Occupy London 85

I thought I might wander down to Occupy London and chat to them about the lessons I feel might be drawn from my life experience working for government. I particularly wanted to outline the seamless link between western government promotion of dictatorships and terrible human rights abuses abroad, the undertaking of illegal wars for resources and the sucking up of internal resources in our country for the benefit of the wealthy.

I then want to relate that to the narrowing of the space of debate for legitimate political debate or action. Whether you are against the war in Afghanistan or against the bank bailouts, you are at the very least part of a very large minority in the country, yet none of the established political parties will represent you and your viewpoint is virtually never given a media airing.

Can anyone let me know how this idea to give a talk might work in practice? I haven’t been invited and I am not sure if they have any facility for listening to guest speakers, and if so if they would have any interest in listening to me.

85 thoughts on “Occupy London

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  • kathz

    I’m not sure how this would work but I’ve sent the link on Twitter to @OccupyLSX with a link to @CraigMurrayOrg as well – they may reply to your Twitter feed. Hope this helps. I have no connection but am following from a distance.

  • Ian

    i think The One Show, took an investmaent banker round to occupy london campsite, who gave a talk & invited questions from them, try that Craig

  • A

    You could contact Richard Murphy (@RichardJMurphy) who was a guest speaker at Occupy London on the first Saturday of the occupation – he should have contact details.

  • craig Post author


    Thanks. That’s very kind of you. I am ashamed to say that while we have linked the blog to twitter to automatically notify new blog posts, I have no idea how to find an incoming twitter message. Can any of the moderators help?

  • mary

    We could all try using this tactic. Obomber’s page was swamped with 90,000 messages from the Tunisians.
    Myriam Dridi After #TrollingObama and #TrollingSarkozy, Tunisians are #TrollingNetanyahu now #Hilarant#Haha
    Oct 30 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

  • Sic Narcozy

    I should take along a big handkerchief or something in case the filth decide to pepper-spray you.

  • Parky

    Soon the protest camp will go off the news agenda as it will no longer be news and with winter on the way many will go home and it will be forgotten about. Not enough people are personally affected yet to be bothered, but give it time….

  • kathz

    Go to Twitter.com and search on @craigmurrayorg – these responses so far:

    humbleetc David Cullen
    @CraigMurrayOrg …around for advice about how to go about it, what’s best time, what’s appropriate, how to let people know it’s happening
    1 minute ago
    David Cullen
    humbleetc David Cullen
    @CraigMurrayOrg Think it’s quite an anarchic space (in the non-parjorative sense), so you can probably just organise it, but just ask….
    2 minutes ago
    Martin O’Neill
    DrNostromo Martin O’Neill
    @CraigMurrayOrg Just go and talk to some of the group, I’m sure they would be interested in what you have to say. I visited last week.
    1 hour ago
    Martin Coxall
    Grabcocque Martin Coxall
    @CraigMurrayOrg One of the things that most puzzles me about them is the way they seem content only to speak to themselves.

    Busy day so can’t do more. With any luck someone will find their way to the blog and leave a message.

  • Komodo

    And how many of us here do not have accounts with a highly profitable bank?

    Strikes me a few account transfers would be a good idea, either into the Co-op Bank or a genuine building society. Pay by cash wherever possible; every non-cash transaction gives a rakeoff to a bank. STOP BUYING STUFF.

  • John Goss

    Komodo, I agree. I’ve been with the Co-op for nearly 30 years and apart from an incident in France when I had to go into a bank because my card did not work I’ve had no real problems. The thing that appeals to me most is its policy on ethical investment and that’s why I will not be changing banks for the immediate future.

  • mary

    Afraid to say that they do not support the boycott of Israeli goods produced on stolen Palestinian land John and are still stocking them in their increasingly large supermarket chain. ‘Goud with foud’ as you know.

  • ingo

    You must talk to them Craig, I’m sure you could arange it. I’m sure you won’t run into anybody from what is loosely termed as opposition at St. pauls.

