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Audioboo / The Bowyers

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Audioboo / The Bowyers.

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Written by edparnell

October 4, 2012 at 2:09 pm

Posted in By Ed Parnell, Comedy

Hi. Just wanted to say something about Occupy movement…

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You may know me. Well, you are reading my blog of news and interest, so I am assuming you do.

The scene outside the stock Exchange in London is more reminiscent of the way Glastonbury looks at the festival. Tents lay strewn around, their owners standing steadfast in the face of opposition from the authorities.

But this is something more than the riots saw last Summer. This seems, at present, to be a peaceful and motivated movement. The people are quiet, reserved but determined. And there is little in the way of litter or detritus on the pavements or outside St Pauls.

The issue lies, they say, with the ongoing alleged greed of the minority – in this case called ‘the one percent’, who, say the protestors have systematically ruined the economy and – and this is the main point of their protest – gotten away with it.

It’s a strange contrast to the scenes last August, when scarcely had the riots been dealt with than every Minister and representative was jumping on the ‘they are scum’ band wagon. The muted reaction goes someway to demonstrating the careful and precarious lines the politicians in Britain are walking. Condemn and risk a backlash, stay silent and look weak.

The portrayal of the protestors has also been a more palatable set of references. Last Summer barely disguised contempt for people – whether involved in the riots or not – who happen to be unemployed in bad areas was rife. A lack of education. Poor life chances. Organised gangs coercing the vulnerable into criminal acts. All the usual metaphors and hyperbole was there. Now, with the protests outside St Pauls Catherdral, the mantra is different. Different because the people are different. These are people from all walks of life, not just the subjugated. These are accounts people. Doctors. Policemen. These are the middle class whom the Governments – indeed successive Governments have sought to impress and get close to. They are not the disenfranchised, the street gangs. To pigeon hole them would be political suicide, whatever the hue of your politics.

And therefore their points are assumed to have some gravitas. That these people are claiming they are paying the price for the leaders and corporations and banks mistakes, whether they are or not, and are prepared to demonstrate the strength of their feelings by camping out for as one protestor put it ‘as long as it takes’ is a testament to their frustration, be it real or imagined.

But the other problem, and one which is underlined is the subtext of the couple of last sentences. They are the middle class and worth listening to. By implication this is a denial of anyone below that sphere of existence having anything to say at all, let alone someone listen. This was the main cause of the riots. Not listening. And when Governments don’t listen, they don’t have to reply. And that is not democracy.

Personal take

Whether you agree with the demonstrators or not, whether you accept their claims or not, the fact is there are people starving in Britain. There are more homeless people. There are less life chances for less well off children than ever before. The culture of greed which most of us embraced has run out of food and is biting us. We cannot blame the arrogant rich for behaving as we would like the chance to, but what we can expect, and what makes people even angrier, is the absence of fairness.

Written by edparnell

October 18, 2011 at 4:23 pm

Posted in Articles, By Ed Parnell

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