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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  • Hugh Kerr

    I am sure you will be welcomed Craig and of course everyone should bank with the CO-OP I have been doing for over 40 years and it is the Co-op party that supports some Labour MPs.

  • MJ

    Mary: I enjoyed the quote from Bournemouth’s council leader:
    “We will go to any length necessary to make sure people’s weddings are not disrupted”
    Clearly a man of vision.

  • MJ

    Craig, it is a shame that you would consider the trip fruitless if you were unable to address the crowd. It might actually be better not to make a speech the first time. You could treat the visit as a learning exercise. Arrange to go back in a couple of days. Your speech will be better and it’ll give you time to arrange for someone with a decent camcorder to be there so you can put it on youTube.

  • ingo

    It is the LSE chairman who is irresponsible, as it is he who supports the rejection by Osborne and Cameron of a tobin tax, some paltry 0.1% on all financial trans actions. He onviously is also hell bent on loosing EU business by rejecting to join.

    These notions harking back to the bluerinse ideals of the 1980’s are so midlife crisis last Millenium that its almsot not worth discussing it with them. They have economists coming out of their sweat glands, if they so wish, and still they do not understand that the changes in the EU concern us, our markets and to reject more involvement at the centre, re negotiate a new Europe that is more equal to its citizens, they’ve lost the plot alltogether.

    Can they not see that our history has always been connected, from the Hanse of the 14th. century to now? would they like to see us going back to the EU of the 1950’s? why are they jeopardising their markets?

  • strangetown

    Hi Craig, I see your point about living 80 miles away. I live even further away (not that anyone would want to hear me talk lol).

    You may like to visit here and join up, some of the London members are directly involved in the camps: http://www.urban75.net/forums/

    Look for the threads in: protest, direct action and demos

    Obviously I can’t speak for them, but it may be a good starting point.

  • wendy

    just do a search on twitter for CraigMurrayOrg and you will get all tweets on one page.

  • craig Post author


    I want to give a talk rather than a speech, and have a discussion. I [resume they have some sort of forum space,

  • Komodo

    Here’s the present CEO of the LSE on the subject of regulation in 2002:
    “Now regulation: How do regulatory systems affect risk and its management?
    Of course all companies operate within some kind of regulatory framework and
    necessarily so. I was 30 years at BP and saw environmental and safety
    regulations increase dramatically and worldwide during that period and we cooperated
    with that process. But economic regulation is a rather different matter.
    The fact is such regulatory systems, which are but an approximation of the basic
    forces of competitive capital markets, are inherently risky for companies.
    Certainly far more risky than is generally understood.
    In effect, they impose average conditions on individual companies which virtually
    never experience average circumstances. Market-based companies adjust their
    prices, plans, and costs in constant real time responses to real world changes
    which occur, literally, daily. This is quite unlike the 5-year, fixed-price, RPI -x
    contracts imposed by regulators. By definition these are inflexible.
    One result of this process in the UK has been to drive companies to being
    average performers of medium to small size. Such companies are intrinsically at
    risk of both failure and take over. In essence, while the UK regulatory system
    has tended to concentrate on monopoly and competition issues, it has
    simultaneously ensured that the regulated companies are unable to compete with
    their international counterparts or flourish under adverse circumstances.”

    Eh? That sounds suspiciously like a complaint about too much regulation to me. And I can’t find him objecting to the massive deregulation which enabled the LSE to take its present form, back in 1986. Indeed, the chorus of money men pleading for effective government regulation of their semi-criminal activities has been conspicuous by its complete absence from the record.

  • mary

    The Dean of St Paul’s Grahame Knowles has resigned. Position untenable. You can say that again.

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq


    At the moment according to livestream, occupylsx have 48hrs to get out before a court action. I have been advised the group is busy with a meeting inside St Pauls and another small group is investigating other places. Bit hectic right now.

  • Nextus

    @Craig: Talks or lectures at OccupyLSX can be held at “Tent City University”, a space on the pavement outside Starbucks. The current schedule is available at:
    The site features an event calendar, and an online form to submit session proposals.
    You can also give a message of support via the PA at the General Assembly outside the cathedral steps before the close of the meeting. Speakers have included staff from St Pauls, representatives of various organizations, international campaigners, etc. Comments have to be kept short though (only a minute or two).
    BTW, don’t take much notice of the 48hr demand. It can’t be enforced without court action. The GA may decide to comply voluntarily, but I don’t think it’s likely. Monitor the twitter feeds after the GA meetings just in case.

  • conjunction

    Craig I’m sure Mark’s info is correct, but isn’t there something to be said for just turning up, as being unannounced you might get a better picture of what’s really going on?


  • conjunction

    Very encouraging that the Dean has resigned. And Rowan Williams beginning to get involved. I think this movement is turning into something.

  • mary

    The announcement was made by Nicholas Cottam, a retired high up from HM Forces. The first and the second estate are neatly intertwined at St Paul’s.


    After the resignation was announced the fourth estate came into the picture. Robert Piggott the BBC religious affairs reporter was speaking to some of the protesters. ‘Are you pleased you have got another scalp?’, he asked. A very articulate young woman disabused him and made him look as stupid as he really is. Back to the studio and Emily Maitlis used the same vocabulary when speaking to a representative of Ecclesia, a think tank. Unbelievable and the story was only a few minutes old at the time.

