A protest against the people

The ‘Stop the Coup’ movement is a middle-class revolt against the masses.

Brendan O'Neill

Brendan O'Neill
Editor

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Topics Brexit Politics UK

Political language, said George Orwell, is ‘designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable’. We might now add that it is also designed to make assaults on democracy appear democratic; to make the warriors against the democratic will seem like defenders of the democratic ideal. This is what we saw on the streets of London and other cities across the UK at the weekend and it was a genuinely extraordinary sight: large groups of mostly middle-class people agitating for the destruction of the largest act of democracy in British history under the banner of defending democracy. The dizzy heights of Orwellianism have been well and truly reached.

It is time to get real about the so-called ‘Stop the Coup’ demos that have taken place in recent days, in which Remainers have flooded into the streets to rage against Boris Johnson’s suspension of parliament for a few more days than is normal. These are not pro-democracy gatherings. They are the precise opposite. They are a continuation of the political elite’s well-oiled, well-funded and unforgiving three-year war against the people’s will. This was apparent at every turn in the largest of the ‘Stop the Coup’ protests, the one in London on Saturday. EU flags fluttered everywhere. ‘Bollocks to Brexit’ was emblazoned on stickers, t-shirts, placards, hats. Making things even clearer, the rallying cry of ‘Stop Brexit’ was widespread. ‘Defend democracy… Stop Brexit’, protesters demanded.

These demonstrations are not concerned with stopping Boris from proroguing parliament – they are concerned with stopping the enactment of the largest democratic vote in history. The duplicity is breathtaking, even by the standards of today’s increasingly illiberal and authoritarian political and chattering classes. Protesters likened themselves to the Suffragettes. One of the speakers – Guardian columnist Owen Jones – said they were standing up for the great gains made by ‘our ancestors’ in their long, bloody struggle for democracy. Such staggering dishonesty. This is nothing short of a lie. These gatherings are not about defending the democratic rights won by our forebears; they’re about destroying them.

The demand is for the overthrow of the votes of the 17.4million people who want to leave the EU. When these people say ‘Stop Brexit’, they are saying ‘Stop those people from getting their way; stop their votes from having any impact; stop them from ignorantly interfering in political affairs’. This was a protest against the franchise itself, because if the votes of millions of people in one of the most important democratic exercises in our nation’s history are made null and void – as they would be if these middle-class marchers got their way and there was a second referendum – then the right to vote becomes meaningless. The vote becomes meaningless. The thing ‘our ancestors’ won for us – the vote – would be reduced to dust. There is something sick-making in the sight of Remainers comparing themselves to the Suffragettes and the Chartists as they agitate for the crushing of the votes of eight million women and millions of working-class men. The people whose democratic rights were won through hard struggle would be silenced and disenfranchised by this middle-class mob.

The intentions of the anti-Boris brigade are obvious. Just look at the petition that 1.7million of them have signed. It says: ‘Parliament must not be prorogued or dissolved unless and until the Article 50 period has been sufficiently extended or the UK’s intention to withdraw from the EU has been cancelled.’ (My emphasis.) Got that? Their overarching aim is to disenfranchise the voters of 2016. They are deniers of democracy, not defenders of it.

In a way, none of this is surprising. The business, political and cultural elites have been working hard for three years to try to dilute or thwart the vote for Brexit. Their opposition to proroguing is entirely in keeping with this, since its aim is to continue providing the members in the Remainer Parliament with the platform and the power to stymie the vote for Brexit. What these marchers are really saying is, ‘Boris’s proroguing of parliament is a disgraceful attack on democracy because it hampers the ability of MPs to continue attacking democracy’ – such is the moral contortionism of these pretend defenders of democracy. What is new is that the alliance against the people’s will is growing. It now includes Corbynistas alongside the Financial Times, middle-class leftists alongside old Tory patricians like Michael Heseltine, lifelong anti-Blairites alongside Blairites. They’re getting their act together.

And yet while the deceptive, dishonest ‘Stop the Coup’ marches are not surprising, they are deeply concerning. Language matters. Ideas matter. Democracy matters. We cannot allow people to distort the meaning of the word democracy so shamelessly and so thoroughly. We cannot allow the agitators against democracy to claim the mantle of democracy. Democracy is far too important to become the twisted plaything of the disgruntled urban elites.

Watching the ‘Stop the Coup’ protest in London and its phoney claims of being the latest manifestation of the historic struggle for democracy, I was reminded of how much this city has toiled for basic democratic rights. From St Mary’s Church in Putney, where the Levellers and others met in 1647 to discuss voting rights, to Kennington Common, where the Chartists gathered in their tens of thousands in 1848 to demand votes for working-class men, to the area outside parliament itself where Suffragettes were battered by police on Black Friday in 1910, this city hums with the history of people’s bloody fight for the vote. People wanted the vote because they wanted to impact on society, on constitutional matters, on the future itself. The ‘Stop the Coup’ lobby is not a movement to defend the vote – it is a movement against the votes of millions of people. It stands in stark opposition to all the great democratic struggles witnessed in London and across the United Kingdom over the centuries.