    I think a talk about the three political parties, their allegiances with high finance, Adam Werrity and Liam Fox plans for more wars, and why one should organise for a concerted Independent alternative at the next election should go down well. I hope that you can speak freely.

    I’m a little immobilised at present, so can’t join you, as much as I would like to, my ‘Beckham’ will keep me at home for the next 4-8weeks.
    Whatever you do, charge your battery and record it on your phone, or such like, so you can make a podcast from it.

  • Vronsky

    The Coop sponsors New Labour MPs – hardly an ethical investment.
    “Independent alternative”
    Suggest you call the new party ‘None of the above”

  • Komodo

    Partially true, Mary; the Co removed W. Bank settlement produce in 2009, but retains Golan Heights products, also “anonymous” goods from major Israeli distribution chains. However, unlike M&S, Sainsbury or Tesco, you can easily become a member of the Co-op, and obtain representation in policy decisions.
    And as Israeli products are very difficult to avoid, in any food outlet, you can simply not buy them.

  • Komodo

    The Co-op sponsors Labour MP’s? True, but so what? It is one of the few surviving mechanisms of the original workers’ movement. Which is what Labour needs, as a party, to rediscover. Anyway, your choice. The Diamonds and Goodwins need your support. I believe there are some nice hedge funds needing your support, too. You can bet on the collapse of Western civilisation there, if you like.

  • Parah Salin

    Just go down there! You wont understand it until you do. It’s not a hierarchal system on purpose. If they have organized like they are in the US, they’ll all vote on whether they should let you speak,then you can talk. I think they probably know most of this – like expecting things to change by voting is like wishing up a pipe. It’s just not going to get the job done letting politicians set the terms oor parameters of the debate. if it worked no one would be in the street.

  • craig Post author


    Thanks. I should make plain I am not claiming greater wisdom, just some knowledge to share of what it looks like inside the belly of the beast.

  • Parah Salin

    Go here: http://twitter.com/#!/CraigMurrayOrg
    Login = mucho importante!
    click on home
    click on mentions

    click on the individual messages to see the replies or conversations, they should fly out in a panel to the right.

    twitter becomes useful when you FOLLOW people, so that when you go to your home page you see their tweets listed in the timeline.
    It’s like an RSS feed. Just add them..
    @rattlecans is a good person to follow, #ukuncut or #occupyLSX are tags and you can use them for searches.
    It’s not too much of a learning curve, you should really try it. it’s fun. You should keep another tab open to the help page to make it easy on yourself.

  • Parah Salin

    Oh, but you do have greater wisdom and it would be wonderful for you to go down there and offer your body as well. I think if you would be very valuable for tactical planning ideas or guidance. Your participation can only make it stronger, raise spirits and attract more attention. Are they leading the news with the protests? They are here now. I’m in Oakland so the news really gives me a chuckle. The reporters are giving the mayor Jean Quan admonitions that the police actions are only making the protest grow bigger!

    BTW, i follow you on twitter. My handle is shekissesfrogs

  • mary

    Try writing to them Komodo and see the mealy mouthed response you get. ….We must give our members choice blah blah….
    All I could find in my e-mail files

    Despite the Co-operative family of businesses’ ethical image, the shelves of its supermarkets and high street stores have been found to carry Israeli products, including Carmel mangoes, sweet potatoes, peppers, sweet peppers (grown by Sulat), cherry tomatoes, herbs, passion fruit, Jaffa oranges and own brand tinned grapefruit.
    The Co-op has faced pickets and repeated representations from consumers and campaigners over its sale of produce from illegal settlements and Israeli produce. In the last year, criticism has centred around the sale of settlement produce. For example, campaigners attended the Co-operative Group South East Region General Meeting in January 2008 and raised concerns about the ethics of selling settlement produce. The Co-op board undertook to look into conditions on settlement farms. Throughout the year, the issue was raised with Co-op management by members of the Co-op and its customers.

