After the appearance at the Supreme Court of businesswoman and campaigner Gina Miller, flanked by security guards after having received death threats and following Police advice, those in positions of power might have been thought to have stopped and thought before returning to the rhetoric that has so polarised much of the electorate, and looked to calm tensions. But that thought would have been sadly misplaced.
Predictably enough, the right-leaning part of the Fourth Estate looked at Wednesday’s Commons vote on the prospective March timetable for triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty, saw that 89 MPs had of their own free will voted against the idea, and decided that their names should be published, with the excuse being that those MPs had “voted against the will of the British people”. The Mail, as so often, led the way.
The Murdoch doggies at the Sun also named most of the dissenting MPs - although, for some reason, they missed the names of 14 Labour members - and to its shame, the increasingly downmarket and desperate Telegraph meekly followed the Mail, telling any of its readers still listening of “The 89 MPs who showed contempt for referendum voters”. For the press, Gina Miller’s security detail was no bar to further incitement.
But perhaps, especially given what happened to Labour’s Jo Cox in the weeks leading up to the referendum, the political parties, even those on the right, would exercise a little more restraint, show a better example to their followers? You wish: the Tories were having none of it. For the party of Government, having a few more Labour MPs roughed up, or even worse, was just part of the jolly good sport of politics.
Thus it was that Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith was targeted by the Tory HQ Twitter account: “.@JeffSmithetc won’t respect referendum result - Labour are out of touch with ordinary working people #BrexitDebate”. This targeting was done even though Smith had voted FOR the Article 50 timetable. There was no conceivable excuse for the Tories to go after him - and he was not the only Labour MP they went after.
Although the hand behind the @CCHQPress Twitter feed appears to have deleted many of the offending Tweets, demonstrating that the Tories are of less than perfect courage, a screen shot taken at the time shows that Roberta Blackman Woods (City of Durham), Wes Streeting (Ilford North), Owen Smith (Pontypridd), Lucy Powell (Manchester Central), Alison McGovern (Wirral South), Pat McFadden (Wolverhampton South East) and Shabana Mahmood (Birmingham Ladywood) were similarly targeted, among others.
None of those MPs voted against the Article 50 timetable, either. So unlike the hacks at the Mail, Sun and Telegraph, the creeps at Tory HQ don’t have the “they defied the will of the people” excuse to fall back on. This is clear and premeditated incitement to hatred on the basis of no discernible evidence, and the Prime Minister’s office should repudiate it.
Using the Brexit debate to incite the mob against the opposition is beyond the pale. One can only imagine the sick mindset of those in the Tory HQ bunker right now.
WE are getting to the stage where Britain needs it's own Ed Murrow:
"This is no time for men who oppose ..... methods to keep silent, or for those who approve. We can deny our heritage and our history, but we cannot escape responsibility for the result. There is no way for a citizen of a republic to abdicate his responsibilities. As a nation we have come into our full inheritance at a tender age. We proclaim ourselves, as indeed we are, the defenders of freedom, wherever it continues to exist in the world, but we cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.
This is in invitation to political thuggery and a depressing reflection of how low the debate has fallen. MPs must freely vote according to their own consciences (and be held accountable at the next election) not be threatened and bullied by a newspaper which has apparently lost respect for the rule of law. By the way, what distorted logic accuses SNP MPs voting against triggering article 50 of 'ignoring the will of the people'?
There's three problems with this Tim.
The first is that the Labour Party, thanks to New Labour, DID lose the support of working class people. Which is why it will be a long road back for them. Increased party membership is a very good start, but the impetus must be maintained or the opportunity will be lost. Rebuilding from the betrayal of the Blair/Brown years cannot be achieved overnight, Corbyn or no Corbyn.
The second problem is that mainstream media, overwhelmingly far right for over 30 years now, will do its level best to ensure it IS lost. They will do this by ignoring Labour policy proposals and any "good" news there may be, while swamping the press and air waves with the usual conscience-free propaganda. There's nothing new in this evil strategy.
Nor is there anything new in the third problem, which is the insatiable greed of the tories and its theft of national wealth. So far working class citizens have been cowed by the spectacle and badly served by the Labour Party and the unions. People still haven't realised what they can achieve if they organise into a coherent political movement instead of falling for the hate-filled illusions of UKIP and dangerous morons like Boris Johnson.
The tide has yet to turn. Instead we are at a stagnant midtide, hence the stench of Farage, Trump and all the other spivs. As time wears on, it becomes more and more obvious how large an opportunity was missed because of Blair/Brown and the rest of the corrupt Quislings.
Decency will only be restored when enough people decide to act and rid our culture of the failures and corruption which have almost destroyed social cohesion.
Re the DM "Enemies of the People" comparison I posted about yesterday; this tweet & replies to it says much about Isaby's muckraking and the knock-on effects:
"Defied the will of the people"
"Show contempt for referendum voters"
"Voted against the will of the people"
It is time this crap was stopped. We have to shout loud that a mere 25% of the population carried this vote - and that (how can we put this gently) the level of involvement in society generally by many of these voters is being suggested as at best marginal.
But then the cock-hoop-right right picked it up and ran with it, and, as the New European put it, the country now has, in effect, a coup under way.
Be nice, would it not, in the season of goodwill etc,etc, For some really top level MPs/Ministers to stand up and come out against all the hate smears and the rest.
Spell it out. Enough is too much. Time folk started behaving properly again - press and public.
Reminding people just how long their posts and tweets will be on record for, might be a useful prod.
Not holding my breath though.
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