In a sense, ‘Stop the Coup’ isn’t a protest at all. It is a loud, colourful performance of the political establishment’s own thinking, of the key ruling-class ideology of our time: contempt for Brexit and contempt for voters. If these people are protesting against anything, it isn’t the powers-that-be – it’s us, the people, and the apparently disastrous fact that we won the right to have a say in political affairs.

Brendan O’Neill is editor of spiked and host of the spiked podcast, The Brendan O’Neill Show. Subscribe to the podcast here. And find Brendan on Instagram: @burntoakboy

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Comments

Mike Ellwood

8th September 2019 at 4:57 pm

Does anyone imagine that Alastair Cambell, in his glory days of being the power behind Tony Blair’s throne, didn’t have an influence on the executive? He is even said to have drafted the “dodgy dossier”.

We’ve all seen the fictional Malcolm Tucker, who was surely based on Cambell. He used to eat SPADs and even ministers for breakfast.

All I’m saying is that the likes of Dominic Cummings are by no means new. I heard him (by the magic of Youtube) give a lecture. He came over as actually quite normal and almost likeable. And he doesn’t even like Tories, so he can’t be all bad.

John Gill

3rd September 2019 at 5:45 pm

It would appear that the common ground occupied by the EU Commission and British remainers is their utter disdain for democracy. It may also be that it’s all we’ve learned throughout this long and boring debacle.

G S

3rd September 2019 at 11:28 am

The only coup here is the one being plotted by Remainers to supplant Boris Johnson with Jeremy Corbyn, who’s party hasn’t won a general election since 2005.

Pure hypocrisy is the only thing these people are showing.

Jerry Owen

3rd September 2019 at 8:14 am

There is a Delingpole video over at Breitbart . If you couldn’t see any anti brexit banners you would swear it’s a socialist march. This isn’t about Brexit, they are making it a wider battle for the overthrow of our system.
The sight of one socialist calling a young Brexiteer teenager girl ( sexist ! ) a ‘racist and fascist’ when her best mate stood next to her is Asian, another saying that they are standing in solidarity with the HG demonstrators and another saying they fought a World War for our democracy, makes me realize that these people are beyond reasoning with totally.
‘F*ck Boris and his banker mates’ seemed to get especially large cheers .. and the speakers read these words of original pearls of wisdom that we have never ever heard before from their smart phones.
Oh the irony !

Mike Ovington

3rd September 2019 at 10:28 am

Jerry, what’s HG?

Jerry Owen

3rd September 2019 at 2:07 pm

Mike Ovington
Hon Kong protesters .. a bit slack of me !

Mike Ovington

3rd September 2019 at 3:15 pm

Thanks Jerry. I did, eventually, wonder if you were referring to Hong Gonk.

John Millson

3rd September 2019 at 7:46 am

Leave with a ‘deal’ or a withdrawal agreement/arrangement/process, whatever you want to call it.

Ven Oods

3rd September 2019 at 3:06 pm

But any ‘deal’ must include an autonomous UK legislature, not a bunch of overpaid yes-men kowtowing to the likes of Druncker.
And that doesn’t seem possible, at least so far.

Mike Hawk

3rd September 2019 at 7:03 am

Quite right.

A protest by those against people who aren’t them getting a say in how the country is run. These protesters who think they should have sole charge of the countries future. Its always amusing that when these folk who Leave this country because of Brexit tend to end up in English speaking countries like New Zealand or Canada, their loyalty to the EU forgotten if it means having to learn an EU language.

aidan maconachy

3rd September 2019 at 6:27 am

“In a sense, ‘Stop the Coup’ isn’t a protest at all. It is a loud, colourful performance of the political establishment’s own thinking, of the key ruling-class ideology of our time: contempt for Brexit and contempt for voters. If these people are protesting against anything, it isn’t the powers-that-be – it’s us, the people, and the apparently disastrous fact that we won the right to have a say in political affairs.”

Brilliant.

Andrew Cunningham

2nd September 2019 at 6:42 pm

I wonder have these anti Brexit people actually given a minutes thought to what happens if they get what their demanding? We in the UK would no longer be a country governed by the democratic system, after all, if you can overturn, ignore or revoke the largest democratic choice in this country’s history, then what ever comes after that is nothing in comparison, what if the people of Scotland hold another referendum and they vote by a small majority to remain in the UK but, the SNP and their supporters don’t like or agree with that so simply ignore the result and declare Scotland an independent nation, what if Labour or the Tory’s win the next election but, lots of people don’t agree that they should be in power? Do we hold another election the next week/month because they don’t like it? The only way democracy works is if those on the losing side are willing to accept losing, if their not, then that system simply can’t work, if the UK is to end operating under the democratic system, then they should have the balls to say so!

James Knight

2nd September 2019 at 6:36 pm

These protestors are like Myra Hindley lecturing us on child protection: there’s a credibility issue.

