I wonder how many of you are writing presentations about the occupy London campaign have considered this: as you wrestle with utilitarianism and ideas linked to the freedom of a democracy, as you read Mr Miliband’s comments in the press and the comments of the church, you are probably planning a presentation focusing on right and wrong and the way to behave in a good, fair society.
I look forward to reading it and hearing it, but ask you to remember this: you have to provide an alternative viewpoint and this idea might help you. Consider the language and the idea of “occupation”. When the Soviet Union occupied Afghanistan or when Hitler occupied Poland nobody would have called this occupation good, yet now the people who cry “occupy London” (or Prague or New York) are seen as latter-day Robin Hoods. You should consider whether the choice of verb in this protest actually serves to undermine the protest rather than to strengthen it. Occupation has long been seen as implying a hostile takeover or invasion -generally unwonted and rarely supported by the occupied people. In your argument, this may provide the alternative view. The choice of word seems to undermine the very principles that the protesters are protesting about. Give it some thought!