Four times Remainers used ‘toxic’ language

Leading Remainers have said far worse things than Boris Johnson has.


Topics Brexit Politics UK

The House of Commons completely lost the plot last night, as Remainer MPs blasted Boris Johnson for using the word ‘surrender’, in relation to the Benn Act that aims to stop Britain leaving the EU without a deal. Hysterical MP after hysterical MP stood up and said Johnson’s language of ‘betrayal’ and ‘surrender’ was putting their lives at risk.

But a cursory Google search, or a memory longer than the last week, reveals that many of these people have said far worse things about their political opponents. Take Labour MP Jess Phillips, who today will ask an urgent question in parliament about the PM’s ‘toxic’ language. In 2015, she said that, when the time came to oust Jeremy Corbyn as leader, she would knife him ‘in the front not the back’.

Lib Dem Ed Davey also led the condemnation of Johnson’s language last night. Well, in June, he said Remainer parties should unite to ‘decapitate that blond head in Uxbridge and South Ruislip’ – a pretty violent metaphor, you might say, for an electoral pact aimed at beating Boris Johnson, who is MP there, at the next election.

Davey later apologised. But others have been less contrite about using, or being seen to endorse, violent language against their opponents. Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell has long refused to recant a speech he gave in 2014, in which he repeated calls from activists to have then DWP minister Esther McVey ‘lynched’, to big laughs.

There was a lot of talk last night about the unfair portrayal of one’s opponents as ‘traitors’ (even though Johnson has never used such language). But what then should we think about this chestnut from David Lammy MP. When asked on The Andrew Marr Show if he wanted to take back a comparison he had made between the pro-Brexit Tory European Research Group and the Nazis, he said that, if anything, his comments were ‘not strong enough’.

So, in sum, using the word ‘surrender’ to describe an act of parliament is apparently mad and dangerous. But talking about knifing, decapitating and lynching one’s opponents is fine. Suggesting that Remainers are enemies of democracy when they try to, er, thwart democracy is inflammatory and toxic. But saying that pro-Brexit MPs are actual fascists is, if anything, a little on the cautious side. Gotcha.

Shaming politicians, whatever their position or party, for using colourful language is ridiculous and censorious. You have to have a pretty low view of ordinary people to think that a few fighting words from MPs is enough to turn voters to political violence and murder. We should argue back, not take offence. But it’s hard not to come to the conclusion that many of the MPs saying Johnson’s language is dangerous don’t actually believe it.

How could they? Many of them have said far worse things themselves.

To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.

Topics Brexit Politics UK


A Game

28th September 2019 at 3:45 am

There’s an expression for what Remainers’ thinking is, their mindset. All these twists and turns, patently false, patently stupid, relying on people having zero nous, zero information. (I just read a Trump/BoJo hatechet job from the G uard ian: I can now see why Remainers come across as low information. If this type of propaganda is the basis for their hatred and resistance… (oh, and Leavers are pigs to be wrestled in the mud. Leavers like the mud, Remainers don’t, but they’ll have to still get down and dirty if they are to fight the fascism. Same article portrayed the turncoats 21 as glorious, pure martyrs. Too funny.))

“Cunning as shit-house rats”. That sums up Remainers, the regressive, POMO left beautifully. Not clever, just determined, reflexive, instinctive and extremely opportunistic.


27th September 2019 at 9:15 pm

More pro-Brexit hatred directed at people with diverging views (below). It seems that anybody disagreeing with economic suicide is now a ‘traitor’, whatever that means…

Jerry Owen

28th September 2019 at 11:15 am

Z Palmyra
Is that that your best shot at trying to negate the votes of 17.4 million people ?
Absolutely pathetic.


27th September 2019 at 9:13 pm

It is very clear which side the majority of threats and violence are coming from:

Hard core Brexit nutjobs have killed once before. How long will it be before pro-Brexit thugs kill again?

Marvin Jones

30th September 2019 at 5:53 pm

WELLLLLL! there are certain sorts like yourself that won’t be missed.

Ippiki Ookami

27th September 2019 at 7:57 pm

If we can’t call it “The Surrender Bill”, can we call it “The Neville Chamberlain Memorial Peace In Our Time Bill”?


27th September 2019 at 5:28 pm

With due respect, it does appear that your average Leaver is a bit more shouty and aggressive than your average Remainer. Also, Joe Cox was murdered by an extreme right-wing Leaver, not a Remainer. Leavers are also less likely, on average, to be swayed by facts and rational arguments. They are more easily convinced by appeals to emotion and authority. This is not surprising given their dislike of ‘experts’ and economic pragmatism. Their preference is for cultish blind nationalism and xenophobia, fuelled by an irrational and destructive obsession with the Second World War (which was, in fact, won by the Russians).


