Thursday, October 20, 2011

Occupy London Stock Exchange becomes a media circus

I'm visiting London today - I've got a dinner party to attend - so I thought that I should make a day of it.

I had a bit of time to spare, so rather than take the Tube, I caught a number 23 bus at Liverpool Street, a route which takes you through the City, past St Paul's, and down the Strand. Passing St Paul's in slow-moving traffic, I had an opportunity to cast my eyes over the 'tent city' formed by anti-capitalism demonstrators. And an interesting sight it is too.

The tents appear to be laid out in an orderly fashion, and if there is a town planner amongst the demonstrators, he/she should be pretty proud of themselves. However, the fact that, apart from the protestors, there appears to be a heavy media presence, would indicate that they're winning the publicity battle.

And why not? After all, protesting against bankers and corporate greed is hardly likely to be unpopular. According to some polls, the public are broadly supportive, which just goes to prove the old adage - being against sin is easy, proposing virtue is rather more difficult. Unsurprisingly, the solutions being rather randomly offered from those camped out in front of St Paul's are likely to be rather less popular.

I fear that the protestors 'fifteen minutes of fame' is already coming to an end at any rate, fuelled as it is by a media ill-equipped to understand, let alone report on, a horrendously complicated technical crisis. Easier to cover a small number of protestors than attempt to supply complex facts and, in an era of 24/7 news, much more telegenic. But there will be another story, and I suspect that the semi-professional protestors will find something else to 'save' once the media have moved on, leaving little but a slogan.

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