Despite Boris n the bankers insisting that the Occupy camp is full of useless, jumped-up ‘crusties’ or over-privileged gap-year students, we know to the contrary. The camp has been awash with academics, artists and musicians. Yeah, Banksy’s been there, Rage front man made a cameo but, as ever we find ourselves drawn to the more hidden and captivating delights of the counter-culture. Pop band ‘Bryn Phillips and the Big Society’ is one of our all time faves, and even the police couldn’t resist praising our front man as he played on the steps of St Paul’s. We had a lovely natter and vino with Bryn in his little tent RE the band, the OLSX demands issued to the Corporation of the City of London, as well as an Occupy Manifesto.
Regardez the below vid of BP in action
Now, you were very instrumental in writing and ensuring the ratification of these demands of the Corporation of the City of London. What was so significant about these particular requests?
Well, it was really bizarre to discover that the City of London Corporation, first of all, is a local authority. Looking into it, the councilors who are elected are actually voted for by businesses according to the size of their workforce. So the bigger your workforce, the more votes you get in elections and that’s a really unique situation. What it means for the residents who live inside the square mile is that they are constantly out-voted. There are about 9,000 residents in the borough and they are out-voted by quarter of a million workers about issues that affect them as residents which is undemocratic.
The second part is that the City of London, not the local authority, but the actual corporation itself, has a cash fund and they have not, for a thousand years ever released their accounts. They’re using their trade associations – their guilds and ancient liveries as lobbying tools, to lobby government departments. So, effectively The City has a clear conduit of influence within government itself. It is able to reverse decisions made by government when it ought to be following the wishes of the people who elected that government. So we will elect a government and The City’s lobbyists will kneel on that government to make them change their mind and subvert that democratic process, not just as a local authority but as a lobbying organisation that lobbies on behalf of the global financial industries. That’s not democratic. It’s wrong.
Is this just a starting point? Will more demands be issued?
I think the demands that were made were eminently reasonable. I think that they hit the city just where it hurts them. We were asking them to submit to the Freedom of Information act, to publish all of their accounts since the financial crash. Now, one thing I can tell you is successive mayoral speeches by the Lord Mayor of the City of London to Prime Ministers and the Chancellor of the Exchequer at The Guildhall [which took place between 2003 and 2009, leading up to the recession and since] have called for less regulation and to alter taxation as well. They’ve called for a lowering of taxation for corporations to suit their own needs and not those of the people. This is surely unconstitutional and wrong.
So what’s this Occupy London Manifesto?
The Occupy Manifesto is a manifesto written by the global Occupy movement. It’s focus is on the way that power has been monopolized by unaccountable global power elites within a corporatist system of governance, which is quite modern and hierarchical.
Now dear, I understand you’ve made some sacrifices in being here..
I took four weeks off from the studio finishing a record that was attracting a lot of attention. But to be honest, I wanted to do it and it’s nice anyway, that instead of writing lyrics I’m here writing manifestos and statements that garner global global attention.
I’m sure you have gained lots of inspiration for new tracks too.
Oh totally, I’ve got some real inspiration for some songs. As ever I shall be focusing on the more negative aspects of society. One song shall actually be entitled ‘New Age Fascist.’ LB!