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Caroline Farrow: The ‘Day of Rage’ is the Left’s temper tantrum at defeat


Talking about the Grenfell Tower fire on ITV’s Peston on Sunday, Jeremy Corbyn noted that ‘some people care about the tragedy to a ‘deeper extent’ than others.

The same could be said about the fate of the country. Some people do care to a greater extent than others and clearly those who are planning to participate in today’s so-called ‘Day of Rage’ really do not care a jot. Neither does it seem that Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell, Owen Jones or any other member of the Labour party and their commentariat really care, because if they did, then they would be unequivocally calling this protest off, instead of goading their acolytes with emoticons of clenched fists.

London may not be on its knees, but its emergency services are stretched to capacity after the chain of terror attacks and the Grenfell disaster. Only a few weeks ago, Labour politicians were bitterly complaining about how, during her time in office, Theresa May had cut police numbers, thereby rendering the country less safe, and now when people are threatening to ‘shut down London and bring down the government’ in leaflets advertising the protest, the silence of the Labour leadership is deafening.

The Labour leadership knows full well that the current political volatility combined with the searing temperatures could well overflow into violence and care not one jot. In fact John McDonnell is probably looking forward to it. In the aftermath of the 2010 student riots, he described people who ‘kicked the sh*t out of Millbank and then that spark lighting all the combustible material’ as being ‘the best of our movement’. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised coming from a party whose leader sat on the editorial board of the London Labour Briefing, which published an editorial in the wake of the Brighton bombing saying that ‘the British only sit up and take notice when they are bombed into it’.

Indeed in the aftermath of Brighton, cuddly Corbyn who is so keen to lead the stampede to hug a victim in the wake of tragedy seemed to be lacking that deeper compassion. With Norman Tebbit and his wife seriously injured in hospital, Corbyn’s paper published comments from readers jeering at Tebbit for ‘not being able to get on your bike now” and stating that ‘Four Dead Tories is a start’. Some innocent victims of terror attacks are more equal than others.

The hard left have been spoiling for a ruck for quite some time now. Just days after David Cameron’s election victory of 2015, an ‘impromptu’ anti-austerity rally took place, in which 200 people were involved in clashes with police outside Downing Street, throwing green smoke bombs and tomato ketchup at officers in riot gear.

As far as those behind the Day of Rage are concerned, the timing of the Grenfell disaster could not have been better. In an interview two days before the fire, John McDonnell called for a million people to take to the streets in order to force a re-election and since then various activists have been seeking to ramp up the rhetoric in order to fuel divisions and harness the hatred. McDonnell is clearly anticipating violence, which is why on Tuesday afternoon he tweeted that it was vital that any protests remained peaceful. If it does all kick off, he will be able to dissociate himself from any violence, but what does he expect from ‘a day of rage’ scheduled for an afternoon where temperatures are expected to soar to 30 degrees? The Left don’t exactly have a history of “down with this kind of thing and pass me another custard cream thank you very much”.

In the unlikely event that things don’t kick off, there is still the small matter that the UK is still on a heightened terror alert and that large crowds intent on trouble-making could potentially hinder police redeployment in the event of a major incident and endanger lives. A fact of which the protestors are well aware.

Regardless of what happens today, it appears that a summer of riots is planned. No doubt various excitable young activists with one eye on a media career are ready with their pens poised to generate breathy reports and column inches from the centre of the action and other opportunists are eying up a pair of hooky trainers. But for those tasked with cleaning up the debris (usually low-paid workers) and those attempting to salvage what’s left of their stock and repair their premises, riots are not such a glamorous event and can often tip a businesses owner into insolvency and their families into debt.

No doubt we’ll be subject to the usual cliched photographs of beleaguered immigrant communities pulling together to sweep up the glass and Corbyn will rush in to offer tea and sympathy in between stopping at hospitals to mop the blood from the brows of the protestors and blaming the police if they so much as even dare to eye their truncheons.

The Day of Rage is a nothing more than a temper tantrum that Labour did not come anywhere near to winning the election. It is an incitement to mob rule and mass disorder, designed to cause fear, chaos and instability, inflamed by politicians who are advocating that the State ought to seize property. (Perhaps we could start with the second and holiday homes of every single Labour voter). Those who participate have no respect for either democracy or the needs of the country. Those who have refused to condemn or call off the protests held in their name have much to learn about responsible leadership. They could well have blood on their hands.

What happened to “Don’t Look back in Anger”? Or does that only apply when the bodies of children nail-bombed to death by an Islamic extremist, who had taken full advantage of Britain’s lax immigration laws and over-burdened security services, are not yet cold?

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Caroline Farrow
Caroline Farrow
Columnist for the Catholic Universe

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