St Paul's Cathedral drops eviction effort against OccupyLondon; almighty Corporation of London plows ahead

Following an earlier signal from the Bishop of London, as well as the resignations of three prominent clerics, St Paul's cathedral has withdrawn from its legal action against the OccupyLondon demonstrators camped around its grounds.

A member of the group responsible for liaison with the cathedral said they had met the Chapter of St Paul's, the church's governing body, at 11am: "We were informed that they will no longer be proceeding with legal action against us." Cue loud cheers and applause.

Another activist then read out the full St Paul's statement to the assembly, which was punctuated with cheers - notably, when Giles Fraser's name was mentioned. News of Ken Costa's involvement was greeted with silence, apart from one man just behind me who muttered: "Yeah, great."

The church liaison committee will meet the St Paul's Chapter again tomorrow, with issues to be discussed including access to the cathedral during busy upcoming events such as Remembrance Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

That leaves the Corporation of London alone in its mission to evict OccupyLondon. The Corporation is a sinister and eccentric body that runs the "Square Mile" -- the headquarters of Britain's financial industry -- with near-total autonomy, as a kind of special economic zone or a country-within-a-country. Seriously, they make conspiracy nuts look reasonable:

What is this thing? Ostensibly it's the equivalent of a local council, responsible for a small area of London known as the Square Mile. But, as its website boasts, "among local authorities the City of London is unique". You bet it is. There are 25 electoral wards in the Square Mile. In four of them, the 9,000 people who live within its boundaries are permitted to vote. In the remaining 21, the votes are controlled by corporations, mostly banks and other financial companies. The bigger the business, the bigger the vote: a company with 10 workers gets two votes, the biggest employers, 79. It's not the workers who decide how the votes are cast, but the bosses, who "appoint" the voters. Plutocracy, pure and simple...

The City has exploited this remarkable position to establish itself as a kind of offshore state, a secrecy jurisdiction which controls the network of tax havens housed in the UK's crown dependencies and overseas territories. This autonomous state within our borders is in a position to launder the ill-gotten cash of oligarchs, kleptocrats, gangsters and drug barons. As the French investigating magistrate Eva Joly remarked, it "has never transmitted even the smallest piece of usable evidence to a foreign magistrate". It deprives the United Kingdom and other nations of their rightful tax receipts.

It has also made the effective regulation of global finance almost impossible. Shaxson shows how the absence of proper regulation in London allowed American banks to evade the rules set by their own government. AIG's wild trading might have taken place in the US, but the unit responsible was regulated in the City. Lehman Brothers couldn't get legal approval for its off-balance sheet transactions in Wall Street, so it used a London law firm instead. No wonder priests are resigning over the plans to evict the campers. The Church of England is not just working with Mammon; it's colluding with Babylon.

St Paul's suspends legal action against protesters – live coverage


  1. That St Paul’s would withdraw was pretty much inevitable after the Dean resigned.  
    And now the focus can shift properly to the Corporation of London which is where it should always have been (as the protesters had been trying to make clear.)

  2. “The Church of England is not just working with Mammon; it’s colluding with Babylon.”
    Lovley wordulization there. Top class wordology. Commendable wordination.

    Its all getting a bit romantic in the city now. Im suprised so few people have died, i cant help but thinking that they might actually achieve somthing.

  3. “Domine Nos Dirige”: Lord guide us – surely a contender for the world’s most ironic latin motto.

  4. Seriously, the Corporation of London is effectively a local council.  Unlike other UK councils, people who work there can vote too to decide who runs it.  Normally I’d have an issue with that, but given the enormous wealth required to live in the square mile, it actually means a wider franchise.  It does have a lot of money – mostly given a long time ago, by people who wanted it to go to a good cause – you don’t pay for it – and the taxes it and businesses that operated within the area generate pay a lot towards the upkeep of this country.What they are doing is exactly the same as other councils have done.  City of Westminster evicted anti-war campaigners, the people at Dale Farm were evicted by Basildon council.  This is all part and parcel of their role in enforcing planning (I think what Americans would call zoning) law.I’m getting a bit sick of reading about the city of London as if it’s a joint enterprise between the lizard people and the illuminati – this is tin foil hat stuff.  Anarchists expressing concerns about the monarch having to ceremonially ask permission to enter the city of London are almost beyond parody.

    1. your conceited indemnification of facile arbitrage is as damaging to your appearance of objectivity as your views are to humanity.

      1. Hey Miasm, you realise that playing the man and not the ball tends to undermie, not enhance your arguments.

  5. I work at the City of London Corporation and read this article with interest. Unfortunately much of it is wide of the mark – the term ‘City of London’ which represents the UK Financial Industry and the ‘City of London Corporation’ the Local Authority for the physical area within the centre of London are two very separate things. The writer seems to mix and match these two things as he pleases to prove a point. This is made startlingly clear by the fact that most of the large banks are now based in Canary Wharf well outside of the Corporations control.

    The article implies that there are tax breaks for companies based in the City of London Corporation area, this is wrong. In fact they pay .4% more in business rates than anywhere else in the country. It also implies that the City of London Corporation is outside Parliamentary Control – this is also wrong. Also all the regulation laws that Lehman Brothers and AIG took advantage of are the same anywhere in the UK and not specific to an area in London – it is pure fantasy to suggest otherwise.

  6. Why would Thanksgiving be an important day for St Paul’s? It’s an American holiday…

    The biggest event coming up would be for Remembrance Sunday (commemorating the end of WW1, and as a mark of respect to all fallen soldiers – Remembrance day is 11th Nov, and many services will also be held on Sun 13th).  That said, I think/hope that all those involved will work something out for it.

    Breaking news: seems that the Corporation of London have “Paused” their legal action for the moment.

  7. I programmed the criticism into the sentence too.
    literally, facile (legal/financial/personal) arbitrage is what this all boils down to and I thought it appropriate to point out that you had poetically committed the same kind of sin.

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