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Cynical thugs are wrecking protests

Peter Cziborra/Reuters

The violent protests in Bristol this week were an example of “revolutionary tourism”, says Celia Walden in The Daily Telegraph – “groups of cynical-minded thugs” hijacking a demonstration for their own “self-indulgent ends”. On Sunday night police were stamped on, beaten with sticks and pelted with stones. Zoom in on the faces of the “goons” attacking them and they’re “grinning into the cameras”. They weren’t concerned with the controversial policing bill the protest was ostensibly against.

That’s how revolutionary tourists act: they “piggy-back on any cause or tragedy”, from anti-lockdown rallies to Black Lives Matter. They even muscled in on the vigil for Sarah Everard on Clapham Common. The irony is, this “demeans and “defeats” protestors seeking positive change. There was and is a debate to be had about the policing bill, which will give officers more powers to restrict demonstrations. Instead the riot will be used to justify the legislation. “Not that the revolutionary tourists care. They’re already en route to their next protest, armed with sticks and stones and a set of empty beliefs.”

Gresham’s plaques draw flak

Gresham’s boarding school has withdrawn an application to put 25 blue plaques on its original building in the Norfolk market town of Holt. It wanted to celebrate “prominent Old Greshamians” such as James Dyson and WH Auden, but was criticised for including only one woman, Olivia Colman, and for honouring Soviet double agent Donald Maclean. The quantity was also frowned on: “One blue plaque is a tribute,” the Holt Society said. “Twenty-five is simply advertising.”