By Ray Fleming

WHEN the authorities of St Paul's Cathedral first threatened to evict the “Occupy...” protestors I commented here about the surprising silence of the Archbishop of Canterbury. He did subsequently make some vaguely supportive remarks about the protestors but they hardly seemed enough. I should have waited a while; he was keeping his powder dry for a better pulpit. On Monday evening at the City of London Lord Mayors Banquet -- the most prestigious event of the City's year -- Dr Williams took the opportunity to make his position clear. He began his speech by saying, “St Paul's with its environs has become, literally and metaphorically, a theatre in which conflicts are played out” and recalled significant street protests in history, Paris in 1789, Petersburg in 1917, TIanamen in 1989 and now Cairo in 2011. He continued: “The underlying drama played out in these various urban theatres is one of alarming instability, a drama of the shaking of nations.

No one has shown us the script for the rest of the play. We may, most of us, try to behave as if things were getting back to normal, but more and more people are asking whether there is a normal to get back to.” The Archbishop does not always make himself clear but I think he did on this occasion. I hope David Cameron and the assembled city dignitaries got the message.


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