  • mary

    Occupy London responds to resignation of the Dean of St Paul’s
    Posted on October 31, 2011 by occupylsx
    The Occupy London occupations, at London Stock Exchange (by St Paul’s Churchyard) and at Finsbury Square, are about social justice, real democracy and challenging the unsustainable financial system that punishes the many and privileges the few.
    The management of St Paul’s Cathedral is obviously deeply divided over the position they have taken in response to our cause – but our cause has never been directed at the staff of the Cathedral. Nor have we ever called for ‘scalps’ as reported in the media.
    We ask that St Paul’s Institute publish its report into renumeration in the financial sector and call on those of all faiths and none to be part of a call for change. Together, we are the 99 per cent.
    We reiterate the need for open and transparent dialogue involving all parties, including the Cathedral, the Corporation of London and others, through our relevant liaison groups. This is a historic opportunity to make a real difference and a real change for all in our society, in the UK and beyond.

  • Komodo

    The C 0f E may be craven, but some Progressive (ie Reform and Liberal) Jews unequivocally support Occupy –

    #OccupyLSX – Jewish Statement of Support for Occupy London
    Posted on October 31, 2011 by occupylsx

    “As members of the British Jewish community, we wish to support the ‘Occupy
    London’ movement and its current bases at St Paul’s and Finsbury Square. We
    welcome the movement’s openness, pluralism and commitment to imagining a more just
    world. We see this as fulfilling many of the precepts of Judaism, such as the
    imperative: ‘Justice, justice shall you pursue’. Our history calls for us to speak
    out than remain silent in the face of injustice, and our religion emphasises that
    justice is found in the concrete acts of feeding the hungry, clothing the naked
    and giving help to the oppressed. Our spirituality must be grounded in these,
    which are not merely acts of occasional charity, but a fundamental daily ethical

    “Our Jewish heritage includes a long tradition of reshaping society to help the
    least fortunate, from the teaching of prophets like Amos and Jeremiah, to Rabbi
    Hillel, to modern figures such as Abraham Joshua Heschel and Naomi Klein. It also
    includes a long history of secular Jewish activism, in the struggles for fair
    treatment for workers, human rights and environmental justice. It is in this
    tradition that we add our voices to the movement demanding accountability, honest
    and ethical practices from banks and global corporations, and a restructuring of
    financial regulation to ensure transparency and strict legality.

    “We wish Occupy London success in furthering and deepening the debate in the
    country, and hope it will be a catalyst towards a more sustainable, just and equal

    Occupy Judaism London
    Rabbi Judith Rosen-Berry
    Rabbi Howard Cooper
    Rabbi Sheila Shulman
    Rabbi Mark Solomon
    Rabbi Margaret Jacobi
    Rabbi Judith Levitt
    Rabbi Elli Tikvah Sarah
    Rabbi Richard Jacobi
    Rabbi Shulamit Ambalu



    Here’s something you might like to write about or give a talk whensoever wheresoever – WHY SO VERY VERY FEW UK REFUSENIKS DURING THE IRAK AND AFGHANISTAN WARS? There have been barely a handful in ten years – its amazing and disheartening. The one’s that did show out and show some principled integrity deserve their credit of course but I have seen no real discussion about the absence of REFUSENIKS and approaching Remembrance Day commemorations might not be a bad juncture for such a debate to get under way. A lot of military are absolutely steeped in militarism and that disposition is not an asset in this era we are living through. I stood in Trafalgar Square on 8 Oct and not a murmer about so few REFUSENIKS.

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq


    I am waiting for Rowan’s response (if any) – I have reminded in him in his own words of ‘washing the feet of the poor’ and ‘the rot setting in when our monarchs ‘started dressing in military uniform, thus giving an obvious visual and imaginative priority to their role as personifying the state’s supposedly legitimate violence’ – esp. to children. I wait in obeyance…

  • Ken

    I visited Saturday afternoon. There were a number of good speakers holding an attentive (but not very large) audience on the left hand side of the steps, all very well organised. Some of it quite thought-provoking. I’m sure your presence would be widely appreciated and very helpful to them. They hold a number of ‘planning’ meetings each day, 10:00, 13:00 and 19:00. Get to, say, the 10:00 one (at the info desk which is about the first thing you see if you approach from the Ludgate Circus direction) and I’d be surprised if they didn’t immediately bite your hand off.
    Or make a request or set a time on-line through the tent city university route.
    There’s a permanent media presence (in Ave Maria Lane if I remember right) so MSM are ready with the cameras as soon as someone ‘of note’ turns up, announced or not. I wonder how they would react if you took the microphone?
    There are strict rules about use of loudspeakers not conflicting with events in the cathedral, so a Sunday wouldn’t be good, nor a day or time with a major event going on inside.
    I’m aiming to visit again Wed and Fri midday onwards, just to be there. Less than 60min journey for me. If side effects of recent medical procedure wear off, may stay there the weekend (have good tent and bag) but there didn’t seem to be much room for more tents.
    Go for it!

  • mary

    Hilarious just now on BBC News channel. Gavin Esler was introducing an item about Cleggover who was shown in the headlines visiting a factory wearing goggles and helmet launching his growth initiative (using money previously announced just like that old trick of NuLiebour’s). The wrong bit of film came on when they got the Cleggover piece with Chartres Bishop of London saying ‘he has acted honourably in a very difficult situation’.
    From Andrew Brown’s blog http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/andrewbrown/2011/oct/31/st-pauls-change-direction
    Chartres is a man who believes in the establishment, in both senses, through and through. He’s profoundly conservative. He believes in the prayer book and the monarchy. His wife’s family is rich. But he is also a realist and a shrewd politician, and he knows that the dean’s cause is lost, and his policy has been rejected by almost all shades of Christian opinion as well as by the country as a whole.
    Chartres’ father in law was the late Sir Alan McLintock, senior partner in one of the firms which merged to become KPMG.

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