There has been next to no mainstream media coverage, but some out there on the far right have been enthusing over what they claim was a protest today in central London, in the style of the Gilets Jaunes movement that has brought such disruption in France of late. Except that there wasn’t much of a protest at all.
Battersea bedroom dweller Paul Watson, still shilling for batshit conspiracy merchant Alex Jones at InfoWars, relayed the propaganda of Russian state broadcaster RT to his followers: “Protesters, wearing yellow vests similar to those worn in recent protests in France, have blocked London's Westminster Bridge, bringing traffic to a standstill”.
And Leave EU, still not addressing the small matter of its having broken the law in the run-up to the 2016 EU referendum, was keen to join in by creatively reinterpreting what had happened. “WATCH … Brexiteers in yellow vests bring Westminster Bridge to a standstill in protest at Theresa May's Brexit sell-out. This is what happens when the Establishment ignores the will of the people”. Er, there were barely three dozen of them.
True, they were holding up traffic on Westminster Bridge, including an ambulance with its blue lights on, perhaps heading for St Thomas’ Hospital, which is just over the river, but the intention had apparently been to seek out and confront Steve Bray and his fellow pro-EU protesters who normally gather on College Green. But there was a problem.
As Mike Stuchbery told in response to Watson, “CORRECTION: This is James Goddard and his mates. They were planning to harass the folks with EU flags outside Parliament, but well, it's Friday, a non-sitting day, and the Sodem folks aren't there. There's not many of them. It's rather sad”. They were on Westminster Bridge as their target wasn’t there.
Lizzie Dearden of the Independent concurred, giving a little more information about the alleged ringleader. “Protesters in yellow vests on Westminster Bridge are a group of far-right Brexiteers led by a guy called James Goddard - a sort of wannabe Tommy Robinson who tries to fund his activities through PayPal”. So famous, hardly anybody turned up.
Meanwhile, former Chief Prosecutor Nazir Afzal ridiculed this rather pathetic display. “Let’s be clear: 20 protestors led by Far Right Mini-Tommy, James Goddard buy some yellow vests (in keeping with EU regulations) to make a nuisance outside Parliament. They then discover Parliament doesn’t sit on Fridays!!” It’s almost Pythonesque.
It got worse: as Ms Dearden then added, “The same group went on to bother Tower Bridge - clearly inspired by Extinction Rebellion tactics to cause disruption”. And for what? What is a pro-Brexit protest going to achieve by screwing up traffic down at Tower Bridge?
Meanwhile, Tottenham MP David Lammy was not impressed. “You stopped an ambulance with its siren on from helping someone in need. Are you really celebrating this?” Yes, they were really that stupid. But, apparently, patriotic, whatever that is supposed to mean.
They wanted to protest, but turned up on the wrong day. What a bunch of tossers.
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