Mercer's Poems
Political Espionage and the Art of Activism

Last night witnessed one of the biggest, and most amazing nights ever for Occupy Wall Street. As thousands took to the streets to protest against corporate greed and wealth inequality not even the previously reticent mainstream media organisations could ignore it. 
But, there are problems with this. This movement has been going on for two months, and yet on one day a vast hoard of people can suddenly show up? Who are they, why were they there? Who organised them? What is more, with mainstream media interest they will start to wheel out their own ‘spokespeople’ rather than rely on the guys on the ground. Where, after all, is the legitimacy of an interview with a hooded, cold individual on the street; someone who has been part of the movement since its inception and knows all about it, when they can easily wheel their own mouthpiece into the warmth of some studio lights and get soundbites that suit their agenda?  

This movement is all inclusive, that much is true, but it is also completely independent. It is not partisan to any political agenda because it is its own political agenda, that anyone can believe in regardless of who they voted for, or intend to vote for. There are individuals from all walks of life represented in the core of the movement. But they should be wary of being too trusting, and allowing a force of numbers of bodies on streets overwhelm them, without checking whether those bodies are there for the spirit of the movement, or for the spirit of something else entirely.

A lot of word from the street last night spoke of an organisation known as UnitedNY organising things. Who are these people? Why did they feel the need to take on the role of organisers, and de facto police if some reports were to be believed? Ask the questions. What is their agenda? Were they there in the name of Occupy Wall Street, and the freedoms, transparency, equality and democracy for which it stands? It would seem not, given that they with no disguising of their elitism were trying to call the shots as the ‘authority’ behind last night’s events. So ask who were they there for? Who do they represent? Who runs them? Where does their funding come from? It is these questions, and the transparency that arises from their answers that Occupy Wall Street is all about.

There is a danger with activism that an individual can get so caught up in the moment. They can become so infused with the spirit and the passion of bodies on the street. They can become so wrapped up in what they are doing, and what they stand for that they lose the cynicism and the mistrust from which their movement was born. Anyone questioning the motivations or intentions of people who show support to them instantly become targets of hate - Suspicion ends up aimed at the suspicious while, potentially obvious co-option slips under the radar via medium of misplaced trust and an almost cult-like fanaticism to the beliefs of the movement.

Do not lose sight of your objectivism. It has been what has gotten the movement so far, and protected the movement from harmful influence. Most activists are aware of how to spot an undercover police officer, but how do you spot an undercover agenda? Particularly when you are told looking for it questions the very fabric of the movement? But, a transparent movement is the one glass house in which it would be wise to throw stones.  

Open Letter from the UK Government.

Dear Subjects of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 

We note that some of you appear greatly dissatisfied with the way things are being run. We are all too aware of your grievances and we understand. This is why we will lie to you at the time of the next election with regards to all the things you are worried about, in the hope that we may gain your votes and take power. Because we love being in power, and fueling the fires of the myth that we are your leaders and not your servants. And we love that you, ignorantly, believe that. 

We understand that you are upset that you feel we did not treat the bankers harshly enough for squandering the wealth of our nation on fraudulent and risky schemes. But we treated them very harshly indeed. At our last champagne and caviar meeting I got them all together and told them what rotters they were, and informed them of our plans to give them billions and billions of Great British currency so they may redistribute it to you freely. They said they would do so only when hell froze over. So we gave them further billions in order that they may further their research into the potential of climate change in hell. You see, we love you, and are trying our best for you. Please do not believe the rumours that huge donations and lobbying funds from these financial institutions in any way affected our judgement on what the best, and fairest economic policy should be. That I rose to power only due to the wealth supplied to me by financial and corporate donors is irrelevant; after all it was you whom I used these massive marketing funds to manipulate, who voted for me. Well except of course you didn’t, you voted for a hung parliament and in the process managed to decimate the legitimacy of the Liberal Democrat party. And I thank you for that, as you have truly narrowed down the competition so that we can continue with the see-saw two party dichotomy that has been ruining this country for our own personal gains for centuries. Sorry! Did I say ruining, I meant benefiting.

We understand your displeasure at our taking one of the finest, fairest institutions in our country; the NHS, and putting it out at firesale prices to corporate bidders. This is only because we believe you are entitled to only the best healthcare, and that means you are thus only entitled to it if you can afford it. You’ll be fine right? I mean, it’s not like this country is in dire financial trouble right now? And why do the poor need healthcare anyway? If we make sure they all die horrible deaths there shall only be lovely middle-class, middle-management types left and then you will always vote for us and that will only be brilliant for this country! You’ve often complained that waiting lists on the NHS were too long. Well fear not, you won’t have to worry. Because you won’t be able to afford to be treated at all, so you will not have to wait to receive no treatment! It’s amazing, isn’t it. We’ve already cut waiting list times drastically! It also helps solve the problem of hygiene in hospitals, which has been complained about. With fewer patients, the fine outsourced cleaners can focus their efforts on making sure you all get a fabulously clean hospital. There won’t be any riff-raff stinking the place up with their criticism and their MRSA. I’d say we’re doing a mighty fine job.

Worry not, too, about National Security. We have everything well at hand. We are already manufacturing fear such that you feel unsafe going anywhere and doing anything but work. We have security cameras watching your every move so that we can protect you from those nasty terrorists and criminal scumbags; and these will of course be in no way abused so as to quash dissent. Your way of life was in danger of being threatened by the menace of fundamentalism but, thanks to grotesquely expensive foreign wars that are in no way motivated by lust for natural resources and the notion of setting up bases in the Middle East to make sure the whole region is little more than a Western puppet, you will be safe. So concerned are we with protecting your security that we are building camps, in which you can be detained and work in safety and security. We had considered measures of putting Government issue locks on every door of every house; and having government officials come around to lock them securely at night and open them in the morning; but this was, alas, too expensive a measure to undertake. And it may have looked like we were trying to infringe on your liberties. 

So, to the growing number of dissenters. We do not hate you. See above, and see that we are working for you. We are happy for you to have your voice. You are entitled to protest. But please, have some dignity. Do it quietly, and without leaving your own home. This is purely for your own safety. If you go outside, the police may oppress you. They may kettle you. They may even beat you. But it is for your own good. It is because we are trying to protect you from tyranny and oppression that we must tyrannically oppress you. I am sure you are smart enough to understand.

Thanks for your time. I look forward to ignoring your responses and following the corporate agenda until such time as I leave government and take a directorship with one of the companies who stoked our coffers with their dirty lobbying funds.


The UK Government.