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Archive for August, 2016

I seem to remember, back in May when the EU Referendum campaign was merely tedious rather than downright sinister, saying that even when the result came in, it wouldn’t be the end of the matter.

This was hardly a prediction on the scale of Nostradamus, but a series of forthcoming events have confirmed it good and proper.

The weekend of 3rd and 4th September will see two different sets of events from organisations and pressure groups that have been galvanised by the events of the Referendum campaign itself (specifically the murder of Jo Cox) and by the result and subsequent fallout, specifically the dramatic rise in reported hate crimes in the week prior to the result being announced, and in subsequent weeks and months since.

On September 3rd the group March For Europe are organising a number of marches around the country (but not in Manchester, or indeed, anywhere in the north or north west… suggesting Remain voters in the north have been forgotten about) as a follow up to their London march and demo in Green Park on 2nd July. The idea is for the Remain camp to keep the pressure on for when Parliament re-convenes on September 5th to discuss Brexit.

This might seem a bit futile, given Remain lost, but – as many a letter writer to Private Eye has pointed out over the past two months – had the boot been on the other foot, it’s unlikely Nigel Farage would have let it lie, and in a democracy the losing side have equal right to lobby as the winning side does. Whether you like the state of affairs this produces is a moot point: Democracy and all that.

The same weekend, Hope Not Hate are running a number of social events as part of their More In Common campaign, which was launched following the murder of Jo Cox and the announcement of the hate crime figures. These are being held across England and Wales, in most areas and are intended to

“bring people and communities together around what we have in common. It is an opportunity to celebrate our multicultural society but also to bridge divides between communities.”

The idea is to get communities together, and talking, to focus on what they have in common, not what divides them. A laudable and, given the horrible social climate we currently exist in, rather brave decision. Let’s hope it comes off.

In a bitter irony, the British Library is also hosting Punky Reggae Party: The Story of Rock Against Racism on Friday 9th September. This ties in not just with the ongoing 40 Years Of Punk series of events across London this year, but also with the publication of Daniel Rachel’s book Walls Come Tumbling Down: Rock Against Racism, Two Tone, Red Wedge, which is published by Picador on 8th September. Never have a book, or an event, felt more timely.

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