Protest Wrongs

Our columnist overhears protests about the protesters on the steps of St Paul's

Daisy Waugh

I honestly don’t know what I’m meant to think on this one, Tilly.

Oh, you’ve got to have an opinion Lulu! Wakey-wakey!

Well, I —

Come off it, Lulu!

Because on the one hand —


On the one hand it’s all a bit of a mess, isn’t it? With the no-loos and everything? I’d call it worse than a mess, Lulu!

And on the other hand —


Well, nobody seems to know what to think, do they?

There’s nobody in those tents. They did an infra-red thingummy. And all the campers, after they’d gone to the loo in the forecourt, of course, they’d all toddled home for a hot bath and a bit of X Factor!

Yes I read that…very funny.

Hmm. Remember this is St Paul’s Cathedral.


Not some old NCP carpark.

Hmm, yes, so…what do you think? 

What do I think?

Some people seem to say they’ve sort of “made their point”, quote unquote —

Whatever that may be!

Well, the Occupiers don’t seem to know themselves. Do they?

And then you’ve got Salman Rushdie and Danielle Steel —

Danielle Steel!?

Turning up at the camp, pledging their support…

Are you sure? Danielle Steel? That’s amazing!

Well I think it was…maybe it was someone else. The point is, we have Deans of this, and Archbishops of the other, falling over themselves to support “It”.

Or not support it. Whatever “it” is… 

Well, it’s about the right to set up camp in historic places…so far as I can tell. And “make a point”. Or “make a mess”. Depending on your point of view. 

Not really, Tilly. It’s more —

All right. It’s also about the bankers. Indirectly. Money, anti-capitalistism and whathaveyou. But what these idiots don’t understand, as Nigel was saying yesterday, is that £100,000 may sound like a “big bonus” to Joe Stupid. But whack the top rate tax on it…

That’s just it —

And of course the rest is probably going to be deferred etcetera. It’s not exactly a “watch out, Abramovich!” situation. Is it?


But try explaining that to the veggies outside St Paul’s, why don’t you!

All right. So meanwhile we’re sort of stuck with these — dare I say it? —slightly  ghastly-looking hippies, with their tents.

We are indeed.

Expressing their disgust at the system —

A system they don’t understand. Because you can’t sell deferred shares, can you? Not immediately. Meanwhile the tax is often payable right away —

And we live in a free country.

Apparently. Yes.

And even David Cameron said…something.

What did he say?

He definitely said something.

Was he for or against?

Well I can’t remember. But that’s the thing — there doesn’t seem to be a consensus. That’s what’s so confusing. I mean to say, what do YOU think? 

What do I think?

About…everything. Do you ever think it’s a teeny weeny bit sort of — dread word — “unfair”? 

Well, I — look, I’ll tell you what makes me really mad. Because of course, yes, I admit there are moments when you can’t help sort of “wondering”. Can you?

That’s right.

But you know what made me finally see red, Lulu? Not the toilets thing. No. Not the — look, this isn’t about freedom of speech. It’s not about the “right to protest”. It’s not even about anti-capitalistism. It’s about that poor girl who very nearly couldn’t get married because they’d closed the cathedral.


One question, Tilly. Did the anti-capitalists give a fig? Did they express one single word of regret? They did not. Not so far as I know.  

Oh, goodness.

It’s all very well, caring about the big ideas. “Fairness” and this sort of thing. But they single-handedly ruined that girl’s life. Very nearly. And for that, for that, I say —

Oh, gosh yes! Absolutely! Chuck them out!  

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