Fake News

FACT CHECK: No, Brits Aren't Setting Off Fireworks to Celebrate Biden's "Victory"


Media reports that Brits are setting fireworks to celebrate Joe Biden’s “victory” are massively overstated, with Bonfire Night being celebrated this week.

Mainstream news outlets prematurely called the election for Biden on Saturday, despite there being a number of states that are going to recounts, like Georgia and Pennyslvania, and with other states, such as Arizona and Nevada, being too close to call at the time of writing.

These same mainstream news outlets then also declared the rest of the world was celebrating the apparently imminent departure of President Trump from the White House.

“Fireworks lit up the night sky over London, England, after Joe Biden was characterized to be the apparent winner of the presidential election,” wrote ABC, while The Hill declared that “fireworks [were seen] in London, Edinburgh, as Biden win celebrated abroad.” Slate collated some of the “best celebrations of Donald Trump’s electoral defeat,” arguing that “the rest of the world is also glad to get rid of Trump.”

ABC Fireworks

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They included a few tweets from Brits with videos and reports of fireworks supposedly celebrating Biden’s ascension:

Fireworks Tweet

However, what these outlets failed to mention is that it is highly unlikely any of the firework displays included in their reporting had anything to do with the American election.

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November 5th is Bonfire Night in the United Kingdom, where Brits celebrate the foiling of the Gunpowder Plot to blow up Parliament and assassinate King James I in 1605 by Guy Fawkes and his co-conspirators. Traditionally, bonfires would be built, and a model of Guy burned on the 5th, and the celebrations would be complete with fireworks.

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In modern times, the party is sometimes shifted to the Friday or Saturday if the 5th falls on a work day, so people have time to celebrate properly. Others celebrate at any point during the week, especially if they have spare fireworks. Brits would have seen fireworks go off across the country all from at least Monday through Saturday last week, this author included.

It didn’t take long therefore, for Brits to pick up on the reporting, and begin mocking it:

After facing much ridicule from the British public, many outlets then swiftly deleted their tweets, Facebook posts, and articles, or updated them to better reflect reality, without any corrections.

An earlier version of the story from The Hill, which was also reported in Slate, included a claim that church bells in Paris were ringing to celebrate, but this was also untrue.

The Hill Fireworks

“I live in Paris, I didn’t hear a single bell ringing, I went to check the news to see if it was me who heard nothing, not one article about a single bell ringing, so it’s either a very isolated church no one gives a shit about or it’s plain old storytelling,” one commentor said.

Another added that due to the strong French separation of Church and State, “we’d never ring the bells of any church for an election, especially not a foreign one.” Someone else replied that there is a video circulating showing ringing bells, but that they’re “obviously not for Biden. It’s either Vespers or some say it was in remembrance of the victimes of the attack in the church in Nice.”

“In any case, it’s infuriating to see Americans once again think the world revolve around them and that we would ring bells for their election,” they added.

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About the Author:
Jack Hadfield is a conservative and patriot from the UK, and the director and presenter of "Destination Dover: Migrants in the Channel." His work has appeared in such sites as Breitbart, The Political Insider, and Politicalite. You can follow him on Facebook @JackHadfield1996, on Twitter @JackHadders, on Gab @JH, or on Telegram @JackHadders. Tips can be sent securely to [email protected].

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