My grudging respect for the Occupy London Stock Exchange campaigners has all but dissolved on learning most of the tents that have forced St Paul’s Cathedral to close its doors are unoccupied at night.
The claim by the police, which I haven’t seen denied, means by regularly returning home for a shower and a warm bed – perhaps while holding down a job too – the protesters have missed out the bit about suffering for their cause.
It’s no wonder the happy campers are talking about sitting tight until Christmas and beyond, while the Cathedral and local businesses see their revenues evaporate.
I don’t doubt their sincerity; there is much to be angry about in an economic system which, having failed sends ordinary people not bankers to the financial wall.
But surely without the hardship of battling cold, wet nights, the protesters lose the moral high ground? It would be as though on hunger strike between meals.
For almost 50 years I’ve regretted not completing the 1962 Aldermaston CND march.
Applying the attitude of the St Paul’s protesters I should have jumped on a bus and then taken a train home. In fact that’s what I did; but it’s taken half a century to admit my lack of stamina and resolve.
Without the privation which laying tented siege to the City of London should entail, the fair weather protesters are little more than a nuisance.
The ‘best’ they can hope for is that a messy court battle to remove them will keep them in the headlines – and eventually the police will assume the role of capitalist lackeys and clear the tent sites with excessive force.
They have made their point (albeit a flimsy one as I complain in my previous post) and should go home. But they won’t; not when there is so much fun to be had.