Archive for December, 2011

Foto8 Archive

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

Traditionally at this time of year newspapers and the media go back over the year, printing or reprinting the photographs which they think were the highlights of the year. It’s a practice I’ve seldom found illuminating but I suppose it does take a bit of pressure off and let editors and journalists take a bit of a break at this time of year, though of course events around the world keep on even if they are not reported in depth. And this year perhaps the most important of these events are taking place almost hidden from the press, who largely have to rely on bloggers and those taking part in the uprising in Syria for any information.

© 2010, Peter Marshall
One of my pictures that got into some of the 2010 round-ups

Domestically the two big stories of 2011, so far as the papers etc are concerned, were a wedding and the outbreak of looting and in particular arson in August following the police shooting of Mark Duggan, or more precisely following the police refusal to engage sensibly with the public after that shooting, and the beating of a young woman who questioned them on the street.

There was of course no news about the wedding, an almost entirely predictable circus of little or no consequence. Flames do however make for some dramatic images, and there were many photographers who went to take pictures, often at considerable risk, of the events on our streets. But though I admire them and some of the images that were made, I do perhaps wonder how much these tell us about what was happening and more importantly why it was happening.  Almost certainly there are photographers who have been working on longer-term projects in our inner-cities whose work would cast more light on the issues, but lack the drama and the topicality that would attract the media money.

One publication that since it’s inception has published photo stories that look at issues around the world in greater depth, often printing work that has failed to find other outlets, is Foto8 magazine. I’ve been a subscriber to the magazine since its foundation in 2002, and somewhere around the house have all the 29 issues, which now are published twice a year.  These can now also be read on-line and it is a fine collection.  You can also of course buy the print issues on-line, including the current issue, though at present it does not appear to be possible to become a Foto8 member. Foto8 also has a gallery with regular shows and runs various photography events as well as publishing material on-line.

So if you get bored with looking at similar pictures of the same events in every newspaper and news programme, take a look at the last ten years seen through very different eyes on Foto8, along with some thought-provoking articles about documentary photography.


Thursday, December 29th, 2011

I was impressed by Nan Goldin‘s work when her The Ballad of Sexual Dependency was published in book form here around 1989 (the well-thumbed copy is still on my shelf), but it was really seeing the slide show on which the book was based in 2002 that truly made me appreciate her work, and to write about her at some length in Nan Goldin’s Mirror on Life.  (The previous post is a shorter piece, Nan Goldin – Police swoop about one of the sillier reactions to her work which led to me re-writing and posting the earlier piece here.)

I’ve  not seen her most recent show, Scopophilia, (there is an installation video too) which closed in New York just before Christmas, but it was interesting to see some of the reviews of this show which “pairs her own autobiographical images with new photographs of paintings and sculpture from the Louvre’s collection.”

Joerg Colberg noted that this statement from the press release gave him a queasy feeling, and I read it too, thinking things like ‘Oh Dear!’ and ‘pretentious crap’ and there was more to follow.

But then James Danziger on his The Year in Pictures blog praised it as “The one exhibition not to miss before Christmas“though he did go on to say that his favourite part of the exhibit was one of Goldin’s “trademark slide shows.” Certainly for anyone not familiar with these, that would have made a visit worthwhile, and for those of us who have already experienced them (and I watched all at the Whitechapel through at least twice in 2002) a pleasant reminder.

But presumably Colberg took that as read, and his review concentrates on the work photographing the artworks at the Louvre which were shown paired with some of Goldin’s earlier ‘autobiographical’ images. It’s worth reading what he has to say about the exercise, which he concluded made “an incredibly pedestrian exhibition.” I have a strong feeling I would have been in complete agreement.

Truth and Falsity

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

I’ve written on several occasions, here and elsewhere about the work of Errol Morris and his ideas about truth in photographs, and his contention that “all photography is posed” and that there is “always an elephant just outside the frame”, or that the photograph always de-contextualises its subject.

On The Guardian site you can watch a fairly short video of him talking about his ideas, and you can still read my pieces about his study of Fenton’s two Valley of the Shadow of Death pictures at Cannon Balls to Fenton (2007) and a two part Speculation on Photographs,  (Part 2) where I make some comment and express some reservations about his ideas.

