After last week’s judgment reasserting the Sovereignty of Parliament, and the subsequent press meltdown which appeared to be awfully close to crossing the incitement line, what was needed today was a more conciliatory line from the hacks and pundits, a pouring of oil on troubled waters, an acceptance of the necessity of due process. Instead, Sun readers got another intemperate tirade from has-been Tony Parsons.
Under the heading of “Time to vote out elitists” - which not only suggests an acceptance of democracy, but unintentionally includes himself - Parsons froths “Let’s have a General Election, Prime Minister, and bury all the whining, anti-democratic pussies who STILL don’t get that the UK is leaving the European Union … The High Court ruling that the Government cannot trigger Article 50 without parliamentary approval is an assault on our democracy by an elite who would deny the will of 17.4million British people”.
Yes, the assertion of the democracy over which England had to have a revolution and behead a King is an “assault on democracy”. Orwell would have been impressed at his being proved so right. And there’s more: “From Broadcasting House to the High Court, the elite despise the British people and refuse to accept our decision to reclaim our country … They will do anything to block the will of our people, who they consider to be racist, stupid and wrong. That’s you and me”. Who is calling voters racist and stupid?
Nobody in Broadcasting House or the High Court, for starters. This kind of dishonesty is what has brought more than enough dictatorships to power, telling people that the elite disdains their views, wants to stop them having what is rightfully theirs, and that only by sweeping all this away will they truly take control of their country.
And then we get the Enoch Powell moment: “I fear for the future of this country if this arrogant elite keeps us inside the European Union against our will … If the elite get their way and somehow contrive to block our exit, they will be unleashing furious forces that no one will be able to control. Not even them”. “Like the Roman, I seem to see the Tiber foaming with much blood … they know not what they do”. Spot the difference.
Only by taking swift and decisive action can the country be saved: Parsons’ claim is that this will be achieved by Theresa May calling a General Election and obtaining a majority on the premise of departing the EU. But not even an elective mandate can usurp the rule of law. Nor does Parsons consider the Fixed Term Parliament Act.
We know what he actually wants when he says “Then Guyana-born hedge fund manager Gina Miller, her slick lawyers and all those unelected, EU-loving judges will not be able to stand between the British people and our freedom”. It’s another assault on the judiciary through smears and just a soupçon of casual racism. It’s rabble rousing of the basest and least responsible kind. And it’s a demand for what amounts to an elective dictatorship.
Fascism arrives as your friend. We know where it leads. Tony Parsons is out of order.