As someone who has seen her share of protest marches over the years (we have so many in Washington that springtime in DC is affectionately called Protest Season), I am not sure I have ever heard of a street protest against world hunger that that concluded with a march into a lavish banquet at a palace. Why, they even threw in the chandeliers. Who’s idea was that?
An Episcopal bishop reports:
We arrived at Lambeth Palace and walked the grounds for a while before hearing a stirring speech from the Prime Minister about world poverty. Then, in an ironic contrast, we were served a very elegant lunch in a huge tent set up on the grounds.
Here’s how Ruth Gledhill of the London Times describes the luncheon menu that followed the March against poverty:
The menu was cold lemon and thyme scented breast of chicken with fresh asparagus and porcini mushroom relish, summer bean and coriander, tomato, basil and mozzarella served with hot minted new potatoes. Pudding was dark chocolate and raspberry tart with raspberry ripple ice cream, topped off with coffee and white chocolate raspberries. To wash it down they drank Pino Grigio or Chiraz or cranberry and elderflower fruit punch. The cream marquee was decorated with a dozen chandeliers down the middle.
The bishop then goes on to consider the “irony” of this ill-timed luncheon, explaining for the record:
I would have been happy with a sandwich and a donation to the MDG funds, but apparently there are many from third world countries who look forward to this lavish event.
At least he had some sort of moral pang that perhaps this was all rather vulgar. That he then excuses it by rationalizing that the poor blokes from the poverty-stricken countries rather like this sort of thing is, quite frankly, patronizing. He seems to think that this rationalization gives him an excuse to have have no conscience. And he seems totally unaware of what he’s just implied – or who he blames.