The so-called “will of the people” is wobbling. The public mood is, whisper it quietly, beginning to shift slowly but inexorably. Many who voted to leave the EU two years ago are seeing the ineptitude of our Government, together with the prospect of the UK economy being wrecked in short order by failure to secure a deal with the other 27 member states, and wondering if there might be some less harmful option available.
Politicians on the right are wavering, the cracks in the previously solid edifice opening up for all to see. The clamour for a vote on whatever deal is offered is growing. So the time has come for clueless and out of touch pundits everywhere to come to the aid of the party.
And they do not come more clueless or out of touch than washed-up has-been Tony Parsons, who has foretold grim consequences if we do not leave the EU, in accordance with the wishes of his proprietor. “Betraying Brexit means violence and extremism for the UK” he howls, following up with “Unlike Germany, the UK has never been a nation where extremism has flourished, but there is something that could push our people to the vicious extremes of the far-left and far-right - and it is a betrayal of Brexit”.
We have, in case Tone didn’t notice, had a far-right fringe for decades. It has become empowered not by the prospect of their being no Brexit, but by the prospect of Brexit taking place - the idea that this will mean The Forrins will be chucked out.
But do go on. “A LAME duck leader, an exhausted ruling party and a bitterly divided nation desperately uncertain about its identity and future … And I am not talking about the UK. Welcome to Germany”. Yeah, right. Every few weeks a pundit makes a plonker of himself - it’s invariably a he - telling the world that Angela Merkel is finished, and it’s the greatest political crisis in Germany since the late 1940s. And every time they are wrong.
What, then, is Parsons’ evidence? “Make no mistake, Germany is drifting into very dangerous waters - as the anti-migrant riots in Chemnitz showed”. So there were disturbances in a city in the former East Germany. Did Tone miss the riots kicking off in London this Summer, courtesy of the Wall Of Gammon™ and their support for Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson?
Come to think of it, the EDL has done its fair share of rioting in the recent past, as has Britain First, one of whose devotees murdered Labour MP Jo Cox. Islamophobic attacks are commonplace - thanks to Parsons’ paper and others of like mind. Far-right terrorism is on the rise. And it’s got bugger all to do with The Will Of The People.
Still, on he drones: “Our country is a stable land with a belief in democracy. We have not been invaded for 1,000 years”. We haven’t had universal suffrage for both men and women for any more than 90 years. And I assume he doesn’t include 1689 in his “invasions” because William of Orange was officially “invited in”.
“We have never swooned for a dictator”. Mrs T did. He was called Augusto Pinochet. And we were never averse to doing business with Francisco Franco and António de Oliveira Salazar. Or any number of other totalitarian states. But go on, Tone, make that pitch.
“There is something that could push our people to the vicious extremes of the far-left and far-right. And it is a betrayal of Brexit … If Brexit is betrayed - if the vote of 17.4million people is rendered meaningless - then our democracy will be damaged forever”. it’ll be damaged even more if the people demand a vote on the final deal and don’t get one.
But he’s not quite done making threats. “If the will of the people means nothing, then you will see a nation that is forced to violent extremes … That is happening in Germany today. Betray Brexit, and it will happen in the UK tomorrow”. Bullshit.
Germany is no less peaceful than most other EU member states. And if the Will Of The People were to change, that would be the people’s business, and nothing to do with Rupert Murdoch, an unelected foreigner who does not have the vote in the UK.
Tory Parsons is, not for the first time, talking out of the back of his neck. And he can take his threats and shove them. We don’t need lectures from foreign bigots like Murdoch.
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