Andrew Mawdsley

2nd September 2019 at 3:32 pm

Zenobia Palmyra. Are you Andrew Doyle pretending to be Amelia Cantor in the guise of Titania McGrath? I think we should be told. It would explain much of your gibberish.

CTS Taylor

2nd September 2019 at 3:32 pm

An odd alliance of Remainers and the sort of people who would like a war with the EU have kept the debate going for three years.
Now that the toff with a pint and a fag has re-emerged Johnson has come up with a crafty wheeze to move things on.
Can’t wait to see what happens next.

Christopher Tyson

2nd September 2019 at 1:31 pm

One Party states and all manner of tyrants have claimed to be democratic, there’s nothing new there. These protesters with their nice houses in pleasant neighbourhoods, good jobs and dinner parties (I’m not knocking it, as an eternal optimists I still dream of this lifestyle), they have not felt the need to be involved in politics before and bless’em are a little confused about terminology. One of the arguments for 1st past the post elections has always been their simplicity. The EU referendum was simple and easy to understand, having lost the Remainers shouted ‘not fair’, ‘it wasn’t serious’ ‘it was an accidental referendum’ ‘it was advisory’. Like a kid playing chess Cameron made a wrong move ‘let him have another go you bullies’. It’s premiership season now, every week we will hear the same cliché ‘mistakes cost games’, you put you opponent under pressure and hope for a mistake, then you exploit the mistake. Cameron gave us a vote, for what ever reason(s) we said’ thank you very much’.

Philip Humphrey

2nd September 2019 at 12:33 pm

As far as I can see the remainers have nothing to complain about. If it were a coup, Boris Johnson would not have allowed them the parliamentary days this week when they have ample time to move a motion of no confidence in the government. So what’s stopping them? That little inconvenience of the British public who might vote them out in the ensuing general election?

Jane 70

2nd September 2019 at 12:15 pm

https://ukandeu.ac.uk/brexit-and-prorogation-constitutional-outrage-or-parliamentary-sovereignty/

Here is a guide to the constitutional consequences of HM the Q’s approval of PM Johnson’s decision to prorogue parliament.

Despite Brexit-Bashing -Bercow’s latest eruptions, it is not a constitutional outrage. It has been done before, not least by Gray Man Major, as we all know. It is not a coup, despite what Owen Jones et al might proclaim.

Surely the fact which is staring the Remainsters in the face is that if the past 3 years had not been spent in trying every which way to subvert the electorate’s wishes ,both by our so called representatives and the media,this would not have come to pass.

A supine negotiating team-none of whom were apparently genuine Leave supporters- and a weak PM led us to this sorry state of affairs.

As many have said, if Remain had won, none of this increasingly hypocritical posturing and emoting would have blighted our political landscape.

Many millions of us would have been quietly disappointed and demoralised, but we most certainly would not have burst into tears, threatened the monarch , shut down freedom of speech or resorted to ad hominem insults and the group think which apparently signifies the Right Way To Do Things.

The fact that these self proclaimed democrats-ha, ha-have revealed their true colours should give all pause for thought.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

2nd September 2019 at 1:04 pm

‘Remainsters’ —

Brexiteers seem to spend most of their thinking up new epithets for Remainers. Shame that they have not spent nearly as much time thinking about what Brexit would do to the union, the UK economy as a whole or our long-term relations with our near neighbours. The 2016 referendum exposed the hypocrisy and incompetence of every part of the political class, the fundamental ignorance and racism of large swathes of the English and Welsh population and, most seriously, the bankrupt and outmoded nature of the UK ‘constitution’.

Jane 70

2nd September 2019 at 1:41 pm

The 2016 referendum exposed the hypocrisy and incompetence of every part of the political class, the fundamental ignorance and racism of large swathes of the English and Welsh population and, most seriously, the bankrupt and outmoded nature of the UK ‘constitution’.

Why is a referendum a symptom of a bankrupt and outmoded constitution?

Why is a vote by 17.4 million people a symptom of racism, and fundamental ignorance ?

Why are you so attached to the EU?

Live free or die ? Explain

Jane 70

2nd September 2019 at 1:59 pm

Your starter for 10: I challenge you to write to Martin Howe QC, of Lawyers For Britain,Professor Graham Gudgin of Briefings For Brexit, commentators John Gray and Douglas Murray, Kate Hoey MP, Frank Field MP, Priti Patel MP and the Graun’s Larry Eliot, to explain to them why, in your view, they are all fundamentally ignorant racists who represent a bankrupt constitution.

Good luck and let us know how you get on in your frank and open exchange of opinions with these ignoramuses.

Jerry Owen

2nd September 2019 at 2:06 pm

Z Palmyra
It hurts when you lose doesn’t it !

Genghis Kant

2nd September 2019 at 12:09 pm

Just as Glastonbury has become Butlins for the middle-classes, protest marches have become the middle-class equivalent of the Bank Holiday charabanc trip, with the ‘witty’ protest signs their equivalent of the ‘kiss me quick’ hat and just as meaningful.

