It feels like Britain is suffering a mental breakdown with all the values that bind us being torn apart

Jun 28, 2020 by

by Douglas Murray, Mail on Sunday:

Riot police chased out of Brixton by teenage thugs. More than 20 officers injured, with two treated in hospital.

The Home Secretary describing the criminal mayhem as ‘utterly vile’. Meanwhile, lockdown parties and illegal raves erupt into violence elsewhere across the country.

No wonder former Metropolitan Police commissioner Lord Blair says we need an urgent ‘public conversation’ about the amount of violence being directed towards the men and women who we entrust to keep law and order.

It’s simply not right that they should fear being badly hurt in their daily working lives.

Depressingly, what is happening to our police is symbolic of wider social unrest. It is as if Britain is suffering a mental breakdown – with all the values and links that bind us together being torn apart.

In the first weeks of the coronavirus lockdown, we were a people united. We followed the advice of the Government and respected unprecedented measures to protect the NHS.

Now, however, as the lockdown has started to lift, we are witnessing a terrifying outbreak of noisy and dangerous disharmony.

It may be the effect of weeks stuck at home or the exceptional summer heat. But it feels as if we are living in a pressure cooker, with tensions and anxieties threatening to spill out. If things do not calm down, I dread to think where we are heading.

The violent lawlessness last week followed disturbances across the country as protesters acting under the banner of Black Lives Matter brought the worst and most divisive aspects of American identity politics to the UK.

They ushered in the disturbing sight of it seeming to be completely acceptable for people to get away scot-free with defacing or destroying any public monument that isn’t to their liking.

Despite strong words of condemnation, Ministers shamefully stood by and allowed this to happen. Unprotected by the Government, police chiefs felt obliged to hold back – or even in some cases watch as their under-attack officers ran away.

Is it any wonder that this is what happens when some officers are seen to ‘take the knee’ and back down.

[…]  While church services – which for many provide a source of great comfort and community – remain prohibited until July 4, the vacuum in moral leadership has been replaced by political virtue-signalling.

For example, the Archbishop of Canterbury seems obsessed by ‘white supremacy’ and has suggested that some statues in his cathedral ‘will have to come down.’ Many would be forgiven for thinking that, rather than trying to expiate a sense of privileged guilt, such leaders ought to be trying to find more practical ways of mending our society.

Everywhere I look, there seems to be an attempt to present modern Britain as something that it is not.

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