Day of Rage: Will Britain Divide in the Face of Tragedy?
Britain has been reeling in recent weeks, with hundreds injured in terrorist attacks, a snap election that saw the marked rise in popularity for a radical Communist, and then the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
Among the celebrations for the Queen’s official birthday, Queen Elizabeth ii issued a rare public statement, which highlighted the “very somber national mood” caused by the recent “succession of terrible tragedies.” She also mentioned her hopes that the country would continue to comfort and support one other, unifying ever closer together.
However, four recent events show that Britain is, in fact, heavily divided and unlikely to unify as many hope.
1) Muslims Targeted in Mosque Attack
On June 19, a man drove his rented truck into Muslims leaving the Finsbury Park Mosque. The attack left one man dead and 10 others injured. As this event is the reverse of the norm, featuring a white man attacking Muslims, it is going to strain relations further and make it harder to effectively combat the very real threat of radical Islam.
The attack paralleled the annual al-Quds Day protest, which is essentially an anti-Israel protest begun by Iran in 1979. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has, in years past, been a regular at this march.
This attack will make it easier for the left to shut down any real steps to combat the threat of radical Islam.
2) The State Opening of Parliament
In the formal State Opening of Parliament, the Queen reads a speech, composed by Parliament, which outlines what the government plans to do during that session. Britain’s government, however, is very divided. The Labour Party hates the Conservatives. It has sought to brand the government as illegitimate because the Conservatives’ support from the Democratic Unionist Party (dup), which has some controversial opinions. In a convenient loss of memory, Labour neglects to remember that it has made deals with the dup in the past.
3) The ‘Day of Rage’
The far left has called for a “Day of Rage” on the same day as the State Opening of Parliament. It is capitalizing on public anger, which has been further enhanced by the Grenfell Tower disaster. This anger is largely misguided as evidenced by a group of protesters who stormed the local Council office and attacked an official-looking gentleman. This man turned out to have nothing to do with the council.
The general narrative is that the government doesn’t care about the poor people and has thus ignored basic safety regulations. However, Britain handed over all control of safety regulations to the European Union.
Marxist groups are pushing for this “Day of Rage” in hopes of shutting down London and bringing down the government. Left-wing groups and trade unions are working to get together for another day of protests, set for July 1. John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor and a professed Marxist himself, has called for a million protesters to take to the streets.
4) Brexit Negotiations Begin
The fourth event highlighting division is the beginning of Brexit negotiations, one year after Britain voted “Yes” to Brexit. But Brexit is not a clear-cut process. There isn’t just division between the EU and Britain over the move, but also within Britain itself. A diverse range of voices are calling for various exits, such as a hard Brexit versus a soft one, single market versus freedom of movement. Watch for the divides to only widen as the negotiations continue.