Andrew Leonard

2nd September 2019 at 10:55 am

What will be the position of Remainers after Brexit, vis-à-vis their country?
Will they swallow their pride and get on with their lives, or perhaps turn nasty?
Are Leavers prepared for the inevitable backlash?

Michael Lynch

2nd September 2019 at 11:33 am

Of course they will. They’re politicians after all. However, a fair few will never be forgiven. Most of us understand that they have be double faced in order to attain power, but there still has to be a scintilla of credibility about them. Look at Clegg for instance. Most of us out here in the real world realized that he’d committed political suicide the moment he signed up with Cameron. However, he seemed to be blithely unaware of this until the day after the disastrous GE that ousted him and his party. What strikes me as bizarre is that most of the current lot haven’t learnt from this. In reality, time is up. They’ve had three years, but have decided to piddle about playing partisan politics instead. Labour can no longer claim to want a deal when they voted a deal down three times. They also can’t claim that they can secure one whilst Boris can’t. The people’s patience is far too thin to swallow that tripe now.

Jane 70

2nd September 2019 at 12:18 pm

Fiddling while Rome burns, so to speak…

christopher barnard

2nd September 2019 at 10:39 am

I walked through the anti-Brexit protest in Manchester and met a woke colleague from work who is always going on about the class struggle, racism, diversity, the climate, trans issues, feminism, Israel/Palestine etc etc.

I asked her if the BAME people of Manchester were holding a separate anti-Brexit demo and she asked what I meant.

She then looked around and sheepishly agreed that the crowd was almost totally white, and probably totally middle class too.

Carolyn Monaghan

2nd September 2019 at 12:52 pm

Yes, I have to say I was thinking Jon Snow might be even more stunned by the sheer number of white people out on the streets. Surprisingly old white people, actually, considering that old people are apparently racist brexiteers to a man/woman/choose gender.

Danny Rees

2nd September 2019 at 10:27 am

Everyone Brendan doesn’t like or disagrees with is “middle class”.

We’ve known this for some time.

Jim Lawrie

2nd September 2019 at 11:22 am

Don’t worry Canny Danny, we know you’re pyooor wurkin class man, right?

Michael Lynch

2nd September 2019 at 11:36 am

Better to call people you dislike as middle class rather than call them Nazis like your ilk do!

Michael Lynch

2nd September 2019 at 10:24 am

Just seen Blair on giving a speech on Sky News. It was actually quite good at the start; presenting his argument against the counter argument. There was even a sly dig at the protesters; an obvious reference to the anti war march he had to face. Yet the counter argument (the people’s will) seemed to dig away at his resolution in the end and he began to gabble on about the need for a referendum rather than a GE because he knows JC can’t win. Boris has stolen the agenda and Blair knows it.

Jim Lawrie

2nd September 2019 at 12:01 pm

He sounded to me like he had dropped his voice coach and reverted to the nasl wee nyaff that he always was.

Amelia Cantor

2nd September 2019 at 10:12 am

It’s not the “middle classes” against “the masses” (despite O’Neill’s Trotskyist fantasies).

It is educated, intelligent, politically astute progressive people against 1) uneducated, stupid, ignorant racists, xenophobes and chavs; 2) deluded wrinklies; 3) cynical fascist and far-right opportunists who see in Brexit a chance to smash the democratic system and rise to power.

O’Neill should understand 3 particularly well, because Trotskyists are also cynical opportunists who seek to smash democracy and rise to power.

And yes, educated, intelligent, politically astute progressive people (EIPAPP) are never going to form “the masses” in any population. Nevertheless, they are a core component of democracy. If EIPAPP oppose something, it is wrong and immoral and therefore cannot be democratic. EIPPAP oppose Brexit, therefore it is wrong and immoral and cannot be democratic.

Thor Halland

2nd September 2019 at 10:27 am

That’s so astute you must be really big girl now I’d say AT LEAST 13. I mean you use all the big words like the students Racist, Racist, xenophobe. Im so proud ..you could be our own little Greta Thunberg with your own little crew jetsetting around the world telling the people how it is.

cliff resnick

2nd September 2019 at 11:04 am

AMELIA CANTOR is the new Greta Thunberg, Bless!

Andrew Leonard

2nd September 2019 at 11:02 am

I’m an uneducated dog, and I smell fear

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

2nd September 2019 at 1:06 pm

Well said, Amelia, VOX POPULI is not VOX DEI. Representative democracy is superior to government by perpetual plebiscite.

Jane 70

2nd September 2019 at 2:17 pm

Perpetual?? How’s your time keeping?

Amelia Cantor

3rd September 2019 at 10:14 am

Thank you, Zenobia. You express it with admirable conciseness: “Vox populi is indeed not vox Dei.” On the contrary, vox populi can often be vox Diaboli.

