Massive crowds in Trafalgar Square and along Whitehall during Black Lives Matter (BLM) demonstrations and zero enforcement of lockdown rules. Demonstrations around the country often without social distancing. Individuals have been harangued by the media and fined by the police for far more minor infringements.
Double standards? A display of hypocrisy? It’s hard to escape those conclusions.
As Brendan O’Neill, writing in the Spectator points out:
“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!'”
Let’s go there. Some folk want to call out this inconsistent application of rules. It’s simply not Just to tell one group of people ‘You can’t do that’ and let others do as they please. The video we publish here is an irate member of the public questioning police officers about what was going on at a BLM demonstration in Edinburgh. Their reaction to his questions is to say that the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, has said its fine for people to flout the rules. There you have it. One rule for those politically favoured and above criticism and one rule for the rest of us.
Of course, the irony is that Black and Ethnic Minority communities suffer disproportionately from the virus. Allowing those most vulnerable to gather in crowds during a pandemic is not smart. Allowing the perception that these demos might spread the virus to others is hardly likely to encourage good community relations.
Isn’t it time that the authorities started acting consistently? Isn’t it time that the BLM demonstrators looked for other ways within the rules to make their, often valid, points?