Ippiki Ookami

27th September 2019 at 7:44 pm

Russia won?
I seem to recall something before that… Something about a Few people doing something or other. What was it…?

A Game

28th September 2019 at 4:23 am

I think she was on youtube and read a bald correction on some blatant British jingoism, that pointed out the Russian effort and role in WW2, which is what weakened the Germans fatally. It didn’t say “they won the war”, but her being her, of course, that’s the message she took and now shoves it in her enemies faces. Her learnedness.
She started touting this line just after I’d done extensive work on a youtube video. (Brits be proud of your WW2 efforts, you took a hit, you did your fair share, but you can’t ignore or be ignorant of, the elements that worked in your favour – enormously – and the massive price your allies paid. Know the whole story but still be proud of what your country did. And seriously. That the British people were able to choke back that “national loaf”… they all deserved a medal. (Winston was still doing 6 course dinners in the bowels of Westminster, champers and brandy laid on thick. And there’s another nugget that can be thrown in the face of Churchill admirers. Stay tuned, right?)

She is the poster child of everything that is wrong with today’s youth. Everything is cheapened, everything is exploitable. Just win that point, just crush someone with arrogance and entitlement, but not with genuine knowledge or insight. So competitive. So provincial.

Charles Dent

27th September 2019 at 8:50 pm

“With due respect, it does appear that your average Leaver is a bit more shouty and aggressive than your average Remainer.” – Given that prominent Remainers have used the words ‘Fascist / Racist / Uneducated / Far Right / Stupid’ to describe leavers, are you sure that this is a valid comment?
“Leavers are also less likely, on average, to be swayed by facts and rational arguments.” – That is highly subjective. Leavers didn’t believe the ‘Fact’ that we would face economic armagedon as soon as we voted to leave and the fact is that we are actually doing fine.
“They are more easily convinced by appeals to emotion and authority.” – really? Given that almost everyone in authority is a Remainer, this comment really doesn’t make sense.
“This is not surprising given their dislike of ‘experts’ and economic pragmatism.” – I refer you to the economic catastrophe we are supposed to be in the middle of having voted for Brexit – if you had actually read the report that made this claim with anything other than blind belief, you would have realised it was rubbish in the first few pages – why then respect the “experts” and their “economic pragmatism”.
“Their preference is for cultish blind nationalism and xenophobia” – No – most leavers actually want us to have open trade and equitable relationships wth the whole world, including Europe. We reject the bullying and arrogant attitude that the EU treats other countries, particularly poorer nations, when negotiaiting trade deals.

Gareth Edwards

27th September 2019 at 9:50 pm

Your opinion doesn’t count

Gareth Edwards

27th September 2019 at 9:34 pm

So those ‘shouty’ blokes who ruin my mornings when the media are broadcasting from parliament square are .. obviously …leavers !

A Game

28th September 2019 at 4:28 am

Right. So the Russians won WW2, losing 27 million people doing so, then they had a ruthlessly obtained industrialisation to weather, another 20 million dying of starvation, a corrupt communist regime to live and die under for about 45 years… but its okay to give the Russian football team sh*t for being “too white”. I have a feeling you would have been very robust in your criticisms of such blatant racism.
Priorities, right?

Jerry Owen

28th September 2019 at 11:18 am

Z Palmyra
How hilarious that you say we leavers are persuaded by authority… we have clearly voted against every voice of authority in the referendum.. joined up thinking, try it some time !

Kev Richards

30th September 2019 at 2:36 pm

All the spitting fury and hate was on the opposition benches.

Stephen J

27th September 2019 at 3:38 pm

Whenever I look at that gob, I think of someone tried but failed at RADA.


27th September 2019 at 5:29 pm

Is that the best you can come up with? No arguments, just invective? How utterly typical of your ilk.

Jerry Owen

28th September 2019 at 11:19 am

Z Palmyra
See your posts above !

Jane 70

27th September 2019 at 1:06 pm

Interesting piece : Doncastrians voice their disgust and disillusionment with the Westminster pack.
Politicians have now forfeited virtually all respect and trust.

A Game

28th September 2019 at 4:41 am

So it, Doncaster, do it. Just once. Get Brexit over the line. Then go back to Labour’s careerist, hierarchal version of socialism, designed to protect the few and sh*t on the many. (Labour need a massive defeat to clean out the cobwebs.)