John Reic

2nd September 2019 at 2:30 pm

How can winning the referendum wanting the result being implemented be undemocratic and how can stopping brexit be democratic
But I think you feel the working class are thick fascist racist and middle class aren’t means you dint know how many middle class racists there are,

One day your contempt for the working class chsvs gammons etc will see you mocked for malicious hate crime

And spiked in-line will be the first to support for you ,to argue that you have a day got to have the white working class
And then you can say you disagree with spiked inline defending your right to have the working Class and your hatred if the working class should be a criminal hate crime 😀

Neil McCaughan

2nd September 2019 at 4:38 pm

Do you include yourself among the educated? It’s just that you can’t construct, punctuate or spell a simple English sentence. So I’m afraid I have to call B.S.

Amelia Cantor

3rd September 2019 at 10:16 am

Yes, I do include myself among the educated. And the intelligent. And the moral. That is why I oppose Brexit and why intellectual and ethical midgets like you are constantly snapping at my ankles.

There is nothing wrong with my spelling or punctuation. There appears to be a great deal wrong with your grasp of reality. Even by rightard standards.

Jerry Owen

3rd September 2019 at 2:11 pm

A Cantor
‘There is nothing wrong with my spelling’.. and you then use the word ‘rightard’ !
Your lack of self awareness is a delight to witness !

Amelia Cantor

4th September 2019 at 10:35 am

I’ll type this slowly so that you can keep up, Jez. “Rightard” is a mash-up of “right-(wing)” and “retard”. Language evolves. Unlike rightards.

Anto Mitts

3rd September 2019 at 4:10 pm

Well said. The ad hominem attacks are coming in fast!

They’ve been triggered!

Eric Blair

2nd September 2019 at 10:04 am

Brendan O’Neill’s dichotomy between salt of the earth masses (whatever that means) and middle class remainers is false. There are vast numbers of people in the UK who accept the result of the referendum but who are opposed to no deal. It is utter nonsense to equate the desire to have an orderly leave-taking accepting the trading and migration relationships we have with EU countries, with being in favour of Remain. Mr O’Neill is doing the thing he often accuses others of doing – simplistically occluding the subtleties of an argument for rhetorical effect.

John Millson

2nd September 2019 at 11:09 am

Eric Blair,
It appears the fabled British ‘genius’ for moderation is being snuffed out.
What is so sinister is people like Dominic Cummings having so much power and influence over the executive.
I am sure most people who voted to leave were regular participants in elections but, that so many weren’t is very significant. Many people have no respect for representative democracy – apparently don’t understand or, refuse to understand it.
It first became apparent after Corbyn was elected by so many hard left infiltrators, seeing MPs as the ‘enemy’.
Cummings and his amoral social media analysers are playing with us. They are dividing us.

Jane 70

2nd September 2019 at 12:45 pm

We were divided long before Cummings materialised.

Jim Lawrie

2nd September 2019 at 12:49 pm

Like so many Mr Millson you mistake moderation for walking all over us.

Jerry Owen

2nd September 2019 at 9:44 am

1.7 million ? We also know that many have voted up to fifty times each.
Their dishonesty knows no bounds.
1.7 million is a tiny amount anyway.
The ‘deal’ versus ‘no deal’ has always been a red herring.. smoke and mirrors, their mask has slipped it’s a battle for ‘Brexit’ or ‘No Brexit’.
I don’t think we will be leaving on October 31st the political elites simply will not allow it, this should be obvious for all to see now.

Michael Lynch

2nd September 2019 at 9:29 am

Just seen Chukka on Sky News talking about revoke! This is a man that has changed Party three times without asking his constituents permission! How’s that for Democratic behavior?
Also saw JC on over the weekend telling us that a week is a long time in politics and how dare BJ rob them of this crucial time. How come no one has pointed out that if a week is a long time then three years is an Aeon?
How has is all come to this; that a Labour Party can align itself with the affluent and wealthy in order to deny the voice of the working class? Never thought I’d live to see that.

Ashley Giles

2nd September 2019 at 10:09 am

The lack of self awareness in the behaviour of so many of our political establishment these days beggars belief.

Alex Ander

2nd September 2019 at 9:19 am

I put this all down to social media-fuelled laziness. The amount of people that relying on Facebook and Twitter memes, infographics for (virtually) their primary data on subjects is incredible – and yet, somewhat depressing. I’m not suggesting that people read something like the “Economic and financial costs and benefits of UK’s EU membership” report from the select committee to get informed (although I did) on specific subjects – but is there is a middle ground that people should at least be encouraged to reach before they traipse up to London and waste half their weekend making complete fools of themselves listening to morons like Owen Jones and John McDougal??.

In Negative

2nd September 2019 at 9:15 am

And wouldn’t this be so much easier to argue if Boris hadn’t gone and prorogued parliament.

A fair appraisal of those protests would be that it was a mix of the bewildered and confused alongside people with legitimate democratic complaints.

The uncomfortable fact is that a number of MPs were elected on manifestos that pledged to try to block No Deal. Boris has essentially behaved in such a way as to divest those voters of their parliamentary representation. If you were a remainer, I reckon that would rightly stick in your craw.

