The anti-capitalist protesters who occupied St Paul’s Cathedral were both morally and intellectually right, a senior Bank of England official said last night.
Photo: OCCUPY LONDON
By James Kirkup, Deputy Political Editor
The protesters had been right about bankers’ behaviour and the consequences of extremely high salaries and bonuses in the financial sector and other industries, he said. “I do not just mean right in a moral sense,” he added. “It is the analytical, every bit as much as the moral, ground that Occupy has taken. For the hard-headed facts suggest that, at the heart of the global financial crisis, were — and are — problems of deep and rising inequality.”
Mr Haldane concluded by telling the activists that they had helped bring about nothing less than a new financial order. “If I am right and a new leaf is being turned, then Occupy will have played a key role in this fledgling financial reformation,” he said. “You have put the arguments. You have helped win the debate.”
In the text of his speech distributed by the Bank last night, Mr Haldane made no reference to the techniques employed by the Occupy protesters. The occupation of St Paul’s last year was controversial, and led to claims that the protesters were despoiling the cathedral’s grounds.
The protest ended after the Corporation of London won a legal order allowing the activists to be evicted.
Earlier this month, members of the group marked the first anniversary of the St Paul’s protest by entering the cathedral during a service and chaining themselves to the pulpit.