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Anorak | Extremists’ demands for collective guilt unite Grenfell, Manchester and London

Extremists’ demands for collective guilt unite Grenfell, Manchester and London

by | 18th, June 2017

Grenfell Tower: Get angry, stay angry. Overthrow the Government. ‘Blood, blood, blood on your hands.’
Manchester and London: Don’t get angry. Let’s love one another.

 

 

Horrific events have claimed many lives in London and Manchester. But the message being delivered to the masses is different. After the horror of fire at Grenfell Tower, the message is, as one Labour MP demands, to “get angry, stay angry”. “Burn neoliberalism, not people,” says another Labour MP. Others on the Left want to marshall the dead to overthrow the Government. “Blood, blood, blood on your hands,” comes the chant. “May must go.” There will be a march on Number 10, the protesters demanding change and promoting the narrative that only a socialist government prevents such horrors; that only the Left does compassion.

As one commentator puts it: “The protesters outside No10 seem to be using the template of the Mark Duggan affair, which preceded the 2011 London riots: ‘no justice, no peace.'”

 

 

 

Justice delayed is justice denied. We want to know what happened whilst the matter is high on the news cycle and all parties involved are compos mentis. After Hillsborough, we fear that the long march towards justice will be a limp towards no-one being to blame. The dreaded “lessons must be learnt” must not be the end game. That must not happen.

But this protest and demand for justice is being shaped by party politics. The horror at Grenfell Tower is rooted in so much bad planning, greed and neglect perpetuated by successive Governments for decades.  If you blame the Tories, then surely you must blame Labour, too, and the coalition which oversaw social housing.

As the far Left clambers over the ruins and co-opts the dead into campaigning for a Labour win at the next General Election, we should recall how different things were after Islamists attacked London and Manchester. Then it was all about love. Only the Far Right were using the dead to promote their own monocular agenda and bigotry, demanding collective blame for all Muslims. Love not anger was the watchword. “Be unified. Feel love. Don’t give in to hate,” ran the mantra delivered by media and politicians. There was no circumspection and sensible, rational debate about an ideology that kills children at a pop concert. No-one sane wants to be branded a racist or Islamophobe. But to talk openly about such things is to foment civil unrest and unleash the impressionable masses – those race-rioters-in-waiting. Better to hold up the light on your mobile phone and sway in unity.

In Manchester, officialdom and the media’s fear of public opinion drowned out a quest for the truth, the central responsibility of journalism. After Grenfell, public opinion is sacrosanct. Both responses are founded on the same matters: fear of the masses and a profound lack of leadership, “somebody who can help us overcome the limitations of our own individual laziness and selfishness and weakness and fear and get us to do better things than we can get ourselves to do on our own.” Corbyn is slippery and nuanced. May is stark and spent. Where’s the leadership?

 

The Truth.

I don’t agree with politicising the Grenfell Tower horror. Politics matters, but to divide the response along party lines limits us. The horror was eminently preventable. Political policies is at least partly to blame. But to make it all about the Tories is wrong, just as it is wrong to blame the actions of deranged mass murderers on to much freedom of speech, radicalising preachers, religion or a response to our behaviour.

Narrowing the debate applies blinkers to any inquiry and stymies a clear quest for truth. That’s not to invalidate the activism and the anger. We feel the passion, the sense of outage and hurt. Not just hashtags and candle-lit vigils for Grenfell. Fury. Protest. Noise. The people will be heard. Good.

But it wasn’t so after Manchester and the attack on Borough Market and London Bridge. When children and families were murdered at a pop concert, we were told to behave, to embrace one another and to remain passive. As another voice notes: “If the massacre of children and their parents on a fun night out doesn’t make you feel rage, nothing will. The terrorist has defeated you. You are dead already.”

We need openness to discern right from wrong. We need gritty, unflinching commitment to say what we believe in, not to have our views dampened by official decree. Making a statement is not a simple state of being. We work hard at what we want in a disciplined way. We crave integrity. But without clarity, and objectivity, our demands are shrill, bigoted and shallow.



Posted: 18th, June 2017 | In: Google News, Key Posts, News Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink