It’s confronting footage – the MP for the Cities of London and Westminster, Mark Field, launching himself at a Greenpeace protester who made her way into chancellor Philip Hammond’s farewell address at Mansion House on Thursday night. He grabs her by the neck, momentarily wrestling her, before marching her down a row of clearly shocked guests.
Field has been suspended pending an investigation, but already social media and the opinion pages of publications across the country are buzzing over the incident – naturally, there’s a lot to take apart.
Here’s an interesting exercise, however. Take note of those talking heads, those journalists, politicians and outrage merchants who attempt to minimise Field’s actions. Then, see what those same figures had to say about Nigel Farage, ‘Tommy Robinson’ and other controversial figures who’ve been doused with a milkshake in recent weeks.
I guarantee you, they would have been screaming bloody murder. Specifically, they would have been demanding police action, invoking the memory of Jo Cox, and howling about the violence of ‘the Left’, a chorus of bad faith, rising to the heavens.
They are ‘crybullies’ – silent as they and their peers encourage the marginalisation of the target du jour, but howling with indignation when confronted.
More than ever before, forces within the UK are, in a breathtakingly hypocritical fashion, casting legitimate protest as mindless, nihilistic violence, while remaining deafeningly silent on the rising tide of hatred – and violence – in this country.
Simply contrast the recent outrage over a private individual, in her own time, calling someone ‘Nazi scum!’ at the recent Trump protests, with the utter lack of comment or concern about activists being beaten up by thugs during ‘Tommy Robinson’s’ recent MEP campaign, or the spate of attacks on mosques following the Christchurch shootings.
Surely all the incidents described should warrant at least a token attempt at equal acknowledgement?
Based on large swathes of the UK media, you’d be forgiven for thinking we were living in some sort of ‘Weimar London’, where far left extremists regularly conducted dress rehearsals for bloody revolution with hurled thickshakes.
Instead, the country experiences unprecedented levels of hate crime, whipped up by opportunists across politics and media who profit from a divided, angry and fearful populace.
As long as we’re all afraid, a little broken and shaking our heads at the rabble rousers with the gall to soak a man in his expensive suit, they can continue their agenda without any real opposition.
The next time you see one of the professionally outraged fume with faux indignation as they rant into their radio microphone about a milkshake, or a rude name, remember that they don’t give a damn about civility, about a peaceful society, about tolerance.
You’re being played. Bad faith arguments are preventing hard questions from being asked, motives being examined.
There are many in 2019 Britain who have an interest in you not paying attention to what they’re up to. Helpfully, once you know how the trick works, this selective anger, it’s easy to pick them out.
Let’s make them afraid of something much more threatening than a Five Guys salted caramel shake – unwavering, critical scrutiny.