Perhaps his doggedly exhaustive investigation of the Fenton did convincingly tell us something about the leaves, but told us nothing more about the trees, let alone the forest. Of course Fenton’s images need contextualisation, but that isn’t achieved by the study of minutiae.

If Fenton came across a road which had been cleared of cannon balls and decided to return some of them to produce a second picture that perhaps more clearly reflected the ‘reality’ of the situation, does that make his work any more or less important in documenting the war in the Crimea?  Or would we think any less of his work if we found he had cleared the road because he felt the contrast between the empty road and the cannon ball strewn landscape made his a stronger picture of what was surely in either case a death trap?

Finally November

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

© 2011, Peter Marshall

Finally the last story from November has made it to My London Diary

though it isn’t a performance I was happy with.  I was with the Occupy London banner (above) as they ran with it from Piccadilly Circus to Haymarket and on to Panton St, and photographed it as they ran into Panton House.

© 2011, Peter Marshall

And I even saw it going up the stairs inside, but instead of following it, I turned around to photograph the flares outside, so missed the story of them getting on to the roof, lowering the banner from the top and being arrested.

© 2011, Peter Marshall

But I did get some stories earlier in the month, and a few pictures placed here and there. But you can see them all (or rather a selection of them) on My London Diary:

November 2011

© 2011, Peter Marshall

March For Justice in Bahrain
In Solidarity with Tahrir Square
Hampton Hill Christmas Lights
Berkshire Walk
City of London Anti-Apartheid Group
Speakers At Occupy London
Bank of Ideas & Finsbury Square
Don’t Turn The Clock Back
Saturday Morning Occupy London
London Xmas Decorations
Anti-Abortion Prayer Protest
Day to Defend the Egyptian Revolution
Somalis Protest Obama’s War
London From St Paul’s
Lord Mayor’s Show
Lord Mayor’s Show – Occupy London
Students March Against Cuts & Fees
Sparks At The Shard
OccupyLSX March to Parliament
Syrians Protest At Downing St
Jarrow March Ends In London
Occupy London Respond to Preacher
Photomonth Photoparty & Photo Open
OccupyLSX at St Pauls

© 2011, Peter Marshall

The Year in Pictures

Saturday, December 24th, 2011

It’s that time of year when every publication is pushing out it’s version of the year in pictures (and while last year one of my pictures featured in at least one of them, I don’t anticipate it happening again.) But looking at one of the better examples of such reviews my mind went back to a picture taken on 12 May 1937 by Henri Cartier-Bresson.

Judging from the New York Times, the ‘milestone’ of the year in Britain in 2011 was a royal wedding (though they also have a fine picture by Facundo Arrizabalaga of the riot police in Croydon) , and the wedding image, while well-timed and perfectly exposed is frankly rather boring and anodyne – just like almost all the rest that the press used from the event. Cartier-Bresson was photographing a coronation rather than a wedding, but a very similar royal event, and managed to make a picture that has a great deal more to say.

I tried hard not to photograph this year’s wedding, but literally had to step over the people camping out in Westminster as I went to photograph a protest on International Workers Memorial Day, so I did take a few pictures of them which you can see in Waiting For Will & Kate.

© 2011, Peter Marshall

On the day itself I kept well away, though I did take a few pictures at Republic’s Not the Royal Wedding Party and just one or two on my way home through Soho, where the event was certainly seen as a good excuse for a party.

© 2011, Peter Marshall
Of course you can see my own record of the year at great length on My London Diary, although so far it only goes more or less to the end of November (which I’ll say more about when I’ve given it a final check.)

It is of course events in London not shown in the New York Times or My London Diary or elsewhere in photographs that are having a great effect on the world economy, but people clicking mice or working on a keyboard generally make for boring stock rather than news photos. If you want to understand more about how banks and financial organisations working in the City of London, largely unregulated since the Thatcher-inspired Big Bang (and, yes it was them and not Gordon Brown, David Cameron, George Osborne or us spending recklessly on credit cards or even dodgy mortgages) have destroyed the UK economy and threatened the world, there is a graph of G10 Debt Distribution which deserves to be featured in every review of the year, produced by  Morgan Stanley. It shows the UK’s financial sector with a debt of over 600% of our GDP, dwarfing the relatively small government and household debt.

