Deborah Ross: Fearless reporting from a pop-up tent


Click to follow
The Independent Online

If you ask me, I am full of admiration for reporters from, in particular, the right-wing press who have "infiltrated" the Occupy London protest at St Paul's Cathedral and have "gone undercover" with absolutely no thought for their own safety even though there was every chance they might be exposed to all kinds of horrors such as "Hanging Out" and "Attending a Mélange of Ad Hoc Meetings" and "Having to Put My Hood Up in the Rain".

Plus, in all instances, as far as I could ascertain, such reporters have gone in armed only with a tent, possibly purchased from Blacks on expenses, but theirs to keep from now on. As Marie Colvin, the famed war reporter, would have told me if only I actually knew Marie Colvin, the famed war reporter: "I think it's remarkably brave to infiltrate such a situation and attend a mélange of ad hoc meetings with your hood either up or down. However, please don't quote me as it isn't anything I ever personally faced in Afghanistan or Iraq, where I wasn't even exposed to having to sit round a fire and drink tea before packing up my free tent and taking a taxi home."

Thanks to these "undercover" operations which involve purchasing items you get to keep and fearlessly manoeuvring outerwear to accommodate the weather, we now know the protest is a "joke" and it's all about "smoking pot" and "knocking back lager", which is sometimes all you can bravely say against people when you can't, for example, stick them with killing Diana, Princess of Wales. "It was not through want of trying," one such reporter would have told me if I knew such reporters, "but we had to make do with lager and pot stories in the end, just as you have to always somehow make do when you are working in perilous conditions and may need to put your hood up at any moment."

The reporters also discovered that while the protesters knew exactly what they were against, they could not suggest an alternative; a terrifying discovery for anyone who is against ambient jazz, for instance, and thought this was OK without having to think of anything that might take its place.

Anyway, I am, I confess, not sufficiently courageous to infiltrate Occupy London, but do plan to support the Occupy Everywhere movement by occupying my own home for as long as I'm able to pay the mortgage, and believe thermal imaging will not only prove this, but may also show me spooning up economy tinned soup (tomato) while, elsewhere, bankers get ever more rich and powerful. How is that? How does that work, exactly? I haven't the faintest. It's a mystery.