    On the 5th January 2009 Len Wardle, Co-operative Group chair, wrote:
    “The Co-operative Group board has decided to suspend sourcing products from illegal West Bank settlements. However, we will continue to trade with Israel and will seek to develop trading links with Palestinian farmers. The Co-operative Group only rarely curtails trade with particular countries or regions. However, in the case of the illegal settlement in the Israeli controlled occupied territories, it has proven to be all but impossible to ensure that supplies derived from the region are not perpetuating injustice and unfair terms of trade. We will no longer source dates, grapes and a number of herbs from the illegal West Bank settlements and will be phasing out the use of similar items from our own brand products.”
    In making this statement, the Co-op is the first store to base its reasons for ceasing the sale of settlement goods on ethical concerns. The statement is weaker in some ways than that of M&S, but only in that it precludes the sale of West Bank goods and not produce from the Golan Heights. It is also unclear whether the Co-op’s definition of the West Bank includes East Jerusalem. Moreover, the Co-operative Group does not make any assurance that it will not sell products in its stores supplied by companies which source products from both the settlements and 1948 Israel, such as Hadiklaim, M-Tex and Carmel Agrexco.
    In November 2008, YNet claimed that the Co-op had met with the Co-op Israel (a separate organisation) and agreed to open a chain of kosher supermarkets which will be equally owned by Co-op Israel and the UK Co-op. The UK Co-op has refuted this claim but admitted that a meeting took place with Co-op Israel.
    On 16th February, 2009, students at the University of Aberdeen protested at the university’s Elphinstone Hall, where Co-op members were meeting, to pressure the food retailer to ban all Israeli products from its stores. A Co-op representative at the meeting said a motion on the subject of Israeli goods was due to be discussed by the organisation’s executive.

    The Co-operative Group
    Customer Relations
    Freepost MR9473
    Email: [email protected]

  • technicolour

    yes, the whole point about Occupy London is that it’s non-hierarchical. Assange turned up, with press in tow, and they had a vote on whether he should speak (they agreed). Compared with the peace movement, I think they are doing extremely well, tactically and morally. The Express and Star are demonising them today (warning of ‘bloodshed’ as though it is a threat from the protesters rather than a threat to them). But the Telegraph comments pages have been continually full of support. Surely anyone should go down and if they want to speak, ask to speak – probably via the media tent.

  • Komodo

    Yes, that’s on their website too, Mary. Anyway, that’s up to you. The main advantage of the Co for me is that it isn’t Tesco. And its bank isn’t HSBC. Many financiers are of the opinion that the best place for your savings is a sock, anyway.
    From the Co’s website, again (under Ethical Policy)
    “We will not finance organisations that impede access to basic human necessities, eg safe drinking water or vital medicines.”
    That would seem to include the Israeli government, maybe it’s worth pushing a little harder.
    As I said, it’s up to you. It’s not perfect, but it is better than handing a multinational kleptocorporation a piece of the action every time you pay a bill. Many financiers are of the opinion that these days the best place for your savings is a sock, anyway.

  • Komodo

    Looks to me as if he dragged in a gratuitous and irrelevant reference to the Holocaust (a la BBC, almost daily) and EH binned it. Good.

  • craig Post author

    While the system of turning up and then waiting while there is a discussion on whether to hear you sounds very good, when you live 80 miles away it could result in a fruitless expeniture of resource if the answer were no. There are advantages to the old fashioned idea of knowing in advance if you are welcome!

  • angrysoba

    Can anyone let me know how this idea to give a talk might work in practice? I haven’t been invited and I am not sure if they have any facility for listening to guest speakers, and if so if they would have any interest in listening to me.

    I am sure none of them have been invited either so I don’t see what would be the problem of turning up unless it has all gone a bit Lord of the Flies.
    Aren’t they in a public place? I think you should just turn up; it’s a free country.

  • Komodo

    It is better to travel hopefully than to arrive.

    And you will be able to talk to the individuals, whether or not you harangue the masses…

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