We were surprised to find a parking space alongside St Paul's Cathedral yesterday evening, but the photo journalist in Mrs Monk wanted to check out the week old tent-city that has sprung up to annoy David Cameron and Daily Mail readers.
We were told today that David Cameron could not sleep on the plane to Australia due to the economic crisis in the Euro Zone. However, he did find time down there to repeat the government refrain on the camping at St Paul’s. He said that he respected their right to protest, but he did not understand why they had to pitch a tent to make their protest.
On BBC Question Time last week a Tory spokeswoman said the same thing, and suggested that the protesters could set up camp in an “airfield”, where the media would be allowed to visit them and get their pictures and listen to their message. Either this person was giving a prearranged response that went wrong, or otherwise felt compelled to make this deranged response. I think I can safely say that Shoestringonline and the Daily Mail would be unlikely to visit an airfield unless it were Southend Airport on a Tuesday afternoon, but not at all if there were just one hippy that showed up. So, to show their opposition to David Cameron, the campers chose well and set up camp where they might be noticed, and not ignored.
Mrs Monk was therefore able to get her pictures. An unexpected benefit of our visit was a very entertaining hour or so of festive music, and chat to friendly, kind, committed protesters, who were willing to do something honourable and for no reward. Their actions were nevertheless characterised by a sneering Melanie Philips of the Daily Mail as a “self-indulgent exercise.”
This same week we learned that company director’s pay, rose by 50% in the last year, a time of supposed austerity. Daily Mail headlines and the repugnant Melanie Philips, complained about lost revenues for St Paul’s Cathedral, which is not a business corporation, but does have a gift shop and an embarrassing agenda.
Today we learned that the church commissioned a report on the issues that provoked this financial crisis and have failed to publish it. There is an almighty row going on within the church, and high profile albeit polite resignations. The church hierarchy is apparently embarrassed by their bogus excuses for closing the cathedral.
Local businesses around St Paul’s are actually flourishing and may well have increased their trade, selling camping attire to keep the campers cosy. Yo Sushi overlook the camp site, and may do well to consider sponsoring a camper. There are no rules.
If this proves profitable, I predict new campsites will spring up all over London, sponsored by fast food chains. People might visit a Wagamama Camp site. I would be a frequent visitor to a Wagamama camp site.
I digress, perhaps because I am hungry.
The New York campers suffered a snow storm today, but for the moment the London campers are comfortable. How will the church handle this situation, if the weather turns? Will the church let them in and feed them in the crypt cafe, or will they abandon them. The protesters, whoever they are, are going nowhere, and that is their message and their strength.
Tonight the Bishop Of London who failed to get wholehearted support of the clergy, appeared on the steps of St Paul’s and failed to rule out a forced removal of the protesters. The Monks are ready to be mobilised, if required.