There is a section in the NYT year about the Occupy movement, which has raised many of the issues (or, as the politicians and press like to say, doesn’t seem to know what it wants), but good as some of the photography is, it is also an illustration that it is the moments of conflict and drama that attract us as visual people, while for me the Cartier-Bresson image with which my thoughts started perhaps leads us to think more deeply about the issues. But I doubt if it would make the papers today.

Back To The Fifties?

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

© 2011, Peter Marshall

I don’t know what I had done to deserve that little glance, perhaps a hint of anger or at least annoyance, but together with the lighting that was just catching her face it lifted this image of a blonde from the others that I had taken of her and her fellow leopard skin fur wearer (I’m sure they were synthetic) holding their ‘Feminism Back By Popular Demand‘ posters.

© 2011, Peter Marshall

The Fawcett Society had decided to highlight their claims that government cuts were in danger of putting back the gains towards equality that women have made back to the 1950s by asking its members to attend the march in 1950s dress, and there were certainly some interesting examples of this, as well as those who came bearing kitchen implements, brooms and other symbols to represent their perception of the government’s “Kinder, Küche, Kirche” attitudestoward women. David Cameron certainly stirred up an enormous resentment with his patronising sexist House of Commons put-down of Labour MP Angela Eagle “Calm Down Dear!” and if he really intended it as humour it was abysmally judged and few took it as a joke.

Of course I wasn’t there as a fashion photographer, but it was certainly hard to resist the opportunity.

© 2011, Peter Marshall

And so I didn’t, though I think almost all of the time I was trying hard to show these women in the context of the march, for example by very carefully positioning the background Fawcett Society placard in several images.

© 2011, Peter Marshall

More pictures and more about the march in Don’t Turn The Clock Back on My London Diary.

More on Saturday

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Continued from Last Saturday Everything Was Happening

From Topshop, I ran along Oxford St towards Vodaphone, which company had been voted for by UK Uncut supporters as the main target of their ‘Christmas special’. By the time I arrived, they were being prevented by police from entering the store – and UK Uncut are peaceful protesters who wouldn’t try and push their way in, so they simply gathered on the pavement outside.

There was plenty of room for them, as this section of Oxford St is currently one-way, with just a single lane fenced off at its centre, leaving a much wider than usual pedestrian area.

After chanting the indictment against Vodaphone, who it now seems have dodged not just the £6billion that UK Uncut originally alleged, but actually £8billion (or eight thousand million pounds in old-fashioned English)  using the human microphone we’ve become used to from the Occupy movement – with one person reading a phrase which is then shouted out by everyone else – slow, tedious but remarkably effective – they then turned to singing UK Uncut’s Christmas Carols with suitably different lyrics to some familiar tunes.

© 2011, Peter Marshall
Carolling at Vodaphone

I tried hard to get the idea that people were singing, and also to show where they were singing and getting the odd Santa hat, particularly with messages about tax was a bonus.  Taken with the D700 and 16-35mm at 17mm, f5.6 gave enough depth of field. I used a fairly high ISO to get a reasonably fast shutter speed. On the full-size original you can read the words on the carol sheets, though I made sure to get a copy so I could quote from it in my story on Demotix (which will appear later on My London Diary.)

After that, the protesters even started dancing, but after taking a few pictures I decided I could leave and go elsewhere – which meant catching a bus towards Downing St.

On my list of events I had a protest listed by the Congolese, but the main group present when I arrived were Syrian Kurds, supporting the protests in Syria and calling for a ‘Free Syria.’ They were using both the old Syrian flag from the days when Syria gained its independence and also the flag of Kurdistan, and calling for the revolution in Syria to produce a federation in which the Kurds would gain recognition (many of them are stateless in Syria, and subject to laws against their language and traditions.)  It seemed to me important to try and show both flags together where I could.

© 2011, Peter Marshall
Kurdistan and Syrian Freedom flags opposite Downing St

Flags at protests often make the pictures more interesting, but they can also be very frustrating, and it took a few frames to get one with the flag at the top  which was being waved around blowing out well.

Just a few yards away there were a few Congolese, but it was only half an hour after their protest had been timed to start. Probably more would turn up later, but since I thought it unlikely I would be back I took some pictures. The big attraction in several ways was the dancing, mainly by some of the women, and I was especially attracted by one  of them wearing a blue shirt with the yellow and red stripe and yellow star of the Congo flag.

