Sunday 23 October 2011

Anti-capitalist or Pro-Justice?

The Lord Mayor of London, is reported to have complained that the protest outside St Paul's Cathedral is not a positive protest for jobs but " 'anti-this' and 'anti- that' (so) it's difficult to get a handle on how to respond." (Guardian 22/10/2011). This is not Boris Johnson but a Sir Michael Bear, who is Lord Mayor of the City of London. According to its website he is elected for one year, though they don't say by whom, and is, they claim somewhat improbably "apolitical."

According to Polly Toynbee's summary in the Guardian on 18/10/11 (yes I know that if I were a half-decent observer I should go for primary sources, but I haven't time) the occupiers believe;

1. That the cuts are neither necessary nor inevitable.
2. That regulators should be independent of the organisations they regulate.
3. That our democracy should represent the people rather than corporations.

and they support:
4. Global tax justice.
5. The strike by public service providers on 30th November.
6. The student strike on 9th November.
7. Actions to defend our health services, welfare, education and employment.
8. Actions to end wars and arms dealing.

That sounds a pretty positive manifesto to me and I subscribe to most of it. (I have reservations about the public service strike, which seems to be mainly about pensions, but that's a subject for another post).

In my view the Church would be fulfilling its mission of trying to bring about the Kingdom "on earth as it is in heaven" if it were solidly behind the movement rather than hiding behind weasel words of "health and safety." I also regret that the BBC reports the "health and safety" issue as a fact rather than an excuse.

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