The Gerald Scarfe cartoon in last Sunday’s newspaper said it all really. It depicted Boris Johnson with a cracked eggshell head in the form of Humpty Dumpty and the caption asked whether, now, he could put it all back together again.
Developments yesterday suggest that he may have ducked that challenge.
Meanwhile, the last week has seen us bombarded with news stories that reflect multiple fracturing of the cohesion of our society. Apart from some tensions between Remainers and Brexiteers and the disintegration of unity in both major political parties there are very worrying signs of a rise in right wing extremism.
Stories published in the past week about National Action calling for ‘white jihad’, the activities of the North West Infidels and York University Students Union compensating a Jewish student for the anti-semitism he endured have piled on top of many cases of post-Brexit racial abuse..
It appears clear from the picture these articles paint between them that the outcome of last week’s Referendum has implied a legitimacy to the views of an unpleasant minority who are unable to accept and respect those of other traditions and cultures as neighbours and blind to the fact that most of them will be in some way back across many generation descended from invaders of these shores.
With disenfranchisement from traditional politics and racial tensions growing with in many parts of Europe and in the US as well, the threat to stability is palpable. There has not, in recent times, been a greater importance for encouraging community cohesion, mutual tolerance and outreach to neighbours.
Birmingham Churches Together, which covers Solihull as well, have launched today, 1 July, a ‘Love Your Neighbour, Do Something Kind Today’ campaign and invites community organisations to get involved, to display the banner and to actively promote a greater friendliness to strangers as much as neighbours.
An active campaign is to welcomed to help drown out the negative voices of hate, let us all consider adding our own vocals to a collective, cohesive roar and so help to put it all back together again.