Sunday, 23 October 2011

Idiocy at the Cathedral

St Paul's Cathedral is closed.

To the outsider, it does looks as if there has been some bad decision-making here by those at the Cathedral.

In particular, the 'health and safety' excuse appears spurious, as it so often is when invoked by self-serving idiots.

It must have seemed so clever: let's threaten to close the Cathedral, they thought, that will make the protesters leave.

And so this huge and beautiful domed Cathedral, perhaps the finest ecclesiastical building in London (though I also like St Johns Smith Square and Christ Church Spitalfields), has closed down.

It has closed down in what just seems to be a hissy-fit when some small-tented non-obstructive protesters called its bluff.

An elephant has been beaten by a mouse.

I can vouch that the protesters are non-obstructive; I work just by St Paul's Cathedral and, although I am hardly an anti-capitalist sympathiser, I have seen every day this last week that the protesters are not impeding access to the Cathedral, and that they are well-mannered and clean.

One may think their views to be misconceived, but I have not witnessed anything which would suggest the Cathedral had actually been inconvenienced.

As I said, the Cathedral played a bluff, and the protesters called it.

I wonder if the clergy will sheepishly re-open the Cathedral in a few days.

In the meantime, we should be grateful to #OccupyLSX for, if nothing else, reminding us of how stupid some very senior religious people can be.

Daft bunch.


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Tom said...

Agree with what you say. Wouldn't take the side of the Occupiers without a few qualifications, but the actions being taken are clearly silly.

The identity of the people governing St. Paul's is also a bit troubling.

I'm not sure I'd go as far as pointing fingers at their supposed membership of the supposed 99%, but it does all smell a bit funny.

dougdevos said...

You can well understand Christians worrying about H & S issues though; look at their history, starting with their founder. They probably need no more martyrs, let alone possible non-christian anti-capitalist ones.

brobof said...

And they just keep digging. According to the Grauniad there is now talk of an injunction!
Is this truly the Church of Acts II:44.
Instead of being a shining beacon of light unto the world, the clergy of St Paul's are holding private communions in the dark. Surely they know in their hearts that they are wrong in this.
Casting the net wider still: where is the Church of England in all this? With it's vast portfolio of land and assets. God or Mammon? It's crunch time for Anglicanism.
Jesus wept.

Dr Aust said...

dougdevos' comment [about Christians necessarily being extra concerned about Health & Safety] somehow conjures up a vision of some soon-to-be-lunch believer asking the Romans at the Colosseum if it was acceptable under H&S or animal welfare legislation for the lions to be fed live food...

David Colquhoun said...

I have listened to one News bulletin after another, waiting for some information about what the alleged H & S risk was alleged to be.

It worries ne that reporters can keep repeating the words without ever investigating what they mean,

Martin Locock said...

My guess would be that the issue is in fact public liability insurance - St Pauls would be liable for a visitor who was injured on their land even if if was tripping over a protester's tent. Since they can't control the camp their insurer would rescind their cover.

elderpegasus said...

Apparently it is an insurance issue; usual abuse of the term health and safety, but no dramatic bluffs.

SW9Red said...

An elephant beaten by a mouse,i love it !

David Gerard said...

All was not lost: even if it was shut, one person went along and conducted Evensong outside anyway :-D Guerilla Christianity!

dansargison said...

How can it be an insurance issue? What if a customer tripped over someone eating their lunch in the middle of August on the steps? This place is much busier in the height of summer and there's no health and safety issues then. I was there on Fri/Sat and saw firsthand how the media are misreporting the situation there and asking very leading questions. Very disappointing. The whole camp is a great bunch of forward-thinkers that want to open up the debate with the rest of the public so that chance can happen - it's a shame that the media just want a story about "angry protesters" that actually don't exist there.

brobof said...

"Christian solidarity with #OccupyLondon"

I think the Dean needs an epiphany.
I think it's allowed and I am sure that he will be forgiven.

Conor said...

There is biblical precedent for what the protesters are doing.

"And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:

And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables;

16And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.

John Cox said...

I certainly agree the news coverage has been very biased. They asked me for a quote as I walked past and I said what presumably most people think, that the 'protesters' are a damned nuisance who should be cleared away with water cannon. I haven't seen any of the meeja reporting this fairly widely held view.

I imagine St Paul's concern is that they don't want violent mobs coming in and smashing up the place in line with previous 'anti-capitalist' protests, isn't it? Doesn't seem so unreasonable, though I agree the present ot don't seem that way inclined at the moment.