The anti-vaxxers who stormed the wrong BBC building are just an embarrassment

Those who turned up at a location not used by the Beeb since 2013 are confused and dangerous half-wits

Rupert Hawksley
Tuesday 10 August 2021 10:13 BST
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Violent clash at BBC as anti-vaxxers try to storm studios

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

It is rarely helpful to insult people with whom you disagree. The moment you start mud-slinging, so the theory goes, the argument has been lost. Far better to try and persuade your opponents with evidence and reason.

However, I find myself at a loss this morning. So let’s call a spade a spade. The anti-vaxxers who yesterday attempted to storm the BBC – but turned up at a building not used by the BBC since 2013 – are confused and dangerous half-wits, who have wallowed too long in conspiracy theories and nonsense.

If there was ever a moment to take stock and ask yourself, “what am I doing with my life?”, this was surely it. You’re there in west London on a wet Monday afternoon, trying to break into the wrong building to confront BBC journalists who aren’t there. And all because of… life-saving vaccines. Is this really how it was meant to be? Come on, let’s get you home and put the kettle on.

The details of yesterday’s “revolution” bear repeating. It’s wonderful stuff. A few dozen anti-vaxxers arrived in White City shouting “shame on you, shame on you” and “they are coming for our f***ing children”. They then attempted to storm Television Centre, once home of the BBC. Problem is, though, that Television Centre is now mostly residential flats. Admittedly, some broadcasting does still go on there but the studios are mostly used by ITV, not the BBC. So while all this was going on outside, Loose Women was live on air. As co-host Charlene White pointed out on Twitter: “Not sure what protesters were hoping to achieve, but all they would’ve found was me, Jane, Nadia and Penny talking about the menopause.”

Perhaps I’m being unfair but it almost feels like these protesters hadn’t really thought this through. They are all angry about something (anything) and someone (anyone) must pay. Blame the BBC! But this isn’t the BBC? Well, we’re here now. Into the fray! Then again, maybe they know something the rest of us don’t – if you look closely at the words “Loose Women”, ignore “Loose” and remove the “W”, you get “omen”. Makes you think, doesn’t it?

The problem, of course, is that this mob of anti-vaxxers, anti-lockdowners, anti-everythings won’t always get it wrong. Hang around London for long enough shouting about liberty and 5G and occasionally you might just find yourself in the right location. And so from time to time we get the ugly scenes witnessed in June when Newsnight’s political editor Nick Watt was abused and threatened in Westminster, called a “traitor”, and forced to retreat behind a police cordon.

This latest protest is easy to laugh about but it hints at a barely-concealed contempt. The half-wits won’t win but they can be dangerous. They don’t want evidence and reason; my hunch is that they don’t care about vaccines at all. What they want is disorder. Something to make them feel alive. Unfortunate, then, that they would have left White City dying of embarrassment.

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