So, what next for the protests? It’s a good question because the road ahead looks bleak.
The Government has nestled back into that favoured standby of review/commission mode – that’s route 1 to easy street because it signifies a democratic response to concerns. You spoke and we listened.
A good old review always takes away the sting because ongoing protests then take on the shape of an uncouth battering of an open door. However, a quick glimpse into the rear-view mirror will see a tailback of reviews and recommendations gathering dust. On race-related matters, they rarely achieve realisation because they embody potential upheaval. That means expenditure and changes to the status quo – both Kryptonite in Conservative circles. The clue is in the name Conservative, and it is in their DNA. Ok, coronaspending might contradict that, but remember that this was unprecedented and was all economically driven.
Secondly, this is a fixed-term administration, so serious public overtures will leak through in late 2023. Until then, nothing can shake them. We are seeing a Government of deflection and avoidance as if all these side-capers are simply designed to see any opposition punch itself out. I have never seen such a low-profile front bench, but mind you, I have never seen such a low-profile opposition. Democratic politics looks to have been furloughed. Right down to the boxing up of Churchill’s statue (how inadvertently symbolic and ironic is that?), everything appears to be stagecraft that keeps opposition and dissent focused elsewhere.
Moreover, the imminent coronavirus depression will ensure that radical changes will breathe fresh air neither in public policy nor in the commercial world. Everybody will be too focused on survival once the depression sets in. That is a huge let-off for corporations who can promote their virtue-signalling twaddle until the furore dies down when everyone becomes more concerned with paying the bills. They never cared about equality and never will because they care more about profit. The essence of Black Lives Matter was so removed from most management psyches that even the most desperately transparent, woke, slacktivist, attention-whoring of recent times never seemed to touch a celebration of ethnic diversity. I can never recall a black heritage theme for any of the cringe-inducing, socially responsible, cultural agendas that saw employees forced to decorate their work pods, churn out unfeasibly deformed cupcakes, and partake in Spacehopper Olympics in the corridors.
Think about that for a moment. For corporate elitists, it had not been enough to exclude black people from meaningful progress, but they had also blocked them from the froth and bubble of inane posturing.
Now it’s like a masterclass of blanket gaslighting.
They cannot whip out their BLM credentials fast enough. Quick-draw posturing at the Woke-K Coral. All as faux as their diploma-mill MBAs.
If any radicals still want to persist with weapons-grade hardcore protesting, they should pay some of those shyster businesses a visit. We all know who they are.
Finally – and this is the most crucial factor and would apply irrespective of the political milieu – public concern is simply not there. Now that is bitter pill to swallow for the right-minded, but it is difficult to conclude otherwise. Yes, the apparent protagonists are the woke fakers, the fascists, and a whole host of firebrands protesting and resisting, yet most of them do not have not the slightest clue about what they really want, beyond the protest and the ruck itself. None of these will ever make the world a better place, because there is no substance to them. They are looking to define themselves. They are merely along for the ride.
The bulk of the wider public are the ostensibly right-minded folk who will offer up positive support for an egalitarian perspective if asked. Some of them may have politically incorrect tendencies and let slip the odd piece of 1970s rhetoric, but they’ll be generally good eggs. But let’s get real. Proactively delivering equality will never make it to the top of their things-to-do list. It just does not touch them in a way that matters must if they are to become urgent and important, and therefore priorities.
These are the ones who need to be activated, and yes, many of them have been voting Conservative for the last decade. And we cannot neglect the well-meaning but shallow hangers-on. Nor can we forget the fiercely emotional supporters of equality who cannot steer their brains past the obvious wrongs and articulate what success looks like and how they would achieve it.
All of them need to open themselves up to an education and to true empathy.
But as matters stand, a lack of will and a general administrative won’t suggest that things will stay much as they are for the foreseeable future.
Unless, that is, they get manifestly worse. The fallout from COVID-19 is undoubtedly going to push more people into poverty and the already poor even further down into the mire. Just at the point that the protests for rights peter out, the earlier surrender of even greater freedoms is going to return to bite hard. Inequality in the UK will likely now be reinforced through other ways.
The message of Black Lives Matter will be submerged within a growing overall inequality, driven by coronapoverty. And if you think that the voices are too loud to fade, when was the last time you thought about Dominic Cummings or Brexit? That’s how easily stuff dissipates. We are all boxed in now, with no immediate way through to the other side.
Just in time for the return of the Premier League.