So there is a step change in itself maybe – an act of simple, technology-enabled citizenship apparently summing up the situation better than any speech writer. Or perhaps approaching Cameron’s quoting more cynically, he frames it as “listening” to the people, when many would argue this hasn’t been at the forefront of the agenda in recent decisions to airstrike Syria.
But more importantly, I’m interested in the narrative where this video emasculates a violent attack. Had the attack itself been more effective (two were injured by one lone attacker) we might be talking about it differently now, but the appropriation of the hashtag belittles and makes a joke of it. Arguably, the fact that the person filming was also the person to speak, implies there may have been some sense of ‘performing’ to camera and that’s their prerogative of course. But even if that’s the case, the language very much reflects the East London area where it was filmed, and so there’s a sense of place applied to our analysis, a suggestion that ‘this neighbourhood’ doesn’t have time for these kinds of attacks. Where such attacks in public places might assume or hope for social media coverage to help spread fear, in this case it backfired and on the same online platforms they hoped to dominate.
Photo: REUTERS/SUZANNE PLUNKETT