© 2011, Peter Marshall
Congolese men pose for a photo

But as I was preparing to leave, I saw a group of four of the men posing for a photograph. Although I don’t like to pose people – it’s interfering with the event – I’ve nothing against taking pictures of groups that the protesters themselves have set up, and I went across and they were happy for me to take aphotograph as well, playing up a little for the camera.

I was pleased it was a fairly slow bus ride from Whitehall to Bond Street, giving me time to have a little rest and finish my late lunch, although just a little worried that I might be too late at the US Embassy where I knew the friends of Bradley Manning were holding a vigil. But when I arrived, not only were they still there, but there were two other groups protesting.

© 2011, Peter Marshall

The other protesters – pro-regime Syrians and Iraqis together with some people from Stop the War – were united in protesting against US intervention in their region. The Syrians wanted an end at attempts through the UN and other ways by the US to intervene in the actions their government is taking against what they call terrorists, while the Iraqis were celebrating the defeat of the US army, whose last active troops were leaving that day (though they were calling for the various ‘advisers’ and mercenaries also to go.) Both were united too in condemning the BBC and other media for telling lies about their countries.

© 2011, Peter Marshall

Overall I couldn’t really find images that were strong, but there were a few individuals who I think told the story well.  It was really much the same with the vigil for Bradley Manning.

© 2011, Peter Marshall

Finally, I strolled down to the Egyptian Embassy, only to find 3 rather bored looking police and no protest. I was a few minutes early, so I took a walk around the block, and when I returned on time there was one man there. It was cold and I wanted to go home, but a couple of other photographers had arrived, so at least I had someone to talk to. After 20 minutes or so a few more protesters had arrived and they decided to start, and so did I.

There was really very little light, and even at ISO3600 the ambient in the pen where the protesters were standing was giving me readings like 1/4s f4. So most of the pictures I took were with flash, though I did play around a little without. I don’t like just using flash, because in photographing these kind of events it isn’t possible to play with multiple light set ups. You could work holding the flash at arms length, but I actually prefer the effects you can get with it on camera. I’ve experiments a little with using larger diffusers – and used to use these with film, but with the SB800 I don’t find they make a great deal of difference.

© 2011, Peter Marshall

Flash doesn’t really work – except for fill – on the P setting on the Nikons. My best results come from working in S mode, with a fixed shutter speed. By selecting a suitable value you can get usually get a decent balance between flash and ambient, and in these dim conditions I found 1/20 a sensible compromise. This left the 16-35mm at maximum aperture (f4) which is fine. Some of the images are sharper than others, depending on the amount of movement of both photographer and subject. Personally I think I preferred a bit of blur, as in the picture above, but I think I used a similar but overall sharper frame for Demotix.

Fuller stories from Saturday are on Demotix – and will be posted later with more pictures on My London Diary.


UK Uncut Santa Calls on Dave Hartnett
UK Uncut Xmas protest at tax dodgers Topshop
UK Uncut Xmas protest at tax dodgers Vodaphone – London
Syrian Kurds In London Call For Stop To Syrian Massacres
Congolese Protests Continue in London
Iraqis and Syrians Protest At US Embassy – London
Bradley Manning birthday demonstration at US Embassy
Egyptians protest in London as Cairo troops attack protesters

Yuri Kozyrev

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

By the time I’d come to the third or fourth Tweet or Facebook post telling me I should look at Yuri Kozrev’s My Year on Revolution on the Time photo editors’ Lightbox,  my expectations were considerably raised, and looking through his 64 pictures from the year they were not disappointed.

His is truly an incredible record of an incredible year (and of course there are many fine images from others too.)  While there are a few that do little for me (and the opening crowd picture is perhaps unfortunately one – and without the recommendations might have put me off looking at the rest) time after time I found myself thinking “I wish I’d taken that” which is probably the highest accolade that photographers award.

Of course I’m not a guy who would get into many of the situations that Kozrev has been in over the years, preferring to keep in rather safer and less kinetic places, but there were some of his pictures that did make me think we share some approaches – even though he does it considerably better almost all of the time.

One of the tweets that took me to this site was from Photojournalismlinks,  where you can find many more links to some more fine pictures from the year.

Lacoste Censor Larissa Sansour

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

I was shocked to read that high-end French clothing chain Lacoste had demanded the removal of Palestinian artist Larissa Sansour from the shortlist for the €25,000 Lacoste Elysée Prize, and even more disgusted that the Swiss Musee de l’Elysée, which I had thought to be an international venue with some integrity had bowed to their demand.

