Friday, 27 July 2012

We are the 1.5%

The Guardian has been ever so excited that Bryn Phillips, occupier and convicted criminal (violent disorder and burglary during the riots last year), put himself down as a candidate for the Farringdon Within by-election in the City of London:

Bryn Phillips, a 32-year-old writer and community organiser in east London, is to contest a byelection for the City of London Corporation, the Square Mile's local authority, and critics have accused it of using its statutory position to lobby for the financial services industry.

I would fully expect any local authority to stick up for the businesses within its boundaries and take on their concerns - that is a good thing.

"I'm convinced that democratic reform of the City of London is the best way to start addressing the problems we face in our banking system," said Phillips, who hopes anger over the Libor scandal will boost his chances of election on 26 July.

The City of London Corporation is a local authority with a few ancient traditions and fancy titles.  It doesn't control how banks operate or are regulated.  Farringdon Within is equivalent to Dibley parish council.

There is of course the obligatory CiF opinion piece and follow up article:

"We want to renew the balance of power in the City and then the country at large," he said. "There will be full elections on 13 February next year and Occupy will be fielding a full slate of candidates at that point. We hope today will be just the starting point."

Here's my prediction - you won't.

The by-election was held on 26th July. Turnout was 172 out of a possible 1,525, just over 11%.  Of this, Phillips got 23 votes which is equal to 13.5% of votes cast or 1.5% of the electorate, rather far away from the 99% who he and Occupy purport to represent. Now where can I find the results and reaction in the Guardian? Hmmm...

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