The rule of law, reason and rationality have been replaced by the rule of the mob and who shouts loudest on social media. All aided and abetted by governments, police and media.
Last weekend there was a society changing event in Sydney (similar events happened in London, Glasgow, New York and many other cities). The Black Lives Matter march was eventually permitted to go ahead with around 10,000 participants. It was deemed by the Sydney appeals court to be legal – although the law says that we are not allowed to meet in more than groups of ten. Why did this happen? Because the authorities feared disorder.
On Saturday 6th June the BBC reported that groups over six were illegal but the police refused to enforce it for fear of disorder. This is why this event was society changing. It is important to challenge and defeat racism within society – both individual and systemic. But I don’t believe the events of this past weekend will see any change for good in our society. In fact, I suspect it will end up making things worse. They have done more to aid the far-Right (and Left) than anything. The rule of law, reason and rationality have been replaced by the rule of the mob and who shouts loudest on social media. All aided and abetted by governments, police and media.
I don’t want to say anything about BLM – the organisation (I will leave that for another time). But that does not mean, as Twitter tells me, that I don’t think Black lives matter. They do. And the simple riposte – ‘All lives matter’ – doesn’t help. The point about saying Black lives matter is to say that they matter (or should) as much as any other people’s lives. Any Christian should agree with that.
What I am concerned about in this article is the hypocrisy, the mob rule and especially the breakdown of law and order.
We have teachers who say that it’s not safe to teach children in schools – but its ok to go on demonstrations in London. We have health professionals who warned us that going to visit someone was putting their lives at risk – but commended mass demonstrations.
We had Iain Livingstone, Chief Constable, tweeting “If neighbours are having a party call the police” but then after a mob pulled down a statue in Bristol we had this Chief Constable telling us that if the mob is big enough the police will make ‘a tactical decision’ and let you do what you want.
The BBC news department managed to outdo even its woke self. They claimed that the officer who was thrown off her horse after bricks were thrown at it “knocked herself off her horse”. The BBC also had this incredible headline
Can you imagine what the headline would have been if a right-wing protest had resulted in 27 police officers being hurt? I suspect the words ‘largely peaceful protest” would have been nowhere near it.
The double standards were well summed up by Brendan O’Neill.
It was hard to escape the conclusion that the protest was tweeting made flesh, a noisy display of virtue disguised as a radical assembly.
The double standard was made crystal clear by Labour MP Dawn Butler. When in mid-May Boris Johnson relaxed the lockdown rules and said some people could return to work, Ms Butler fumed. She said the PM was being ‘reckless’ and, get this, was ‘sending people out to catch the virus’. And yet when Conservative MP Kevin Hollinrake criticised the BLM demo on the basis that it could cause a second spike, Butler responded: ‘Don’t you dare! Don’t even go there!’
The justification for these things is important they say. BLM is important. So is going to my friend’s funeral. So is visiting my elderly parents. Way more important than tearing down a statue in Bristol, or attacking police in London, or nicely protesting in Glasgow.
The politicians of course joined in the hypocritical double standards – suddenly those who called for the head of Dominic Cummings because he was endangering lives; found out that having thousands of people together was not endangering lives. The ‘science ‘quickly changed to fit the politics! In Scotland, the justice secretary, who would fine you if you went beyond a five-mile radius from your home – was implicitly condoning mass gatherings. Because he agreed with the cause. I have to, at this point, give credit to the impressive Labour leader Keir Starmer for criticising his own MP, Barry Gardiner for attending one of these protests.