Francis Lee

2nd September 2019 at 9:01 am

The day after the Brexit result, the counter-revolution to overturn it began. This counter-revolution financed by the rich and powerful with its foot-soldiers recruited from the petit-bourgeois enrages signified what Graham Van Bergen (independent poster) pointed this phenomenon out when he stressed that ”what we are witnessing is anarchy by the rich and powerful and how the gloves are off. Get ready to be bludgeoned like never before until you are on your knees begging for neoliberal mercy.” This was particularly so when one takes into a account, as he went on to point out, that ”Britian’s rich are 64% richer than before the great 2008 recession, whilst the poor are 57% poorer – all that in just 8 years. Overall, about 20% of the population are doing much better and 80% are doing much worse. This is the real reason for Brexit.”

There’s a civil war going on. And apparently the establishment, ably supported by the liberal ‘left’
and its ideological shock-troops consisting of H.G.Wells’ eloi airheads are on the offensive. This has only just started.

John Millson

2nd September 2019 at 8:20 am

I was at Downing Street on Saturday.
I voted to remain in the EU in 2016 – I accepted the result of the referendum.
I and millions of others who voted either to leave or remain in 2016 did not expect leaving the EU would have such an impact on our society. Millions of us must have expected those in power to negotiate a settlement that did not impact severely on our and our close neighbours’ economies and, as we know now, jeopardise the Good Friday Agreement in Ireland.
I was at Downing Street on Saturday, not to say ‘bollocks to Brexit’, but to stand up for our Democracy, to support my local MP. I happen not to agree with her on Brexit but she is still my MP and indirectly represents 100s of thousands of us in Parliament.
No, the Prorogation is not a ‘coup’ in the accepted sense – there’s no curfew, media are completely untouched etc. – but it sets a precedent. And that’s how our phantom-like ‘constitution’ works: precedent upon precedent. It’s a potential charter for Absolutism through the office of Prime Minister.
Yes, to agitate for a second referendum is undemocratic but this misuse of a convention is a equally undemocratic. It’s possible to reject both types of disrespect of democracy simultaneously.

Jerry Owen

2nd September 2019 at 9:24 am

You accepted the result of the referendum .. but you were at Downing street protesting.
Oh the irony !

John Millson

2nd September 2019 at 9:50 am

No the irony is the main complaint from the arch-Brexiteers: our Parliament was being overlooked by the EU – so now it must be suspended by our own government…
Equal to the irony is the stinking hyprocrisy of those suspending our Parliament – they rebelled and they rebelled and they rebelled. (No one will come out this sh*tstorm smelling good.)
Finally, just to record a little fact. I heard one person on addressing the crowd Saturday, who voted to leave the EU in 2016, speak against what is happening now.

Jerry Owen

2nd September 2019 at 10:08 am

John Millson
‘Arch Brexiteers’.. why not ‘Brexiteers’? As for no one coming out of this s*itstorm smelling good .. rubbish it is people like you pretending that you have some higher moral standing than the rest of us that are smelling of s*it, the stench oozes from your placards it oozes from FB to Twitter. You need to own up to the fact that you simply cannot accept the result of the referendum. You turned up at an anti Brexit demo and you have the temerity to tell me you accepted the result of the referendum.
Pure baloney, utter tosh !
And you heard a once brexit voter ( allegedly ) speaking for ‘remain’.. does that invalidate the referendum result then ?

John Millson

2nd September 2019 at 10:45 am

Jerry Owen,
‘And you heard a once brexit voter ( allegedly ) speaking for ‘remain’…’ I am not lying. Why should it be so extraordinary that someone who voted leave was speaking at a ‘stop the coup’ demo?
I ACCEPT THE RESULT OF THE 2016 EU REFERENDUM. There should be no agitation for another referendum until the result of the 2016 referendum is enacted.
In truth the individuals smelling of sh*t are so many MPs – arch-Brexiteers and Remainiacs, but that is no reason to suspend Parliament.
This is not the Monarchy and the Government and the ‘People’ against Parliament this is The Monarchy and the Government against Parliament *and* the ‘People’. We are a representative democracy. In law referendums are advisory.
(Binary thought is easy – try some reflection and read some History and facts of British Constitution.)

Jerry Owen

2nd September 2019 at 2:01 pm

John Millson
Just what is an ‘arch Brexiteer’ ? In fact I’ll tell you.. an arch Brexiteer is 17.4 million voting to leave the EU , you know full well that it was made absolutely clear that we would be leaving the customs union and the single market, so don’t hide behind the lie of saying we didn’t vote for no deal.
The extremists are all on your side, the whining shouty types that have as Rod Liddle would say have reached ‘peak wank’.
The unhinged nature of your crowd is almost farcical, I saw an ex BBC guy twittering about letting old people die of illness and that they should not be treated by the NHS, this is a common theme.
As for proroguing parliament it is perfectly legitimate and happens just about every year.. and we are talking four days , no big deal, Also this session of parliament has been one of the longest for some time, and indeed many MPs were asking for it to be ended.
You lost and you don’t accept it. You wrap up you anti Brexit stance in principled and noble sounding words.. but we all know it’s fake !

