Photos via @SadiqKhan on Twitter
Photos via @SadiqKhan on Twitter

Even though the New Year's fireworks are unequivocally a thing to behold in many places across the globe, especially in London on the Thames, a section of Britishers in the UK capital were caught off-guard this time -- with some highly-unexpected display of pyrotechniques.

On December 31, 2020, as wide-eyed Londoners stayed awake to greet each other with New Year's wishes at the commencement of the usual impressive dose of fireworks, they were instead met with surprise and awkward silence as the crackers burst forth on the night sky only to 'politicise' it.

The absolutely knackered Londoners watched bewildered as the firecrackers spelled 'NHS' inside a heart, displayed the colours of the European Union (at a time when the country has just formulated post-Brexit ties), and, in a spectacular moment, portrayed the Black Power salute as a tribute to the Black Lives Matter movement.

There was also a cheeky voiceover from David Attenborough, on the back of a cracker-silhouette that vaguely resembled a sea turtle, but let's not talk about that for now.

For us wretched souls residing miles away, thankfully, there's a video clip on Twitter, posted from the London mayor's official account, boasting of the display. You can watch it here:

For one, Londoners stood testament, on the eve of New Year 2021, that the city's mayor, Sadiq Khan, had used the festive fireworks as a medium to send his choice political message across. He did so at the expense of public money -- over two million quid at that -- ahead of the year that will see the London mayoral election.

Rather unexpectedly, British Twitter was up-in-arms over the 'woke' display, not just because Sadiq was upping his political game at the expense of an event that was meant for everyone, but because he funded it with public money and had the audacity to assume that everyone in his city felt the same way about Black Lives Matter, the National Health Service, and the European Union.

London mayor Sadiq Khan trolled over 'woke' fireworks on New Year's Eve
London mayor Sadiq Khan trolled over 'woke' fireworks on New Year's Eve
London mayor Sadiq Khan trolled over 'woke' fireworks on New Year's Eve
London mayor Sadiq Khan trolled over 'woke' fireworks on New Year's Eve

That he kept the plan a secret, allegedly with the help of Scotland Yard, is a dodgy idea at best, a gross misuse of public expenses, at worst.

David Kurten, Heritage Party leader and a self-proclaimed proud 'Brexiteer', pointed out that the fireworks were portraying a 'Marxist/BLM fist' and lamented that Londoners deserve better.

Kurten, who will be contesting the London mayoral elections later this year, also took a moment to advertise his self for the post, promising that "beautiful British fireworks" next year will celebrate "British culture and not destructive ideologies".

For his part though, Khan himself seemed to have been unfazed by the wave of critique over "divisive politics" all around him.

To 'politicise' fireworks is a turn of phrase that we had never even hoped to see in a sentence prior.

Not only is it a frankly distasteful thought, but also a testament to the fact that petty virtue signalling can ruin everything, even something as beautiful as a fireworks display, that is meant to be enjoyed by everyone except dogs and old people.

But if the mayor of London can be so dedicated at earning liberal cookies overseas at the expense of public money, who knows what else is at store for 2021?

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Free Press Journal

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