Puddy Cat

27th September 2019 at 9:49 am

I am viewing the Brexit support as an understandable outpouring and that of Remain as having a strong seam of vested interest. The fulcrum has to be Gina Miller a privileged Guyanese from establishment stock standing out against 52% of the electorate. We have got so use to treating exception with undue reverence, falling over in consideration of minority that we have confused the reason for our deference. Exception can be jealousy or eccentricity and is usually something without provenance pumped-up to be the measure of humanity whereas which happenings have demonstrated is not the case. Minority is something that should be considered and given every opportunity to enter the fold and by so doing avoid the opportunity of jealousy lauding it over ambition. The story of Brexit encompasses this point where a cry of exception is not to the fore but a yearning for opportunity.

In our current situation minority rule, which was unthinkable in a liberal cause such as South Africa or Rhodesia, has inveigled its way in some consciences as being significant and right and held as democratic. The democracy of the Remain cause ended with the Article 50 Bill in the House, ended with any sentiment that supported the plebiscite in theory and which was a lawful the democratic manifestation of the general view within this country.

However, starting with the denigration of the Leave voters through all manner of traducing, name calling, typifying in intellectual capacity, class and racial slurring, we now have a furore when the PM uses similar sorts of language in opposition to the stridency and scorn poured onto Brexit.

Who or what is behind it all? Within hours of the Supreme Court ruling professional placards were on the streets, in their uniformity beyond production by a disparate band of demonstrators, obviously planned, bought and distributed by an organisation that has money and means. A consolidation of unknown views masquerading as a uniformity with shared views?

If the whole of our political future now depends on judicial intervention what election in future cannot be opposed? What action in our defence cannot be delayed while conspirators and fifth columnists contrive?

How can we not scorn someone who came to this country for advancement and, as in the case of Gina Miller, rejects the milieu into which she willingly joined for gain and whatever status that conferred, in order to establish her own advantage. That the leading light in such an action should be of foreign descent seems to give too much credit to exception.

It is about time that the language in Parliament should raise a pitch or two. The Right Honourable and My Honourable Friend are left-overs from an age of nationalism where the whole temper of the Parliament was reliable in its joint wish to see this country prosper. These honorifics are a thing of trust and a reflection on our joint susceptibilities. All that is gone and in the most tragic and underhand of ways. If a Parliamentarian now wishes to name a person as a two-faced double dealer then they should be identified as such. You cannot have a claim to honour or friendship if it is but a title and not an understandable and shared demeanour that we can all understand naturally.

Jerry Owen

27th September 2019 at 2:33 pm

Puddy Cat
As you allude to , there is a well oiled ‘remain’ headquarters somewhere near Westminster, the printed placards appear very quickly the crowds ( small but well rehearsed in loud sloganeering ) appear quickly .. we can safely assume that not many are from Scunthorpe.
To add to your point about the ‘Right Honourable’ title , it goes with the job ,but shouldn’t that title be earned as well ?
I have written to my MPs in the past and have used that title ‘RH’ however it isn’t a title I can feel honest about using anymore, I feel decidedly uncomfortable using it. We still have some decent MPs but unfortunately we have to view parliament as a whole.
The sum total of parliament now is of an unruly yobbish anarchic self serving pig troughing parasitical class of elitists.. how can one use the term ‘The right honourable’ anymore ?
They have trashed our democracy , and as I have stated before, I do believe in the traditional punishment for treason , severe I know but what price to protect our democracy ?

Marvin Jones

30th September 2019 at 6:01 pm

Miller is ashamed of who she is every time she looks in the mirror. Just an ethnic with money who has the chance to play the WHITE person, in the world of the WHITE people. She should know her place in the world.

Willie Penwright

27th September 2019 at 8:23 am

I too am fearful for the life of my cousin who is gay and of mixed race and Jewish. A car door was deliberatly slammed outside her house the other night, clearly inspired by Boris Johnson’s aggressive language. “Humbug” is the kind of word, similar to the words used by the Khmer Rouge. I was in tears all night but there were no journalists around to record it.

Janet Mozelewski

28th September 2019 at 4:39 pm

I feel your pain. I went to a house the other night and they had Carry on Up the Khyber on the telly. Jingoism, Colonialism, casual sexism ….I thought my soul was melting. But no. I was laughing too much.

Henry McGuinness

27th September 2019 at 8:08 am

The level of hypocrisy from Jess Phillips is staggering. Here’s a link to a tweet showing a pastiche of *some* of her remarks
One can easily find on YouTube videos of her laughing when the issue of male suicides is brought up. Don’t take my word it, ease read up about her. Not the fawning Guardian version.

Every time she provokes people so unpleasantly, she gets some angry reactions, and she REALLY milks them, saying “look at the hatred directed at me”.

She behaves like a provocateur, I guess. But I also think her actions are destructive to the country I love, and demeaning to our parliament. Who voted for her, and what did *they* think they were doing?

Henry McGuinness

27th September 2019 at 8:37 am

Calming down a bit, there’s also an issue when rulers treat their subjects with contempt: subjects tend get rather angry.

That our votes are respected is deeply important to each one of us. 17m is 3m more than have ever voted for a political party in Britain. To ignore those votes is politically reckless, and even more so to do so while insulting them for 3 years. People *know* the result is being ignored, but politicians think if they use enough weasel words they can do whatever they decide.

Leavers on Twitter will know exactly how much contempt extreme-Remain/#FBPE types have for us. These are the same social sets as the Channel 4 journalists, Guardianistas and academics – and also the judges and probably libDem MPs too, who deem it OK to say “Bollocks to Brexit”

That’s where we are now, quite a different place from June 2016. MPs *have* to be more responsible, or it seems a bit silly to complain about people’s anger at them, regrettable though it may be.

Geoff Cox

27th September 2019 at 10:50 am

Inflated language to provoke a reaction is common place because “if you get angry, you’ve lost the argument”. It’s complete tosh, but there you are. If it leads to violence, so much the better – they can have a field day blaming the opposition whilst crying crocodile tears.

Geoff Cox

27th September 2019 at 7:32 am

The question is – who benefits from bringing up Jo Cox?

I remember well the day she died and hearing the news on the radio in my car. I was running the leave campaign in my constituency and, in the days leading up to the murder, you could feel the leave side moving ahead for the first time in the campaign. But then the murder and the suspension of the campaign for several days (in fact half the remaining time) and the head of steam was lost. It also gave a huge opportunity for the remain politicians to come together and cry together. It was a disgraceful attempt to milk the situation and I can’t believe it didn’t knock the leave vote down a few percentage points. Without it, I suspect leave would have won 55:45.

So now, Labour brings her name up again. It was deliberate – they hope to cause another bit of faux outrage to damage the leave side.

No doubt I will soon get an email from my only remaining remainer friend telling me how awful Boris is without having thought for one minute that the narrative being spun on the BBC is not correct. Ah well …..

steve moxon

27th September 2019 at 7:53 am

Yes, it surely did depress the Leave margin.
What helps here, though, is that the Bremoaning elite hate the masses so thoroughly that they don’t credit the masses with seeing through everything they do. With everyone now so used to Bremoaner tactics that antipathy towards the elite now so well ingrained, then their antics serve to yet further bolster Leave. The elite know they can now not get a reverse vote in any re-run. They are relying on Bowis getting a Tereason Maybot mark II BRINO and not making a pact with the Brexit Party, but the elite and the government are so incompetent that no-deal is still on the cards as falling between all that they do, given it is the default.

Geoff Cox

27th September 2019 at 10:23 am

Well Steve, I really hope you are right about (so called) no-deal. As for the masses seeing through the elite nonsense, I hope you are right about that too. I’m certainly going around saying that is true, but they only need to confuse and demotivate people from voting ie a plague on both your houses, and they can trip us up in a new election. And who do UKIP / Brexit party people vote for? Only Tory … but you can’t trust the Tories especially on the EU. Though maybe, just maybe Boris will get so annoyed he will take us out cleanly. In that scenario, stand by for a further challenge in the courts!

Jerry Owen

27th September 2019 at 2:41 pm

Geoff Cox
The news story on the Boris / Cox thing was clearly spin as my wife came home from work and she understood that Boris had raised her name , I had to correct her.
You are right Cox’s death was used to attack the ‘leave’ vote . Her husband the following day used it to bash the ‘leave’ vote ( it wasn’t Brexit then ) and it did have the desired effect. They are as you say using it again . Despicable beyond any human civilized decency.

Dominic Straiton

26th September 2019 at 7:00 pm

“civility” can only exist in a democracy when the losers of a vote stand aside.

Andrew Thomson

26th September 2019 at 5:23 pm

The liberals (I can’t call them Democrats) ran a campaign called bo11ocks to Brexit, so that’s balls to 17.4 million people, the speaker drove a car with the same sentiments even though he is supposed to be impartial, the left hung effigies of tories from a bridge in Manchester, the common flippant remark about leavers by remainers is that they are racists , Johnson has been called a c… Live on TV by passing people without a single comment from news readers, they shout racist across the house at Johnson because he tried to defend the right of people to wear what they want and in every media interview they call him a liar, if he said Tuesday followed Monday they would shout liar across the house!

Sorry the debate has been toxic for a long time, and I’m sorry to say it comes from both sides but bot sorry to say that the remainers are the ones who hit toxic bottom first!

