Though it might be unseemly, I’m not above taking advantage of the opportunity to indulge in a little pro-American chauvinism. The United States admirably remains a nation in which no one riots after their side loses an election… for now.
On Thursday, an unexpectedly significant majority of British voters turned out to deliver Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservatives a landslide victory. The British electorate shocked the world by handing the Tories an outright majority in parliament, but the results in England and Wales stood in stark contrast to those in Scotland. There, the formerly dominant Labour Party was virtually wiped out in favor of the much more radically progressive Scottish Nationalist Party. Whereas the general election results in England were seen as a mandate for prudence and restraint, SNP framed their election results as a mandate for progressivism and the end to the watered-down British version of economic austerity. The stage is set for conflict in the U.K.
But that conflict should not have resulted in violence. And yet, just hours after the votes had been cast and counted, a familiar band of infantile anarchists took to the streets to demonstrate aggressively against the conservative government.
Over the weekend, a deluge of student-age demonstrators armed with freshly printed signs promoting the “Socialist Worker” demanded that the Tories surrender the power their fellow countrymen and women granted them. It wasn’t long before those demonstrations in front of 10 Downing Street grew violent.
“Hundreds of anti-government protesters, some holding placards reading ‘I pledge to resist’ and ‘Stop the cuts’, took part in the rally on Saturday, which began outside Conservative Party headquarters,” a BBC report read.
“Scotland Yard said four officers and a member of police staff were injured,” Sky News reported. “One officer was treated for a suspected dislocated shoulder, while the member of staff suffered a cut lip after being struck by an object.”
“The force said three other officers were assaulted but did not need hospital treatment,” that dispatch continued.
The violent clashes culminated in the defacing of London’s famous monument in honor of “the women of World War II.” Just days after Britain celebrated the 70th anniversary of its victory over the Nazis who forced Londoners to endure the horrors of the Blitz, the grandchildren of those tenacious Englishmen and women indulged in a fit of infantile socialist pique and vandalized the monument to their struggle.
A spokesman for the Prime Minister’s office issued a statement calling the defacing of that monument “a despicable display of disrespect for those who fought and died for their country.”
There is a popular strain of fatalism in the United States that has become dominant after a year of urban violence that holds it is likely the United States will see similar demonstrations of petulance from the nation’s left-wing youth in the event that Democrats do not retain control of the White House in 2016. It’s certainly a possible outcome, but it would hopefully be as limited in scope as were these British demonstrations. It is also possible that this embarrassing temper tantrum from the throng of oversize infants in the U.K. has embarrassed other Western left-wing agitators into abandoning this manner of unproductive approach to protest. That’s perhaps unlikely, but I suppose anything is possible.