Leading article: From protest camp to festival

 

Share
Related Topics

For all the laudable display of compromise, it is difficult not to feel a twinge of disappointment at the deal to allow the St Paul's protest camp to remain in the cathedral precincts until after Christmas, in return for removing those tents which block the thoroughfare.

Whatever else, the encampment is not, apparently, a very rebellious rebellion. Such easy accommodation with the prescriptions of the establishment render it more like a festival than a protest, a tourist attraction rather than the passionate outpourings of the disaffected.

That said, the Occupy protests – both here and around the world – have still achieved much. As even the Archbishop of Canterbury eventually realised, the St Paul's camp is only the most obvious expression of a growing national frustration. The irresponsible behaviour of bankers and regulators which caused the global financial meltdown – the consequences of which are now working their way through the lives of ordinary people – is essentially unchanged. Huge remuneration packages are still being paid to top executives as working people lose their jobs. Bankers' bonuses rack up as fast as the value of ordinary pensions plummet. There may be something inchoate, even incoherent, about the Occupy movement, but the issues it is complaining about echo in the conscience of the nation and should not be ignored.

Equally, there is something overdue about public protest and the growing impatience it signals among a younger generation whose parents succumbed to the lure of satiating consumerism and weary political fatalism. After the excitement of the student protest movements and agitation of the 1960s, a generation of Thatcher's children found a more individualist and materialist focus to their lives. But so much of the promise of their era – among other things, the liberation of the financial market at the City's Big Bang 25 years ago – has proved to have serious downsides.

Those asking questions about the ethics of finance, and its relationship with fairness and justice, have found eloquent voice with the return of protest to our streets. Even if they will go home by January as agreed.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Yvette Cooper campaigning in London at the launch of Labour’s women’s manifesto  

I want the Labour Party to lead a revolution in family support

Yvette Cooper
Liz Kendall  

Labour leadership contest: 'Moderniser' is just a vague and overused label

Steve Richards
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine