Last night violent rioters in Bristol handed Priti Patel and easy parliamentary victory on a plate, after the hard left chanting “Kill the Bill” smashed a police station’s window, setting a police van on fire and breaking the bones of two serving officers. Labour MPs spent last week encouraging the #KillTheBill protests, and Guido thought he’d have a look into who had been cajoling their supporters out onto the streets. Unsurprisingly it was the usual suspects:
In hindsight, the language being used by these hard-left MPs was incredibly inflammatory: “There is power in protest”, “It’s not the politicians the Government fears, it’s you. 👊”, Zarah Sultana describing the movement as a “fight”. Claudia Webbe, who encouraged her followers to take to the streets over the bill, accused Donald Trump’s rhetoric during the DC riot of mobilising “fascists to attack democracy”. Last night she took to Twitter to back the rioters, excusing them because “the creeping authoritarianism of the state has repercussions”.
The remaining MPs above have chosen to stay suspiciously quiet about last night’s events, though Mary Kelly Foy has liked a Tweet attacking the condemnation of the rioters.
Other Labour figures agreed with Webbe: the chair of Young Labour, Jess Barnard, posted this after the spectacle:
Protest is anger. It is force. It amplifies the voice of the voiceless and reminds the establishment that the people have power.
Protesting is not about being palatable or ‘nice’
— Jess Barnard (@JessicaLBarnard) March 21, 2021
Momentum Bristol has also been victim-blaming the police offers for last night’s scenes. Given two officers ended up in hospital last night with broken bones, it’s worth remembering that by voting against the Police and Crime Bill last week, Labour voted against longer prison sentences for people who assault emergency service workers…