Earlier in the year Sansour had been nominated as one of eight artists short-listed for the 2011 prize, and along with the others received an initial grant – as the Museum page states*

” With the aid of a grant of 4,000 euros, each nominee will be invited to develop a photographic project around the theme “la joie de vivre”. They will be free to interpret this in which ever way they favour – in a direct or indirect manner, with authenticity or irony, based upon their existing work, or as an entirely new creation.”

Sansour submitted three photographs for her project ‘Nation Estate‘ to the museum in November 2011, and according to her press release, they “were accepted, and she was congratulated by the prize administrators on her work and professionalism.”

In what appears to be a simple act of political censorship, Lacoste refused to accept her work, regarding it as “too pro-Palestinian.” You can read more about this on the ‘Electronic Intifada‘ blog, as well as on Sansour’s own site. The museum’s web site removed all mention of Sansour from the material about the Lacoste Prize around a week ago.

Much of the sponsorship money that goes into major museums unfortunately comes from companies wanting to improve their rather unsavoury images – and in the UK we have the example of BP, a major promoter of climate change and environmental catastrophes such as the Canadian tar sands sponsoring our major public galleries – something I’ve covered in such events as Climate Rush’s Tate Britain Oil Spill Picnic and the incredible Rev Billy’s Tate BP Exorcism.

But damaging though this sponsorship is, so far as I am aware it has not been allowed to erode the artistic integrity of the institutions in the same way as this.

Further Developments

Since I posted, Lacoste has now completely withdrawn from this prize. You can read more about it at the British Journal of Photography and also at the Washington Post. *When I checked at the museum site just now the page about the prize it was empty.

I find it hard not to feel that Lacoste and the Elysée museum have both behaved incredibly stupidly in thinking they could get away with this kind of behaviour. It really is shameful that the museum did stand up to Lacoste – even if it would have meant losing the sponsorship, which in the event they have in any case done.

Lacoste’s statement says “Today, Lacoste reputation is at stake for false reasons and wrongful allegations” but I find it hard to take their statement (quoted in its entirety on the Washington Post) seriously.  The reasons and allegations seem all too clear and all too true. Museums and artists would be well advised to avoid crocodiles, and certainly not sell out to them, and the only person to come out of this with any credit is Larissa Sansour.

Last Saturday Everything Was Happening

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

People sometimes think that photography isn’t work. My wife for one, and in some ways I agree with her, and it’s certainly great to do things that I really want to do and sometimes at least get paid because people want to buy the pictures or publish them.  But I actually find it can be pretty exhausting, both physically and mentally.

My camera bag isn’t that heavy, though non-photographers I hand it too usually wince a bit at it’s weight. A couple of camera bodies, three lenses, flash, little oddments like spare batteries, lens cleaning stuff, remote release and then the kind of necessities of life – a bottle of water, umbrella, sandwiches,maps and a paperback to read add up, together with the bag itself to perhaps around 7-8kg  (around 15lb for non-metric readers.)  At the start of the day I can hang it on my left shoulder and hardly notice it. But by the end of the day it does drag a little.  It perhaps doesn’t help that I only have one shoulder, probably a legacy from my rugby-playing youth; not only does my right side just kind of slope down with little on which to keep a bag in place, after a minute or so the pain reminds me that it really isn’t a good idea to try.

Many photographers now use  back-packs. Certainly easier on the shoulders, but they can be a real pain to other photographers if you are working together in tightly packed situations. And though I don’t do a great deal of lens-changing, it is rather easier from a bag than a back-pack, even the kind that swivels around the body.

As usual I digress.  What I wanted to say was that Saturday was rather an exhausting day for me, one that reminded me I’m getting older. But also one that demonstrated again why London is a great place to work, particularly if you want to photograph protests and similar events. Possibly the nine I photographed was something of a personal record for a day (discounting such multi-events as the mass lone demos  orchestrated a few years back by Mark Thomas against the ridiculous limitations on protest imposed under SOCPA.)

And even so, there were other events taking place I was sorry to miss. Some because it really is impossible to be in Downing St and Belgrave Square at the same time  (had I taken my bike with me I might almost have made it, but probably it would have been stolen earlier while I was photographing on Oxford St.) There was an interesting walk in the East End that was truly out of the question. There are also some events where you really have to stick with them as things unfold, and others that are pretty static and at least visually can be summed up in a few minutes.

