Why it is right to close St Paul’s Cathedral

Last night on LBC 97.3 I discussed the ongoing anti capitalism protest outside St Paul’s Cathedral. As the numbers grow, and the camp spreads to Finsbury Square, the Cathedral has closed it’s doors for the first time since the Second World War.

Having spent Saturday at the protest myself, I witnessed with my own eyes the peaceful, grass roots, organic demo featuring people of all ages and all social backgrounds. Not unwashed hippies, but regular hard working people who have taken time out to highlight an issue that affects us all.

Despite my support of the cause, I do have concerns about a potentially confused message. There are now so many negative effects of capitalism, that the protesters might benefit from a simpler directive. Banning capitalism ain’t possible, we’re too far gone. Instead we need a sustained effort to regulate risky investment banking, curtail tax avoidance and restructure the cuts so that key workers are not paying the ultimate price for something they didn’t cause or don’t even understand. Surely one less pointless war might have diverted enough funds to solve the housing crisis, save public sector pensions and keep local services alive? When the Government speaks of a reserve fund for Libya, what is to stop them announcing a similar secret fund for their own people? Hard working citizens are struggling, as the cost of living rises month by month, yet average wages haven’t gone up in fifty years. It just doesn’t add up.

The time bomb of rising inflation and shortage of blue collar jobs are just some of the reasons why the protesters are in it for the long haul. This is potentially the most important protest in recent history. It’s not a march, it’s not a riot, it’s not even a rally. This is a respectable sit in by intelligent like minded people who ‘get it’. Why should big businesses profit to the tune of billions, yet pay proportionately less tax than a nurse on PAYE?

Whilst a mainstream socialist political party is not on offer these days, it is left to the electorate themselves to stand up for their own rights. Where successive Governments have failed to honestly represent us, it falls to the collective power of people to address a capitalist system that is out of control. As the rich get richer, the poor will inevitably become the majority, and the rich should beware… True democracy does allow for the majority to win out in the end.

In conclusion, the protest has hurt the establishment. Not just because the MP’s and bankers have been caught with their hands in the cookie jar, but because our greatest Cathedral, a symbol of hope, strength and freedom is forced to close it’s doors courtesy of democracy. The rights of the people and their liberty is the very thing St Paul’s has stood for three hundred years to represent. Its closure is a definitive moment in time and legitimises the cries of millions to whom politicians will be forced to listen.

Hear the full programme on the AUDIO page of my website http://www.anthonydavis.com

Steve Jobs and the cult of Mac

Last night, the 5th of October will be a night I’ll never forget. As a self confessed Apple fanboy, Mac fanatic and director general of the anti-PC brigade (computer not correctness), I never imagined that I’d be the one to announce on LBC 97.3 the death of Steve Jobs.

After battling pancreatic cancer and undergoing a liver transplant he’d taken medical leave from Apple at the start of the year. Steve’s health was of concern to all who never even knew him. The only glimpse of his personal life was the health issues that presented themselves physically in recent years. We cared about him, because through Apple, he cared about us.

The Apple creator, former CEO (until August 29th) and inspirational leader of the cult of Mac, was much more than just an I.T. company boss. Jobs was a revolutionary and a visionary, who knew things had to change and knew how to change things. From the early days of Apple Inc telling us to Think Different via their advertising, to the infamous keynote speeches where Steve would save the best announcement till last with his trademark ‘one more thing’, Apple revolutionised technology, did away with the user manual, made everything intuitive and made computers sexy.

Somehow Apple created a lifestyle brand that customers had an emotional relationship with. You’d never hear a Samsung user say he was popping home to work on his RV511 and make some calls on his Galaxy S2. But the sound of Apple consumers across the world referring to their Mac or iPhone as a living breathing member of the family was nothing short of normal. Normal and brilliant. It is precisely this that has made Apple the largest tech company in the world, with more money in the bank than even the US Federal Reserve.

I would go as far as to say that along with countless others, I’ve idolised Steve Jobs. His ethos, his mantra and his passion for quality. To me, it’s always been his love of delivering products that are not only visually perfect, but also work brilliantly. I felt, maybe naively, that Apple wasn’t interested in profit. I’d stay up late each quarter to watch the delayed stream of Steve Jobs on stage. I’d ride the wave of media speculation, and try and cut through the secrecy to predict the next product annoucement. I was almost always wrong, and I loved being surprised.

Like Willy Wonka, Steve Jobs worked his magic on a generation, changing the way we consume music, video and information. Remember what mobile phones were like before the iPhone? Apple brought us the stuff of science fiction and we lapped it up. His attention to detail was they key to the company’s financial success. I never begrudged paying Apple for anything. I stood in line for four hours to get iPhone 4, with men and women of all ages. We all knew a little something about each other. We all knew a little about Steve Jobs. We all knew why we were there.

When Tim Cook took over as acting CEO recently we didn’t want to admit to ourselves that Steve Jobs was not getting better. Last night, seeing his death, aged just 56, appear on the news wires from the studio of LBC 97.3, and knowing that it was my job to announce it to Londoners was one of the toughest moments of my career. For those of us who cared, it was a Princess Diana moment. We will never forget where we were the night Steve Jobs passed peacefully away.