AS acts of civil defiance go it could barely have been more British. The Met Police were tooled up for a full-scale riot – the number of Territorial Support Group vans on London’s streets a clear sign they were ready to move against the “anti-mask mob” at a moment’s notice.
The Territorial Support Group is what we used to call the SPG before it was fluffily re-branded – but it’s still the baton-wielding, steel toe-capped, don’t f*** with us front line of London’s tough-guy policing. It was not to be their day. Because the thousands of decent, middle-class, middle-England, anti-lockdown protesters were more concerned with picking up their litter than picking a fight with the cops.
Which is not to say they weren’t angry. They were, but not with the “look-at-me, look-at-me” self aggrandising faux fury of the Extinction Rebellion class of protester.
No, this was the quiet fury of Britain’s famous silent majority – the rump of us, perhaps the best of us, politicians fear the most. Because these protesters are not all sound and fury signifying nothing, these protesters weaponise the ballot box and remove administrations they disagree with.
There were doctors in this crowd, nurses, shopkeepers, businessmen, and everyone from glam young things who’d lost their jobs in the beauty industry to blue-rinse retired ladies from the Home Counties rubbing shoulders with concerned Rastafarians and baffled Hari Krishnas.
But what linked everyone today was that they were here because universally they’d had enough.
One of the big chants of the day was about the 99 percent- to roars of approval. Basically these people know the majority of people in Britain no longer have control over their own lives.