Updated: Jul 27
By George Holt
The BLM movement has landed in the UK. Quickly sweeping through the nation and filling the souls of our people with a mixture of guilt, fear and anger. Some people are filled with guilt about how their perceived privilege has allowed systematic racism to thrive. Some are fearful of the consequences of BLM, such as physical and cultural destruction, or quite possibly fearful of being a victim of racism. Others are angry at the perceived audacity of this movement with their attacks, vandalism, and breaking of social distancing. On the other side of the coin, others are angry at the systematic racism in many parts of the world and the horrible killing of George Floyd.
All over the country, there have been people talking about the changing of street names, the removal of statues (some of the suggestions are inane I might add) and the cancellation of beloved TV classics. Who knew the removal of Earl Grey’s statue was needed in the fight to end racism. Earl Grey, the same Prime Minister whose government abolished slavery...
To cut a long story short, I look at these actions and ideas and all I see is a distraction. A distraction from any sensible discussion about racism and how to remove it from the world. The BLM movement should know their recent actions do them no favours. I say this as someone who attended a socially distanced, 10 person limited funeral of a loved one during lockdown- only to see hundreds pouring onto the streets not long afterwards, with the same restrictions in place and facing little to no consequences for their actions. Their current strategy will not endear the British people’s hearts and minds to their cause and they are in need of a severe change in approach.
What I think BLM needs to be a respected movement are the following:
1. Drop the “Defund the Police” mantra, it’s unreasonable, unpopular and just plain ridiculous.
2. Remove pledges to “dismantle capitalism”, an anti-racist organisation should not be picking sides between left or right-wing. BLM is seriously suggesting that a change in our economic model would end racism?
3. Retrospectively, stop making a show of breaking lockdown regulations.
Every time they do this they kick dirt into the eyes of people who have tried their best to adhere to the rules and who have lost so much for it. Their protests have dominated the online space- I only had to look at my Instagram feed for one night. It’s a shame they didn’t utilise this further, instead of breaking the Coronavirus restrictions.
4. Stop the attacks on our police and the disrespecting of our country's veterans.
Our police have worked incredibly hard to keep law & order on our streets. Only to be attacked by BLM protesters. I was disgusted when I saw an image of a bloodied police officer after he was just trying to do his job of protecting innocents and containing the protests. On the note of our veterans and war dead, the Cenotaph is incredibly important and means so much to people who have lost loved ones to war. It was incredibly irreverent of the protesters to vandalise it in the way they did, then they had the audacity to hurl insults at those who came to clean it. It truly made me sick. The BLM movement needs to surgically remove and denounce these people if they want to succeed.
5. Have a more specific set of requests for the UK Government to tackle racism.
Their current approach is so disorganised and it’s almost impossible to understand exactly what they want. I would suggest as part of their reformation they could ask for a change in British Education, to reflect the duality of people like Winston Churchill rather than the affectatious removal of his statue and many others like him. But I’m not expressing my view on this. This is just a suggestion of something they could ask for. I argue it’s much more effective than asking to “dismantle capitalism”.
Speaking of a certain PM...
Winston Churchill’s place in UK history will never be taken, one of our most famous Prime Ministers and a personal favourite of many. His “No Surrender” spirit still inspires the British people and is something many of his successors could have learned from. Returning to the duality of the man, his actions retrospectively are considered unsavoury. But it’s almost as if cultural norms, values and tolerance shift over time rather than being fixed in perpetuity. The hard left’s attempts to censor our history have caused outrage across the nation, and I am sure it will cost them at the next election.
If you’ve read this article so far you would notice that anger and discontent have come up on both sides. What’s really needed in this country, more than protests in the streets and arguments about TV shows of days gone by, is a national coming together, a true common cause. Something that a lot of us thought our national effort in defeating the Coronavirus could have brought, but that has now been politicised by the likes of Rob Peston. A consensus built on a national commitment to defeat racism against all races and to respect and understand the history of our great nation, rather than hiding it. Now that is truly something everyone can get behind.
Disclaimer: All views expressed in this piece belong solely to the author and do not reflect the views of Demographica as a company.