Ashley Giles

2nd September 2019 at 10:15 am

Oh, you accepted the result did you?
You are just concerned with the precedents of enacting lawful Parliamentary procedure on our future.
What precedent does ignoring the mandate of a referendum have on the future of our political system might you think?
What precedent has been set by the disgraceful behaviour of what should be a neutral Speaker?
What precedent is set by self indulgent MPs changing Parties, not just once either, without any reference to the wishes of those who elected them based on a manifesto they claimed to represent?
What precedent is set by the false use of specific words like ‘fascist’, ‘far right’ on our future political discourse?

John Millson

2nd September 2019 at 12:01 pm

(I wish people could read others peoples’ posts more closely before replying.
This forum isn’t strictly ‘social media’ but the habits picked up from it are sadly the norm everywhere now. As we all know.)
Our current situation should not be Either/Or – we are driven here by the extremist positions of various politicians and unelected puppet masters.
The automatic mutual distrust between former Leave and Remain voters and their respective motives is appalling.
In answer to your questions. “What precedent does ignoring the mandate of a referendum have on the future of our political system might you think? *Obivously bad I am not asking for it to be ignored*
What precedent has been set by the disgraceful behaviour of what should be a neutral Speaker? *Yes, the Speaker is definitely going against convention*
What precedent is set by self indulgent MPs changing Parties, not just once either, without any reference to the wishes of those who elected them based on a manifesto they claimed to represent? *There should be a mechanism which forces MPs who jump parties to go before the electorates within 6 months. But many MPs are effective and popular among voters – not all voters vote for Party first – they should face a by-election, though*
What precedent is set by the false use of specific words like ‘fascist’, ‘far right’ on our future political discourse? * These phrases and words are ignorant, inaccurate and dangerously provocative*.

Anto Mitts

3rd September 2019 at 4:50 pm

“What precedent is set by self indulgent MPs changing Parties, not just once either, without any reference to the wishes of those who elected them based on a manifesto they claimed to represent?”

Pray tell us was ‘no deal’ in the Conservative manifesto? No didn’t think so.
If an MP wants to leave their party because it’s morphing into the Brexit Party, any reasonable person would accept that. But Its mildly amusing reading these desperate comments in here coming from the ‘We Voted Out!’ brigade.

Quite funny.

Michael Lynch

2nd September 2019 at 10:45 am

We get no end of this. I believe in the referendum result, but…….. . Especially from the Remain political class who firmly believe that they, and they alone, have the right to determine the National destiny. No they don’t, no they don’t, no they don’t. Only the people have the right to determine this via the ballot box. The politicians only get to determine the finesse of any particular decision and are mainly left alone to get on with domestic business. We, the people, decide the big stuff and this has already been done. They are little more than handsomely paid civil servants there to do OUR bidding not the other way around. This why they have to be removed; they have become far too arrogant and believe in their own hubris. Boris understands this and is riding the wave. Remain politicians need to trim their sails accordingly or sink.

Jim Lawrie

2nd September 2019 at 11:49 am

John Millson.

When, within weeks of The Referendum, it became obvious what the establishment were doing, a few in my circle declared that next time, they would change their vote to Brexit, in defence of democracy.

Are you , Mr Millson, like them? A real democrat? Or just a fair weather friend of that ideal? Or like fickle fat Henry, more of a Unionis Europaeae defensorem?

John Millson

2nd September 2019 at 12:58 pm

If there had been a second referendum and it was between leave with a deal or remain, like your associates, I would vote to leave with a deal.
Apologies, I am missing the ‘Henry’ reference. If you have in mind ‘Defender of the Faith’ only to jettison it when it didn’t suit, is this really a plausible example of historical resonance?
Both direct and representative democracy have to be respected, obviously with documented safeguards, which cannot be overturned by anyone.

Jim Lawrie

2nd September 2019 at 2:55 pm

John Millson Henry snuffed out all opposition in Parliament, the aristocracy, judiciary and clergy, confiscating all their wealth in the process. Just like Labour are planning, under their government of national unity/emergency.
Again, you remove the leave option for a second referendum. You just cannot help yourself.

Jim Lawrie

2nd September 2019 at 12:45 pm

John Millsons.
You refer to those who voted on a binary choice as extremists. That is one level below terrorist. Name calling and labelling to smokescreen the lack of substance.

Jerry Owen

3rd September 2019 at 9:27 am

JIm Lawrie
I too noticed that Mr Millson refused to mention a ‘no deal’ second referendum.
They really are deluding themselves.

Claire D

2nd September 2019 at 7:07 am

Just to be absolutely clear, the Suffragettes did not win us the vote, that is a Feminist myth, a distorted version of history which ignores the facts.
In the years up to WWI the Suffragettes were viewed on the whole with disgust in the same way that terrorists are today. They committed arson, bomb attacks, physical assaults, criminal damage and acid attacks on buildings.
Property owning women were given the vote alongside all men in 1918 at the end of WWI, partly in recognition of their contribution to the war effort, partly due to the dignified and insistent arguments of the Suffragists (a different group of women altogether) and their male supporters, and partly so that Britain would be in alignment with much of Northern Europe. All the other women did not get the vote until 1928, which had nothing to do with the Suffragettes, if anything their violent and aggressive tactics had probably delayed all women getting the vote by a decade.
Today the public, schoolchildren and even university students are fed the Feminist and Post-modernist versions of history, which are based on modern opinion not the factual evidence.