Janet Mozelewski

26th September 2019 at 10:20 pm

It is interesting that the actual Liberal party…they do still exist, rather like Wimbledon FC re-forming after MK Dons took away their identity)….takes a wholly liberal and democratic view of Brexit. They support the result of the Referendum. Lib-Dems are neither Liberal nor Democratic of course. They stopped being so (and became a clone of every other centrist EU party) when they added Dem to their name.
Now if only they were to step on and call themselves the Lib-Hyps perhaps they would stop being hyporcrites.

Mark Newstead

26th September 2019 at 4:56 pm

My main concern is where is this taking us?

I understand the remain position. They lost the referendum, but were desperate to stay in the EU.
So what to do?

Create narratives that continually question the result, so that the people no longer accept the result.
Like continually vilify the leave supporters, pay shouty demonstrators behind TV crews, court cases, strange parliamentary practices….
This is a great plan if your only focus was to stay in the EU.

But it has caused a number of side effects:
1. Messed up the parliamentary system quite a bit, with 85% of the people now hating parliament and its MPs. So need to find ways to restore the peoples faith in parliament
2. Screwed around with democracy a lot. So need to try and gain the people trust in democracy, so people vote for you again.
3. Messed around with Courts interfering with the Executive. So need to find ways to stop the courts interfering when your back in power. Maybe define some explicit constitution perhaps.
4. Upset a lot of people. So how do you manage the majority 17.4M who actually voted legally to leave the EU. They have now been disenfranchised, and are pretty upset about being ignored and that we are still in the EU.
5. Caused great division in the country by using the brilliant narrative that continually questions the result. Now you need to initiate large scale countrywide healing programmes to unite brother with brother, family, friends, colleagues and people you never met but called them horrible names.
6. Caused major civil unrest and disobedience in the governing structure and law enforcement. Maybe massive increases in policing, support services and courts to manage the major riots in many cities up and down the land.

But a least you kept the country in the EU. So job well done.

Michael Lynch

26th September 2019 at 11:07 pm

Creating narratives designed to influence the electorate to forget the result is a profoundly dumb strategy. “‘If there is hope’ wrote Winston, ‘it lies in the proles’“ – from 1984. Most of the population doesn’t give a fig about identity politics, or any other ideology. They sense its presence, of course, and the Brexit vote was as much a reaction against it. However, instead of trying to understand this, the virtuous elite have doubled down with their insane nonsense. They are simply banging their heads against a concrete wall now. The same thing is happening in the US. Just how much dumber will these elites get? Boris gets this and that’s what he’s counting on in a GE.

James Hillier

26th September 2019 at 3:45 pm

You have to hand it to Jess Phillips: the MP who laughed at, and tried to prevent, a debate on male suicide, who said she would “knife Jeremy Corbyn in the front” and who accused Brendan O’Neil of being a “dreadful person with no mates” during an interview, now has the nerve to criticise others for their supposedly inflammatory language.

steve moxon

26th September 2019 at 5:28 pm

That was it, the male suicide debate. I was struggling to remember.
Deep hypocrisy requires an especially low intellect and chronic narcissism.
That’s Jess Philips and a host of female MPs all over.

Janet Mozelewski

26th September 2019 at 2:43 pm

Long ago at referendum time, I had a fairly neutral view of the whole thing (I didn’t vote in it as we had already decided to move to France and felt it inappropriate in the circumstances). Since then, however, my stance has changed and I am not pro-Brexit. Why? I think it is largely down to the toxic language used by hard-line remainers. The first manifestation of this was extremely distasteful insults directed at he older generationt I witnessed online. Brexit Voter = Old = Too Old = Should have their Vote removed=Should Die ASAP. I had some outrageous comments directed at me on Social Media simply because I accepted the referendum results. With remarkable swiftness, what I saw as innocuous opinion somewhere in the middle was a sign that I was Old and therefore gaga and didn’t understand.
I have had someone stand in my lounge and – when I said that there was something to be said for some (but by no means all) of Nigel Farage’s stance – accuse me bluntly of being a Nazi, a racist, a n enemy of the planet. (Which was rather rich considering he drove a beat up diesel which belched out black smoke.)
I have been accused of being a Little Englander who should Get Out More…though we happen to be the only English people living in our commune.
And I am not a rabid Brexit person. Just someone who believes in democracy and thinks we should strive to attain it. The more I got name-called the more pro-Brexit I became. I don’t think I am unusual. Having someone scream insults at you is hardly going to make you warm to their viewpoint.
You support Brexit…or at least support the decision of the electorate to Brexit….you are old/thick/ ill-educated/ racist/chavs/whatever. None of the people putting these labels on me have ever made the slightest effort to find out why I think as I do. They simply label and assume.
(I read an article recently which asserted that it was a ‘fact’ that the older generation and Brexit voters had a lesser education that leavers. Oh yes, younger people tend to have more degrees per head and more A star A-levels. But what does THAT mean? I know several young women with degrees and I doubt they would have managed an A level between them 40 years ago. In fact, they wouldn’t have got into the sixth form.)
I have found most leavers to be very patient in the face of all this delay. The majority of obnoxiousness I have witnessed has come from Remainers. Disagree with a politician? Advocate throwing acid over him. See someone campaigning for the ‘wrong’ party in the street? Spray them with milkshake…the modern tar and feathering. A group of society largely view things differently to you? Hope they die or seek to disenfranchise them.
Whenever I see a person shrieking about Trump/Farage/Boris/ anyone they disagree with being a Nazi of Fascist I roll my eyes. Because if they truly thought that and knew what it meant, and if the public figure in question truly was such, it is the very last thing they would dare do. Because they wouldn’t ever do it again.

