Both the EDL, and anti-semites, are a disgrace to Britain

On Monday a week ago today I republished on this blog a statement released by Deputy Assistant Commissioner Ade Adelekan on behalf of the Metropolitan Police  asking the organisers of the March on Saturday 11th November to reconsider and not to hold any protests on Armistice Day.

Here is that statement again.

Let nobody pretend that it was not predictable and predicted that there was a serious risk of violence and disorder if that march took place. The Metropolitan police themselves warned of the possibility five days before the event, and asked the organisers not to go ahead. 

The police expressed that concern two days before the Home Secretary's article in The Times, and warned the organisers, quote, that

"It is not appropriate to hold any protests this weekend."

Most unfortunately the organisers chose to ignore that advice. And the consequences were that we did see violence and disorder, 145 arrests and nine police officers injured in the line of duty by far-right thugs. 

I praise the police for acting with professionalism and courage in dealing with a very difficult situation. We should all thank them for their service.

I condemn absolutely and unreservedly the behavior of the far-right EDL thugs who committed violent disorder on Saturday. They are a disgrace to their country.

The primary responsibility for the violence rests with the EDL thugs who perpetrated it. But the organisers of the pro-palestine march were foolish and irresponsible to disregard the police advice.

Also to be condemned absolutely and unreservedly were the anti-semitic banners and glorification of Hamas, which we saw from some protesters. They were a minority. But they brought the whole demonstration into disrepute.

Those who displayed anti-semitic banners or chanted anti-semitic phrases such as the infamous words which Hamas uses to call for the abolition of the state of Israel were also a disgrace to Britain. Yet again, the march gave our Jewish citizens good reason to feel frightened.

All Saturday's march achieved was to make those who took part feel virtuous while further exacerbating division and tensions between communities in Britain.

If anyone imagines that the demonstration on Saturday helped the Palestinian cause, or the cause of peace, or improved the chances of a ceasefire, they are delusional.


Paul Holdsworth said…
You've entirely omitted to mentioned our disgraceful ex-home secretary who unquestionably added fuel to the fire, Chris. Why's that?
Chris Whiteside said…
Since part of the problem with this whole situation is people not choosing their words carefully enough and dragging in too many issues at once which can lead to unnecessary offence and confusion, I choose my own words carefully and I was writing specifically about the issues with the March on Saturday.

I believe the PM was right to replace Suella Braverman as Home Secretary.

On issues of great importance and sensitivity, how you say things is as important as what you say.

I do not accept that the substance of everything that the former home secretary said was wrong, but the manner in which she expressed her concerns, many of them valid, was not helpful, and the Prime Minister clearly had to take action to address this, which he has done.
Chris Whiteside said…
And yet again, Paul, you have written something about my blog which is not entirely correct.

If you read the article again, and particularly the second paragraph below the Met Police statement, you will see that your statement that I had "entirely omitted to mention" the former home secretary is not actually true.
Chris Whiteside said…
On November 13th Paul Holdsworth posted here, as you can read above, a comment which begins with,

"You've entirely omitted to mentioned" (sic) "our disgraceful ex-home secretary"

In fact I had mentioned her. I pointed this out. Instead of admitting that what he had written was wrong, Paul submitted a further comment which began with, quote,

"Here we go again. You only referenced Braverman to exonerate her and her inflammatory comments."

Actually I wrote above that Rishi Sunak was right to sack her.

Paul has posted things in the past which were a constructive response to debate and which I published. On one of the previous occasions he wrongly accused me of ignoring something which I had in fact mentioned, he even apologised.

But I have finite patience for being accused of omitting things I didn't omit and accused of defending people whom I have written it was right to sack, and for the moment that patience has run out.

For the avoidance of doubt, I reserve the right not to consider comments which contain that sort of departure from the facts to be "a constructive contribution to debate" for the purpose of my decision whether to let them through comment moderation.
Chris Whiteside said…
Debate is useful when it leads to a constructive challenge.

Unfortunately some people get so heated in their views, especially when they passionately disagree with someone else, that they end up interpreting every thing the other person says or writes in the worst possible way and nothing you can say or write will stop them seeing the conversation through the prism of what they are already convinced is going on in the other person's head.

In such situations, getting over a nuanced message which might, for instance, be something like "I agree with 80% of what person X said but I am very unhappy indeed with how they said it," becomes completely impossible because you will get misunderstood or misrepresented by people who either take the half of the message they agree with and completely fail to hear the other half, or quote the parts they want to attack and ignore the other parts which balance or qualify it.

I did not make the comment that the police asked the organisers not to march over Armistice weekend two days before the former Home Secretary's article in The Times in order to defend or attack her, but

1) to defend THE POLICE against the charge that they were ignoring the risk that such a march that weekend could both be seen as inappropriate and could lead to trouble, And

2) to emphasise the point that this risk was both foreseeable and foreseen.

This correspondence is now closed unless someone has something new and constructive to say.

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