Is It Time For The Occupy London Protesters To Go Home?
Published 31 October 2011
I confess that I’ve never taken part in a protest in my entire life. So you could say that I don’t understand what the Occupy London movement is trying to achieve. I’m trying to remember the last time that a protest was successful in London – and I really can’t recall any in recent memory.
We had huge protests over the Iraq and Afghanistan wars – but our forces are still over there. We have had various protests over the years – from tuition fees to protests about human rights in China in front of the Chinese Embassy, but as far as I know the fees keep rising and China hasn’t listened. The only protests that I can recall being successful were the ones in Egypt and Tunisia, but those turned violent.
Here in the UK, the protesters are softies. We do have some rogue militants wreacking havoc once in a while during peaceful protests. But its the violence that really strikes fear into the heart of the ruling classes – not some union members or students waving a wobbly bit of cardboard banner.
I’m not one to advocate violence – what I am advocating is that if you’re going to protest peacefully, you might as well not protest at all. Take the Occupy London, and the Occupy Wall Street movements. How many days has it gone on already? What have they achieved? Nothing. Its just a bunch of people with no jobs to go to during the day, no family or financial obligations, venting their anger and frustration. They’re not even hardy enough to stay out in front of St Paul’s Cathedral at night in a tent. I doubt the bankers at Goldman Sachs and the politicians at the Bank of England are losing sleep at night wondering whether they’ll be prosecuted for crimes against the people, let alone hanged or burned at the stake.
So my message to the protestors is this: go home. At least do something useful like work, and contribute to the country’s economy. If what you are trying to do really is in the interest of the general public, there would be thousands of people out on the streets and the population at large would be ostracising bankers. Instead, you’re wasting the MET Police’s already stretched funding, you’re scaring away tourists from London (a valuable source of revenue for the economy), and you’re costing the St Paul’s Cathedral significant amounts of lost revenue – which they would have otherwise put to good charitable use. Clearly you’ve tried, over the last few weeks, to raise a popular protest. But in case you haven’t realised, the successful protests, the ones in Egypt and Tunisia, gathered momentum and the support of the people within days of starting.