Geoff Cox

26th September 2019 at 6:10 pm

Hi Janet – a great pity your typo in second sentence can’t be corrected – I assume it should read “I am NOW pro-Brexit” rather than “I am not pro-Brexit”. Edit button anyone?

Anyway welcome to the world of UKIP where we have been insulted, abused, talked down to, ignored and ridiculed – all for campaigning to leave the EU and stop mass immigration. We now now more than half the public agreed with the first and much more than half agree with the second. But still the abuse and insults keep coming.

Just one other thing – the remainers can’t have it both ways on young people / more educated people as these are the same people. If you are under 30 there is about a 45% chance you went to uni. If you are over 60, there is only about a 10% chance you went to uni. The genes have not changed only the educational opportunity. By the way, a snappy answer to the remainer cry that “better educated people voted to remain” is “not better educated, better indoctrinated”. Even remainers have to smile at that.

Janet Mozelewski

27th September 2019 at 11:21 am

Ah yes, Geoff. I read it (too late!!) and was mortified. lol. Ah well. I’m glad you read on enough to realise it was a typo.
Living in France has given me a very different perspective (I live among the French, not in an ex-pat ghetto). They are suffering the same way…with a few differences. Yes they are also alternately ignored and sneered at by a self-regarding, ‘elite’. They also are on the frontline facing the slings and arrows of outrageous EU regulations, tax demands and unaccountability. They see rampant abuse of position and corruption in public office on an unprecedented scale. (Little of which is reported in the UK as it may tarnish Macron’s squeaky-clean image as the new face of liberal Europe.)
On the other hand, unlike in the UK, it has always been perfectly compatible to be both a socialist and a patriot. France has enormous problems with poverty and many people, especially in rural areas, are living in virtual hovels that would be condemned in the UK. Not of this fits with the luxury gite-holidaying classes who see France as a utopia and enjoy looking at all those hovels (that have little or no modern conveniences) as a picturesquely crumbling backdrop. Trouble brewing here. It will make last winter look like a little tiff.

Marion Owen

27th September 2019 at 2:52 pm

I have had all these experiences, too. It’s not pleasant.

One point about the ‘educated people’ thing: people working in HE and the like are among those who have benefited most directly from EU membership in terms of jobs and grants. It’s not a matter of ‘I’m cleverer so of course I understand the benefits of membership’.

steve moxon

26th September 2019 at 2:34 pm

Jess Philips and Paula Sherriff are both not just hypocrites but real extreme hate-mongering bigots. They both virulently hate men, and if were are to have an extension of ‘hate crime’ legislation or any at all (which of course we shouldn’t) then two of the first people up on charges should be these ogres.
There is shortly to be a Law Commission consultation on extending ‘hate crime’ and I’ll be submitting evidence that far from there being misogyny as contemporarily understood (as something generic and ‘structural’), there is no scientific basis of this at all, and instead the evidence is of philogyny and misandry. My submission will be with these two malicious idiots in mind.

Eric Blair

26th September 2019 at 2:48 pm


steve moxon

26th September 2019 at 3:27 pm

Ignorant fool.
Wake up.

Jamie Spary

26th September 2019 at 5:45 pm

Your surname gives it away. You must be related to tony.

steve moxon

26th September 2019 at 8:10 pm

Certainly not Eric.
Maybe Lionel, though no sign even of being able to so much as do the shuffle on a pin.

Jerry Owen

26th September 2019 at 10:25 pm

Good luck !

