Douglas Murray: ‘UK protests reminiscent of Middle East after a revolution’

Douglas Murray told Julia Hartley-Brewer that everyone he has heard from is united in being horrified at the manger in which George Floyd was killed by a policeman. However, he said the death of one man in Minnesota “is not a reason for people to turn out in their thousands in cities across the world”. Expressing concern at the way the government have handled recent events, Mr Murray said there was “seemingly one thing even more important than stopping coronavirus…that’s anyone who just says they want to turn out to protest in this manner”. He said protest scenes were “reminiscent of somewhere in the middle east after a revolution and where everybody’s passion is just going wild”. He criticised people for turning out to protest, saying people in these situations will be putting public health at risk, suggesting that it would be difficult in the media to condemn people because “the protesters are able to say it’s under the guise of Black Lives Matter”. Douglas went on to say he does not envy the police “they’ve been stuck to a great degree by the wider societal pusillanimity, when it comes to a group that turns from having a righteous cause into being a thuggish and extremely troubling demonstration day after day.” He does not think that crowds and mobs do have the right to pull down things that they claim to be outraged by, adding “I don’t think they are outraged, particularly by this statue in Bristol. The statue was put up, because clearly the city was paying homage to the philanthropy of the man in question.” One of the important things about studying history, says Douglas, is learning what happens when “mobs go around operating like this” saying that while it has been happening in London and elsewhere, “people become more emboldened about what they are allowed to do by society and police forced become cowed by them.” He argues that one of the morbidities in British society is “this pretence that we are this fantastically racist, terrible country”, going on to suggest the people who say that “have gotten away with saying it without enough opposition for too long, and the result is that you see wounded policemen on the streets, who have nothing to do with Minnesota policing.”

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