Following the death of the Queen, events and public gatherings across the country have been cancelled or postponed. From TUC Congress and strikes, to local street parties. Now, showing respect is one thing – but some of the interventions have extended to the downright bizarre. The Met Office posting daily weather updates only as a “mark of respect” for the Queen left some scratching their heads, for example. We have also seen a spate of incongruous tributes from corporate brands, from Domino’s to Cash Converters.
Even more perplexing are the many sporting fixtures that were scrapped. These included football matches that, if anything, would have provided a forum for people to come together and mourn. A minute’s silence is hardly unusual at a football match. Other sports, including rugby and cricket, decided to play on over the weekend. Perhaps this is a demonstration of the corporate brand management displayed by our top-tier football clubs nowadays, which tends to be more reactive to events like this, or perhaps the Premier League board was worried that football fans would not show deference to the monarchy.
Perhaps most indicative of the hysteria was Sky News misidentifying a march demanding justice for Chris Kaba, an unarmed Black man shot and killed by a police officer last week, as a group of mourners paying their respects to the Queen. Sky News has apologised for the mistake, but the fact that the broadcaster assumed that people marching through London holding placards were there to pay respects to the Queen shows how out of touch the organisation was in reporting on anything else that happened this weekend.
The Labour Party has switched to a monochrome logo for its Twitter profile, as has Keir Starmer and members of his team. The party has cancelled campaigning and meetings, which leaves a question mark over what this means for local parties submitting motions to conference – the deadline is this Thursday. The party is going ahead with the annual event, which begins on September 25th, as are the Conservatives with theirs – the Lib Dem conference, which had been scheduled for this weekend, has been cancelled. Sign up to LabourList’s morning email for everything Labour, every weekday morning.