A Game

28th September 2019 at 6:14 am

Very unscientific of you. You use two frauds, two talentless schemers as proof that there is no systemic sexism. They are the epitome of systemic sexism. Currently, its the idea that to be a woman in politics, you have to be like these idiots, and if you aren’t, then you’re a misogynist. The sexism is always that women must be A, B or C. Yes, liberal feminism and identity politics has created a climate that the vacuously insubstantial can use these tricks to get ahead. But that they do, doesn’t write off the entire box and dice of sexism. They are just the pretenders that need to be weeded out.
That G Thunberg’s existence has come down to being what type of female she is. That is sexism. Her sex being used to either promote, excuse, explain or refute her views is sexism. To denigrate her message via sexual slurs… is sexism.
I suppose you’ll be also submitting that male politicians who produce their own version of this crap should get their pay docked, right? Because the men are using their own version of the same mentality. Is that a fixed “man trait” now? No. Its the tactic of the talentless but driven. Men speak the same language as that pair, but as an ally. And its equally vile. But they indulge this from fake women and toe exactly the same line. Why? Because that’s the role of women. That is sexism.
Vicky Pollard’s posh cousin, the lib dem horror… she’s going for librarian vibe. Why? Hasn’t the woman got any fire? Well, yes, but its also safest. The world can take it easy when a female party leader is like a librarian. Thatcher was such a housewife. Acceptable.
Where is the female politician doing a Geoff Cox? (Wonderful bear of a man.) Would she be allowed to the moment she was saying something you disagreed with?

A Game

28th September 2019 at 6:21 am

Oh, there is a case that “hate speech” gets extended to include sexist slurs. Trans activists on twitter are allowed to call women every name under the sun, threaten them with every act imaginable, sexual, violent, whatever takes their fancy. That is fine by twitter.
A woman on twitter “misgenders” a trans, non binary, fluid, queer whatever, say, calling Yanniv “he” instead of “her”, they are banned.
Does this seem balanced to you?
The problem isn’t what needs to be included. The problem is what needs to be removed. This whole hate speech murder of free speech is the problem. But if you work within the parameters of their system, then it only makes sense to include the misogynistic slurs. Otherwise there is an imbalance.

Hugh Bryant

26th September 2019 at 2:11 pm

And all this on the day when achingly right-on novelist Ian McEwan launches his latest effort – a (frighteningly unfunny) ‘comic novella’ in which Boris is characterised as a cockroach

Jerry Owen

26th September 2019 at 10:28 pm

I seem to remember Katie Hopkins referring to people as cockroaches… I wonder if he’ll get the same treatment ?


27th September 2019 at 5:33 pm

The cockroaches are the only ones who will survive the Brexit winter. The rest of us will die of chlorinated chicken.

Jerry Owen

28th September 2019 at 2:16 pm

Z Palmyra
We already eat chlorinated chicken you fool.

Christopher Tyson

26th September 2019 at 1:59 pm

Politicians deal in words and rhetoric that’s their currency. These they are lacking though, in the age of professional speech writers, advisers and policy wonks. Johnson is supposedly good with words, but he’s not really that quick at thinking on his feet (although better than most of his political contemporaries), and his replies are sometimes clumsy. Someone on here paid me the backhanded compliment that I had people writing my one liners for me or that I had a store of quips to refer to. I assured him that that my jibes are all specific and personalized. In truth being quick on your feet is something you learn, well-rehearsed spontaneity.

Eric Blair

26th September 2019 at 1:28 pm

Clutching at straws. Boris’s performance was literally indefensible, and the very essence of unstatesmanlike. Totally expected from a rich kid used to getting his own way.

Andrew Mawdsley

26th September 2019 at 1:39 pm

In what way are Boris’ comments indefensible?

Eric Blair

26th September 2019 at 1:58 pm

He’s lost every single vote he’s held, his prorogation has been deemed illegal, he has no majority, and he has not been elected as Prime Minister. He has barely any legitimacy and chooses the typical rich kid’s bluster as his mode of discourse. I keep expecting him to come out with “do you know who I am” next time he is challenged. The whole of our liberal democracy rests on compromise, negotiation and seeing the other point of view sympathically. Boris like Trump seems not to understand this basic tenet. He is divisive and fear-mongering allowing only shades of black and white which is the currency of the demagogue through history. So, yes, it’s idefensible.

Ven Oods

26th September 2019 at 2:50 pm

” I keep expecting him to come out with “do you know who I am” next time he is challenged.”

That demonstrates nothing but your own prejudice. Best be upset at what he does say, rather than your imaginary words.

Jerry Owen

27th September 2019 at 8:30 am

Eric Blair
Long winded post that didn’t answer the question you were asked. I will ask the same question..what comments has Boris stated that are indefensible ?

H McLean

26th September 2019 at 1:56 pm

Say’s the person most likely to never ever be mistaken for the real Eric Blair. Given your regular barracking for the establishment neoliberal left I consistently find it incongruent to the point of hilarity.

Eric Blair

26th September 2019 at 6:46 pm

Orwell would have understood that extricating us from the EU is a complicated business requiring some understanding and insight. I am in favour of leaving, given the referendum result, but refuse to elide the complexity. Logical, sensible, obvious. But zealots will disagree.

