Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Wake up, London!

St Paul's Cathedral, London 16 October 2011

What is happening? A few months ago, we witnessed people rioting and looting our High Street stores. Last week we saw the peaceful and organised occupation of an area of the City of London. People are waking up and realising that they can have an impact by acting and speaking out. I don't condone violence and law breaking of course, but I am heartened to witness people speaking out and questioning the way things are done. It is time for change. 

I haven't been back to St Paul's since the first weekend of occupation when I smiled at the organised tent city with signs for just about everything - indicating where to get food and where to recycle for example. There was no violence and there was no squalor. People wanted to speak and be heard and must have been surprised by the warm welcome they received from the Church.

Now it is a fortnight later and the mighty cathedral is closed to tourists and losing its financial lifeblood of circa £20,000 a day. The tent city has to move on but is not showing signs of uprooting. The PR aspect of the story is interesting. Tales of "Swampy" and his mates, of "lentils for breakfast" scroungers abound.The reality is that these are people just like me. People who are sick of seeing the way that their future has been sold off and their children's futures hang in the balance. We have all been sold down the line with the ransacked pension funds, colossal student fees, impossible mortgages and ever increasing fuel bills.

We have a government that can't do anything constructive to help the 99 per cent who are suffering. A government that is more out of touch with reality than ever before. It makes me weep to hear that nearly 3,000 people died last year because they couldn't risk turning their heating on! They reckon it will double this year - and yet some people had their winter fuel benefit cut.

How can that be right?

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