Jane 70

2nd September 2019 at 8:12 am

Very well said and your pertinent point about modern opinion is particularly apt : are we headed for some kind of progressive dictatorship, based on the twisting of what constitutes democracy to suit the prevailing modern opinion?

After all, post modernism, post whatever feminism and all the other isms which now distort public discourse seem to have a very flexible view of what constitutes truth and verifiable fact.

I’m genuinely keen to know what other readers might think, having recently read la Swinson’s declaration that she will never accept the validity of a Leave vote.

If our so called representatives adopt a pick-and-mix approach to the public’s wishes, where does that leave us?

Claire D

2nd September 2019 at 11:39 am

To be honest Jane the whole thing is beyond me, I don’t know what the answer is except that perhaps we should have left on March 29th, in which case all this would be behind us. Sigh.

Jim Lawrie

2nd September 2019 at 11:56 am

The one thing all remainers have in common is an absolute aversion to universal suffrage in practice. In case we vote the wrong way. Again.
Publicly, they declare for the removal of the leave option.
Privately, they chatter for the proscription of The Brexit Party. Using anti-terrorist legislation.

Claire D

2nd September 2019 at 12:03 pm

I have never had much faith in our politicians since John Smith died and Margaret Thatcher came to power. I can only hope that some kind of compromise can be reached and our divisions dissipated. As for Jo Swinson, she’s a juvenile.

Claire D

3rd September 2019 at 11:04 am

Re: Jo Swinson,
‘ Juvenile ‘ was’nt right, what she is in fact is delusional and muddled, it is unfortunate that such a person is the leader of a political party but predictable at this time.

Ashley Giles

2nd September 2019 at 10:22 am

You are assuming that the threat of a return to the Suffragettes antics after the FWW had ended played no part in the thinking behind extending the franchise to some women in 1918. What likelihood was there that without those years of protests women would have simply been given the vote? It certainly suited the government of the day to be able to extend the franchise for other reasons, but they did so within a wider context. Causation is a complex affair.

Claire D

2nd September 2019 at 11:26 am

Ashley,
I don’t think I’m assuming anything, I’m looking at the evidence and making a reasonable judgement.
You ask what the likelihood was that without those years of ‘ protests ‘ women would have been given the vote ? Well, Austria, including Czechoslovakia as it was known then, Denmark, Finland Norway, Poland and of course Russia, all gave women the vote either before or during 1918, and that was all women not just property owners as in the UK.
Why, if the British government in 1918 were acting out of fear of the return of suffragette activity, why give the vote only to property owning women ? The suffragists tended to be property owners, the suffragettes not so. Your argument does’nt hold water.

Claire D

2nd September 2019 at 2:46 pm

Forgot to mention Canada, and Germany, Luxembourg, Latvia and the Netherlands all followed suit in 1919.

Jane 70

2nd September 2019 at 6:22 am

“a general vote by the electorate on a single political question which has been referred to them for a direct decision”

The definition in plain speak: it was put to us, we decided . A crucial test of our democratic process, which is now being steadily, shoutily and piously undermined by an undemocratic bunch of apparent progressives and their conniving parliamentary plotters.

Does one’s vote no longer count for anything?

Extend article 50 or cancel the UK’s intention to withdraw from the EU: why?

Are we now to be effectively disenfranchised by the likes of OJ, Momentum, assorted Lib Dems, Labour , Green and SNP moralistas, luvvies, wealthy journalists, arrogant litigants and posturing progressives?

All led, most duplicitously, given his hitherto eurosceptic statements, by JC?

Michael Lynch

2nd September 2019 at 9:33 am

Well said.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

2nd September 2019 at 1:10 pm

Brexiteers are showing their fundamentally weak grasp of the basic principles of democracy. The referendum result was indicative, not legally binding. Membership of the EEA would have been an entirely legitimate, and eminently rational, interpretation of the referendum result. Instead, the incompetence, intransigence and cowardice of the politicos in the face of quasi-fascist demagogues such as Farage and Mogg has brought us to this crisis situation.

LIVE FREE OR DIE

Ven Oods

3rd September 2019 at 3:11 pm

Quasi-fascist? Is that like ‘almost unique’?

SNJ Morgan

2nd September 2019 at 6:02 am

Only 1.7m dictators turned out for this protest? That leaves 65m plus ordinary folks who won’t tolerate their horse manure.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

2nd September 2019 at 1:07 pm

Weak logic. If somebody does not participate in a march does that logically mean that they are opposed to the aims expressed by the marchers? Of course not.

Ven Oods

3rd September 2019 at 3:08 pm

And yet that same logic has been used to suggest that non-voters in the referendum mean Remain outnumbers Leave.

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