My photographic day started in Parliament St, which as the name suggests is very close to Parliament, and is what most people think of as the bottom end of Whitehall just off Parliament Square. I’d been told that there would be lots of people in Santa costume there at the head office of our tax people (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs – HMRC) who’ve lately been letting some big companies get away with not paying billions they owe in taxes, and of course they and the guys across the square in parliament make sure there are plenty of loopholes for them and their rich friends to creep through. If you are poor (or even in that ‘squeezed middle’) you pay taxes; if you are rich you pay accountants.

© 2011, Peter Marshall

I arrived a little late, but just in time, to find one Santa and two helpers approaching the very impressive but firmly closed door.  The protesters were just outnumbered by the four photographers, but more massively by the police, with a FIT team taking pictures and others standing around and sitting in vans, but not interfering with the protest at all.  We took our pictures (there wasn’t really a lot to photograph as you can see) and left.

I had a little time to kill before the next protest, and as usual when I’m in the area I went across to talk with the protesters in Parliament Square, but they were still asleep so I didn’t disturb them, but walked around the square (still fenced off from the public – one of London’s minor scandals – and with a couple of guys paid there to sit inside the fence all day and do nothing) and then back up past Downing St to Trafalgar Square, finding nothing much happening at either location.

The great thing about free entry to museums and galleries is that you can wander in to the National Gallery on the north side of the square (or the National Portrait Gallery just a few yards around the corner) and spend say ten or fifteen minutes looking at a couple of your favourite paintings or perhaps finding something new, and I quite often do when I’ve time to spare.  But time was getting on and I decided to get to the next location, so got on a bus to take me to Oxford Circus.

Another photographer was already there waiting opposite Topshop, and he told me that just a few minutes ago he had seen Bruce Gilden taking pictures at Oxford Circus, followed by a group of people, perhaps some kind of photo workshop. So having mentioned him in a post recently, I took a little walk looking for him (the flashes should have been easy to spot) but didn’t find him, and returned to Topshop.

Waiting outside there with another photographer, one of the higher ranking police officers came over to talk to us, telling us we would be allowed inside the store to a designated press area for the protest that was timed for 1pm. Around 15 minutes earlier I decided to go into the store, simply walking past the heavy security there with my two cameras on my chest as usual – and I don’t think they noticed.

But inside the store I decided I was unlikely to get much chance to take photographs – and the police officer had been talking absolute bullshit. So I left the store a couple of minutes before the protest occurred, knowing that there would also  be a protest outside that I could cover. I’m not sure it was the right decision, but it did avoid trouble for me. Some other photographers who had also simply walked in past the security did get some pictures, but they were almost immediately either illegally assaulted and “arrested” for aggravated trespass by security staff or escorted out of the store (as I was three years ago when the Space Hijackers protested there.)  Police did quickly arrive and “de-arrest” the photographers (and arrest the protesters) and they should be able to go to court to get compensation for their treatment.

© 2011, Peter Marshall

Outside the shop, there were rather more demonstrators (including some who had been inside but left immediately when requested, but later we were told six had been arrested) and the protest continued for a few minutes before police decided to clear the pavement. They told the protesters that they were committing an offence by obstructing the highway, then proceeded to obstruct it even more effectively themselves for rather longer!

© 2011, Peter Marshall
Police were pushing the protesters to clear the pavement – then blocked it themselves

The protest continued for some minutes longer on the road and then on the opposite pavement, and it was a very confused situation, with crowds of shoppers mixing with the protesters, many of whom were taking the opportunity to give out leaflets explaining that the protest was taking place because Topshop avoids paying its proper share of UK tax.

It’s a situation that few people think we should tolerate, and one that the actions by UK Uncut have put firmly on the political agenda. Even the Conservative Party are having to take tax avoidance seriously despite representing so many who profit from the current failures of the system to collect tax fairly. Gradually more and more people are coming to realise that the amounts involved in tax evasion and tax avoidance are truly massive, dwarfing the losses to the country from illegally claimed benefits that get so much publicity in the right-wing press.

Soon it became clear that most of the protesters had melted away, and it was time for me to run along Oxford Street to where I knew their next protest would be.

Continued in another post