I attended the march for a ceasefire in Palestine on 11/11/23. I noted a high degree of misinformation from the public in conversation on the way to the march. They failed to understand that the march was organised at a different time to the Armistice day ceremony and that the route for the march was nowhere near the Cenotaph. Such is the power of fake news. One told me that the Palestinians were planning to storm the Cenotaph. Quite the reverse was true.
STOP PRESS 9 am : Suella has resigned
Mark Rowley’s decision
The march was well organised, entirely peaceful and sensitively policed. By contrast a few so called “English patriots” attempted to storm the Cenotaph, did not observe the silence at 11 am, attacked police officers and went on a rampage though China Town. The coward formerly known as Tommy Robinson retreated early to his foreign bunker in Tenerife. I say all this as someone who is not a massive fan of the police. In particular, let’s look at Mark Rowley’s decision here. Having decided that the Cenotaph might be a flash point for violence, he prevented Palestinians from approaching it. This would eliminate a potential flashpoint by confrontation with the BNP. Having set this condition up, this allowed him to insist that Tommy Robinson fanatics did not attend the march for a ceasefire. The police were then able to enforce BOTH conditions on an even handed basis. His decision largely kept both groups apart and was a textbook example of public order management. To those trying to amplify the drama, some numbers help to restore sanity:
126 arrests were made from 300 000 people attending the march or 0.042%
Of these, the vast majority (82 estimated) were the BNP contingent
Nine police officers were injured whilst dealing with the BNP
The stoking of racism and the Tory party alliance with the BNP is ENTIRELY the responsibility of Suella Braverman and sanctioned by Rishi Sunak. Suella must go NOW. So must Sunak.
The Daily Mail was not able to claim that the Palestinians had caused widespread disorder and chaos, so what to do? Well, they got Michael Gove to go on a walkabout to Victoria station knowing full well that the Palestinians would be there. Just for clarity Gove always uses a chauffeur driven car for his movements, even if they are 300 yards. He was deliberately in Whitehall to get jostled so that the Maul could lead with that rather than EDL/Tommy Robinson violence. The Maul typically uses the word terrifying when Gove appeared to be smirking for much of the time. We see you Michael.
Suella must go – oh, she did
So must Sunak – oh, he played a blinder by appointing Cameron
At this point I must say that it is ‘premature evaluation’ to say that David Cameron will be foreign secretary (now confirmed). If that is the case, it validates my suggestion to James O’Brien that Rishi Sunak should pivot to the centre rather than to the right if he wishes to recover his position and win an election. Cameron is a centrist. He will embolden the silent MPs in the Tory party and outside (they have been popping up regularly) and even Labour. Cameron regrets every day his decisions about the Brexit referendum and if he as much as breathed these public regrets, it would allow the opposition to move along the same pathway. Once the major opposition parties are aligned on the notion that Brexit has failed, we will have broken the parliamentary paralysis that has characterised the last five years of the Brexit entropy – see objective one of our five goals below. Let’s wait and see but then act on Cameron. So far, his arrival has enraged the ERG, the Lib Dems and Labour in one day. Proof positive that he is far from done. I said some while back that Rishi needed about 12 rabbits to pull from a hat and this is clearly one of them. See our article Pay as EU go.