Ed Miliband Backs St. Pauls Protesters' Philosophy
Labour leader Ed Miliband has accused City of London bosses of being "out of kilter" with the values of the rest of the country, and thrown his weight behind the sprit of the Occupy protests.
Writing in The Observer Miliband says: "The challenge is that they reflect a crisis of concern for millions of people about the biggest issue of our time: the gap between their values and the way our country is run."
He criticises the coalition's policy development on the economy, saying: "The Tories are discussing how to make it easier for firms to fire people. We are developing policies so they can hire people. We would start by creating thousands of new jobs paid for by a tax on the bank bonuses. It is about rewarding the right values, not the wrong values, in our economy."
Responding for the government, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said the protesters were drawing attention to important issues, adding: "I don't feel unease about capitalism, what I do feel unease about, things as a government we've been acting on, is the lack of regulation of the City of London, the lack of control. Those are the things we are trying to change."
However newspaper reports on Sunday were less forgiving of the St. Paul's protesters, with the Sunday Times (£) reporting that people have used the front steps of the cathedral as an open-air toilet.
The paper says the cathedral's authorities do not blame the protestors themselves, merely "hangers-on".
Tory MP Margot James suggested that the protestors should be removed from outside the cathedral before next Sunday's services of remembrance.
"I don't feel that right to protest is necessarily the same as occupying the land outside one of our greatest national treasures indefinitely. That's not to say that the people there don't have a point... a point which is felt by many millions of people. But should they be permitted to stay there indefinitely, I personally don't think they should."
Meanwhile the Independent on Sunday reports that bankers themselves might be starting to come round to the notion that they're overpaid. The paper has seen figures from a ComRes poll due out on Monday, where City workers appear to accept that their pay is out of kilter with the demands other professions, particularly teachers and nurses.