In the Spectator, Claire argues that it is up to the public to avoid being dragged into an over-simplistic ‘whose side are you on?’ row.
Who needs statue topplers when the state will do it for you? Some bright spark in authority has decided the way to defend the statues on Parliament Square is to board them up. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has taken his lead from protesters and started a national trend, with councils setting up posses of the unelected to assess whose statues might survive the great 2020 cull. Meanwhile, the BBC, so terrified of bad PR, has pre-emptively removed from its i-player an iconic episode of Fawlty Towers, written as a satire on Little Englander mentality. Own goals all round.
What started out as a genuine, furious, international reaction to the brutal killing of George Floyd seems to be turning into an institutional nervous breakdown. Corporates and elite institutions are scurrying to demonstrate their adherence to #BlackLivesMatters, in the process turning any possibility of a progressive moment into a deadening, bureaucratic, tick-boxing exercise – with undertones of McCarthyism aimed at anyone who does not nod along.
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