. On being asked about the Occupy camp, he said, "Protest is to me a separate issue. It is certainly a right that people have.
"But I have got this rather quaint view - you shouldn't be able to erect tents all over the place. "I think protesting is something you, on the whole, should do on two feet, rather than lying down - in some cases in a fairly comatose state." Actually, the British People did march in protest many times, but nobody listened. People marched against the bankers and the fat cats. They marched against the cuts to their public services. They marched against the pay freezes, job losses, and job cuts. Marching in protest did not work.
The Business secretary Vince Cable showed far more understanding, saying, "I have sympathy with the emotions that lie behind it.” Some of their recommendations aren't terribly helpful, but that's not the point." He went on to clarify his stance, saying that he understood that people were angry that a small group of people have done extremely well out of the recession, while millions are struggling and being hurt financially by a slump, which they did not cause. That is the anger behind the Occupy London camp, an anger that many British people feel as they struggle by, coping with pay freezes, pay cuts, losing the Public Services on which they rely, high utility prices, losing jobs and homes, as the recession bites. Hearing that top people’s pay rose by nearly 50% last year, whilst ordinary people’s pay was either static or rose by 2.4%, when inflation is 5% , and that the bankers and financial gamblers still get their bonuses, their golden hellos and golden handshakes.
Whilst the movement moved on from St. Paul's and Finsbury Park, it continues to occupy buildings in London and elsewhere to make a point about the fat cats, who caused the recession and the ordinary folk, who are paying for it. The movement has expanded and exposes tax dodgers, corporations, celebrity and those in the public eye. It now part of a collection of groups called "Occupy Britain", which have formed across the United Kingdom. It spokespersons appear on television, radio and in newspapers speaking about corporate malfeasance, tax dodging, the cuts, poverty, unfairness and inequality, caused by the recession and many other issues.
The Occupy movements’ demands may be a little confused, but they express an anger prevalent in many British people, as one of the Occupy protesters placards read “We don’t need you, You need us” presumably directed at the city of London and the Government. Mr. Cameron and others would do well to ponder that message. To try to discredit the movement by attempting to paint them as comatose, or lazy, is a very stupid move. Every time, one of their spokespersons speaks their very reasonableness, understanding, logic and voices belie that impression. The Occupy protesters represent a far wider perception, and the howl of anger, from the British people, who are tired of corruption, scandals, greed and politicians. it is time that those issues were addressed and we truly were “all in this together”.