Friday, October 28, 2011

Pastor Joke

I'm on the road  - school holidays aaargh! - so forgive the briefness of this blog, because as always the outside world ceases to exist when you have three kids to entertain. I really should learn to plan ahead and schedule blogs days in advance, but planning isn't my forte and isn't likely to be.

My eye has been taken by the Occupy London protest unfolding in fascinating fashion outside St Paul's Cathedral, in the heart of London's Square Mile. I aim to return to it in more detail next week (not least the sinister doings of the Corporation of the City of London, and its weird ancient prerogatives, which essentially make it a fiefdom within London), by which time the protesters are likely to have been evicted thanks in no small part to those in charge of St Pauls, who have been all too willing to react in preposterously queeny fashion and do the bidding of the their City betters. First they closed the cathedral to the public when the protesters made camp, despite there being no obvious reason to; now they have issued a statement saying they will ask the police (the City of London has its own force) to evict the protesters. Not because of their protest. No, they respect that right, of course they do. It's because the campers have broken the heinous law of 'reasonable use of a highway.' To back up their case, St Paul's hired a five-year-old to draw this map:

Realising that forcefully evicting peaceful protesters from near a place of worship might send, um, rather mixed messages, the cathedral chancellor, Canon Giles Fraser, resigned from his position. His colleagues were rather less conciliatory and the chances are we'll see a bit of Godly violence wielded by the saintly cops on those devil sent anti-capitalist before too long.

The press (you knew I was going to bring them into it...) have also been doing their bit to show the protesters up for the slacking sinners they are, unlike those angelic folks in the City, where it was also announced that directors pay in the top 100 FTSE companies had risen 49 per cent in the last year, on account of them having done so well. The economy is on its knees, and the companies they work for have failed to make any noticeable profit, but still, well done chaps, trebles all round.

Back to the press. The right-wing papers reported with glee, after getting their hands on thermal imaging equipment, that half the tents were empty. Meaning, they were all well-fed guys and gals who were protesting part-time and then going home at night to comfy beds, square meals and all night IPad blowouts like all good capitalists.

Look! Empty tents...

Except, there was one thing wrong  with this story. That it was a total lie. Watch this video:

My first thought, after the obvious one about media lies, was to wonder how bad thermal imaging cameras were. If  I'm ever trapped in a tent in a snowdrift, I'll take my chances with a St Bernard dog, thanks.

Still, the harm was done. Expect baton charges by the middle of next week.

More to follow as they say.


Dan - Friday


  1. There are a couple of other issues that I can't understand: why are they there and not in the City? And what do they want?

    I agree with the silly tactics by St Pauls are indeed driven by those holding the purse strings a few hops and skips away in the City, and I also think there is good cause to protest against the strange practices that have no doubt got us into this economic mess. But, for any protest to be effective, it needs to be well placed and have a clear message.

    Great post!


  2. That's a great video. I wish that over here in the States every media distortion could be answered like that. Some are.

    Last night on Keith Olbermann's show with Michael Moore, a veteran, Sgt. Shamar Thomas, who had gone to Occupy Wall Street and tried to protect protesters from club-swinging police -- and was then hit by the cops himself -- said that 25 veterans were there.

    Olbermann said that the right wing said that wasn't possible, that no military people were there and that they "rented uniforms" to put on to go to the Occupy Wall Street protest. (One can't make this stuff up!)

    It's great what's going on here across the country and in London and elsewhere. Lots of interesting activities on Oct. 15 globally and many continue.

    And Occupy Oakland is now on everyone's mind since the police assault and the terrible injury of veteran Marine Scott Olson, which, due to TV, You Tube, Google news, Twitter and every social media, got out all around the country.

    Well, things are changing over here. The majority of people support these "Occupy" protests and see the huge income gap now and that it's growing. And soon the huge Wall Street bonuses are coming and the Senate Super Committee cuts of $1.5 trillion.

    Will any of us be able to see a doctor at all and will we be denied emergency care with appendicitis or treatment for cancer? It's a scary time for millions of people.

    Glad you're representing Londoners here!

  3. How sad that church folks try to find roundabout ways to oppose such protests. I liked Martin Luther King's way better. A Baptist minister, he was out in the middle of it making it work in the name of Jesus.

  4. Helena, yes it's all a bit woolly. But as Jeffrey said a few weeks ago, when he was the first to draw attention to the protests, it's still good to see. Something has to be done, if only at first it's howling into the void. Aims and detailed plans can follow.

    kathy, you prove the point. What started out as aimless and undefined is now growing in momentum. Your average Joe might not know why people are camping out on the streets, but he knows that there's something wrong about the disparity between his wage, which he sweats blood for, and the obscene wages those on Wall St earn, despite the failures of their companies and the impact that failure has on his livelihood, and soon they will coalesce. Those people might not be rushing to camp out for nights on end, but they'll know something is rotten and has to change. It might take years, decades even, but the hope is people will realise that undemocratic financial instituions wield way too much power, over us and the people we elect to represent us.

    Joe, I agree. Boy is there a gap here for an MLK figure to step into, not that they come along that often. The church might also want to re-read the stuff about the meek inheriting the earth, not just the greedy.

  5. I wonder what those cameras would show lies (sp) inside the the heads of those status quo prayerful ones who think this whole movement will fade away come the first snowfall?

    It will be particularly interesting watching the church cast them out around Christmas time. Mangers anyone?