Sunday, 23 October 2011

Occupy London - Update on St Paul's Cathedral and its Trustees' links with Big Money

News on Twitter and other websites tonight that St Paul's Cathedral is threatening legal action to evict the Occupy London Stock Exchange protesters encamped outside the building. This comes after a weekend of claims by the Church authorities that the protesters represent a health and safety threat that has forced the building to be closed to the public - although a wedding went ahead uninterrupted. An Observer newspaper informal survey of tourists visiting the area found that nearly 75% felt the tents added to the ambiance of the Cathedral and provided some contemporary meaning to the site.

However, in spite of their claims, the Cathedral authorities have refused to provide Occupy LSX with any information or advice about how they are creating a health and safety threat, although notably they have confirmed that the protest is not affecting their financial or commercial situation.

In addition, and very troubling, is the revelation that the City of London Health and Safety Manager has told Occupy LSX that the Cathedral has had no recent contact with her - a flat contradiction of the claims by the Church that they had been advised to close on safety grounds.

The organisers had previously taken full advice from the Fire Brigade about how to set out the camp, both for their own safety and the Cathedral's, so increasingly, the Church's insistence on being closed becomes more and more mysterious and their explanation increasingly seems to be rather "economical with the verite". But there again, the Cathedral Trustees are in large part a bunch of bankers, brokers and financiers of one sort or another, so their decision to close the House of God may just possibly not be purely based on some risk assessment by a Safety officer.

The Anglican Church may be at a crossroads of its own making - if it ends up using deceitful means to undermine the protesters, it may finally divorce itself from what reduced links it still tenuously holds with the populace of England. As protesters, speakers, bloggers and others have repeatedly cited, the Christian message in large measure talks of social justice and the iniquities of societies where the rich hold sway. If at this time of crisis and this moment of mass awakening, the authorities inside St Paul's throw their lot in with the pro-bankers, pro-finance speculator Government, they will be isolated for good from their former flock, and deservedly so.

THE BANKING CONNECTION: St Paul's Cathedral Foundation - Trustees

Sir John Stuttard  - former Lord Mayor of the City of London; Chartered Accountant; former partner of PriceWaterhouse
The Right Reverend Graeme Knowles, Dean of St Paul's
Dame Helen Alexander DBE - deputy Chair of the Confederation of British Industry; Chair of the Port of London Authority; adviser to Bain Capital, a global asset management company.
Lord Blair of Boughton - former Chief of the Metropolitan Police
Roger Gifford - UK head of SEB, a major Swedish-based bank
John Harvey - American entrepreneur in the media field; founder of the Personalized Media Communications Group
Joyce Hytner OBE - London Theatre Director & Arts patron
Gavin Ralston -  Head of Product at Schroder's Bank
Carol Sergeant CBE - senior financier; former head of risk at Lloyd's Bank (to 2010)
John Spence OBE - senior banker; has occupied various key roles with Lloyd's Bank; senior member of the British Bankers' Association; Chair of the Audit Committee of HMRC.

Malachi 3:5
The Lord Almighty says "I will appear among you to judge, and I will testify at once against those who give false testimony, those who cheat employees out of their wages, and those who take advantage of widows, orphans, and foreigners - against all who do not respect me...."

1 comment:

  1. What on earth happened to the Dean, the Right Reverend Graeme Knowles. Did they threaten him with withdrawal of financial support for doing the right thing initially?