After seeing some of the less savoury behaviour exhibited by the far right brains trust outside the Supreme Court yesterday, the question has to be asked of Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick: does she remember the announcement West Yorkshire Police’s temporary Chief Constable Dee Collins had to make that afternoon in June 2016?
We already knew that Labour MP Jo Cox was in a critical condition after being attacked outside her constituency surgery in Birstall. It was Ms Collins that had to tell the world the news that no Police officer wants to have to give: “Just before One O’Clock today, Jo Cox, MP for Batley and Spenborough, was attacked in Market Street, Birstall. I am now very sad to have to report that she has died as a result of her injuries”.
I put the question to Cressida Dick because the far right hatred that killed Jo Cox is still out there, and was on display outside the Supreme Court. Shami Chakrabarti, shadow Attorney General, had left the court and was on foot, accompanied by a female colleague, when she was verbally abused by a group of far right thugs.
Jason Parkinson captured the scene (see HERE; note that you can licence his content). Ms Chakrabarti and her colleague are trying their best to continue on their way as a barrage of catcalls - mostly “Traitor! Scum! Out! Out! Out!” - are hurled at them. As she briefly turns to see what is causing the commotion, someone yells “Scumbag”.
One young woman tries to reason with a far right thug, whose response is “Are you stupid?” Another thug roars “You’re left-wing scum. Go home. You don’t respect us” (interesting one way concept of “respect” there). He continued “You don’t respect the vote. Go home”. And by “go home” he does not mean Kenton, where Ms Chakrabarti was born. This is just plain old-fashioned anti-brown people racism.
Don't forget where far-right hatred leads
There was then more of that one-way respect: “You don’t respect the view of the British people. You’re a traitor. Go home!” An older woman suggests the far right protest is all about Scary Muslims™, which is an interesting one, given that Ms Chakrabarti attended a Baptist Sunday school and is not given to religious pronouncements.
But these are not people given to reason. They are filled with irrational hatred, the same hatred that filled Thomas Mair. “You’re trying to stop the vote of the British people!” one of them yelled at a man trying to reason with him. Why was he shouting? “Because you’re scum!” The same thug then yelled “17.4 million people like me. If you think you can get away with it … bring it on”. He wasn’t proposing any kind of intellectual process.
And it is that kind of mindless, unreasoning thuggery that was bearing down on Shami Chakrabarti and her colleague yesterday. Shouts of “Traitor”, “Scum” and “Go home”. No intention to reason with anyone; no niceties; just hatred and threats of violence. So where were the Police? Why were they not staying close to the shadow Attorney General?
Why, indeed, were they not making an example of those indulging in clearly threatening behaviour? Because we know what happens when the thugs become emboldened. We know because of what happened in June 2016 in Birstall.
Does Cressida Dick want to be the next one bringing the worst news? Deal with it. Now.
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And do we think the POTUS, on hearing his own supporters at a recent rally shouting similar slogans of "go home" to people already at home without offering any serious condemnation, has in any way given the green light to this type of verbal abuse in the eye's of the abusers?
I think it might have done.
Far right politicians and corporate media bear equal responsibility for this. So do self-styled "centrists" who have stood by mumbling as matters got steadily worse and worse. The process is osmotic and not sudden. Nor is it now isolated.
We all know where this leads if unchecked and not denounced. There are no more excuses.
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