This is a blog of liberal stance and independent mind
Monday, 8 June 2020
Lawless & Reckless? Nige Is Your Man
After a bronze statue of Edward Colston was torn down and deposited in Bristol’s Floating Harbour, to the great relief of many Bristolians who wished it had happened rather earlier, the pearl-clutching and curtain-twitching part of the Fourth Estate was aghast. Never mind that Colston had profited massively from the slave trade and seen many thousands of those transported to the West Indies die en route - this was just not cricket.
So it was that the inmates of the Northcliffe House bunker decided to ignore the pent-up anger, the decades of discrimination, the hunger for change and an end to institutional racism, and thundered “As Black Lives Matter protesters topple one statue and deface Churchill memorial - while Police stand by - Home Secretary tells the Mail she condemns them as … LAWLESS & RECKLESS”. The Daily Mail went full Daily Mail.
Sadly, the hacks were standing in a very draughty glasshouse: telling that the statue being felled had “echoes of the fall of Saddam Hussein” managed to miss that some statue-fellings were less lawless than others. And citing alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson claiming that the demonstrations had been “subverted by thuggery” - er, hello, this is the bloke who conspired to have a journalist beaten up.
But there was one person out there who the Mail could, and should, be targeting, if they wanted to head off more of This Sort Of Thing. And that person was Brexit Party Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage, who has spent much of the past 48 hours verging on the promotion of incitement, kicking off with “There will be more violence in London at the US Embassy today. Should Boris Johnson and Sadiq Khan allow another protest to go ahead?” They did. And there wasn’t. But there was more.
“Time for some home truths on the black lives movement, I will be on LBC at 10am”. Bit of disrespect for BLM, not that he’s racist, of course. James Felton was not interested. “I’ve got better things to do with my Sunday than listening to a racist try to explain how it’s not racist to ask racist questions and hold racist opinions”. But Nige wasn’t listening.
“The Churchill statue in Parliament Square has been vandalised for the second day in a row. Why are [Metropolitan Police] not stopping this? Is anarchy and disrespect now allowed? #TotalDisgrace … Do we have a leader? [Boris Johnson] is supposed to be a Churchill fan, but he says and does nothing. He is not half the man”. Bozo is a racist; so was Winshton. And so is Mr Thirsty. But then came the real incitement.
“A new form of the Taliban was born in the UK today. Unless we get moral leadership quickly our cities won't be worth living in … If Boris Johnson won't lead and stand up for the country, as its symbols are trashed, then people will start taking it into their own hands. Full on race riots are now possible. Show leadership and fast”. Incitement. Nailed on.
(c) Steve Bell 2016
Directing hatred against a minority, together with the threat of violence. And when his dog-whistle is heard by those out on the far right, and it all kicks off, Farage will simply respond “Who, me?”, come over all innocent as he did with his “Breaking Point” poster, and get away with it once more. Our free and fearless press will then give him a free pass.
The Mail should be calling out Farage. But he’s white. And establishment. So they won’t.
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