Jerry Owen

27th September 2019 at 8:32 am

Eric Blair
If you believe in yourself have the courage to use your real name .

Janet Mozelewski

26th September 2019 at 2:50 pm

You seem to be fighting the last class war and not this one.Things have moved on.

Mike Ellwood

27th September 2019 at 1:01 am

1. The Supreme Court said “unlawful” – not “illegal”.
2. Johnson was elected as head of his party in the way his party has laid down. Gordon Brown wasn’t even elected when Tony Blair stood down, because there were no other candidates. But I don’t criticise him for that. That was and is the system that’s been in use all of my lifetime. In our system, the leader of the largest party in the Commons conventionally becomes the PM.

When Anthony Eden resigned, Harold Macmillan became the new leader of the Tory party, and thence PM – there was no election.
When Harold Wilson resigned, James Callaghan became the new leader of the Labour Party and thence PM. There was no election.

Because that’s our system. But as it happens, Johnson has twice offered Corbyn a general election, and twice he’s turned it down. Now some people accuse Corbyn of being a Marxist, a Communist, a Red. You know what? He’s not a Red because he’s just yellow!

Michael Lynch

27th September 2019 at 2:32 am

Orwell would have been appalled at the idea of a European super state (Eurasia). One ruled by an unelected elite (inner party) with a subservient Parliament (outer Party). He would certainly brook no idea of being part of Verhofstadt’s EU Empire! I’m starting to wonder if you have actually read any of Orwell’s work at all. Perhaps you ought to change your screen name to Tony Blair?

Neil McCaughan

27th September 2019 at 11:25 am

Which makes the fact that he will win the next General Election all the more gratifying. Suck it up, loser.

Michael Lynch

26th September 2019 at 12:51 pm

This article is right on the money. Hypocrisy is still hypocrisy no matter what clothes you dress it up in.

Mark Hetherington

26th September 2019 at 12:37 pm

What I found astonishing was the whole bench were continually chanting things like “liar” and right at this moment Corbyn is calling Johnson’s behaviour “nothing short of disgraceful, reprehensible” etc.

Anybody with any sense could see that the PM’s comment of “humbug” was made about the fact that Phillips was simply using Jo Cox’s name to procure her argument and make a political point.

Yet nobody has asked them to apologise for their endless barrage of insults yesterday or saying that he broke the law (despite the fact that nobody knew it was the law until AFTER the Supreme Court case, which in itself was only brought by people desperate to prevent Brexit).

Corbyn left early yesterday but is having a go at the Conservatives because Johnson “doesn’t have the decency to turn up today”. He’s just flown back from New York, had a breakneck itinerary over the past few weeks and must be exhausted. I’m a similar age and reasonably fit but I couldn’t do that.

Last night he put up with the same crap being spewed out for hour after hour yet they’re blaming him for walking out. Most people would have walked out long before.

They should all be ashamed. All this hassle and expense of the Supreme Court case and so they reopen Parliament and all they have done so far is slag each other off. So how can it be argued it was wrong to suspend Parliament when this is all it’s good for?

At the end of the day Johnson and his team are trying to deliver Brexit – nobody else is If they want to justify Parliament being recalled they need to all shut up and get on with it.

Jim Lawrie

26th September 2019 at 1:29 pm

” … saying that he broke the law (despite the fact that nobody knew it was the law until AFTER the Supreme Court case … ” Their reaction showed that they do not understand the concept of retrospective legislation. Some of them thought the The Supreme court decision could be applied back in time and presented an opportunity to charge Boris with wrongdoing.

The calibre of many of the women in Parliament is a reflection of how they were “selected”.

A Game

28th September 2019 at 5:56 am

Tightening of language for the cause is important here. You’ve done the thing of “slagging each other off”. No. The slagging off was one way. Important difference. Those braying to be allowed back in because they had so much to say and do, such important things like saving the UK from the impending Armageddon… and that was what they produced. I’ve noticed it gets put as “hurling abuse at each other”… no. That was one sided, too.
I think its important to stress that difference. And even if you argue that the Tories hurled back just as well… it wasn’t them that said this was the most important, single thing, they as a government, could be doing right now.

(Creepy FF Phillips tweeted that she’d requested a meeting with Buccaneering Boris. Yes, he’s a very bad man not to indulge your self importance, self promotion, total egocentricity, right at this moment. I think he’s a bit busy.)

Jane 70

26th September 2019 at 12:21 pm

A useful list from Guido of insults and ad hominem attacks: the usual suspects top the list.

Ven Oods

26th September 2019 at 3:01 pm

Excellent link, Jane. It also has another link within that shows the level of Twitter abuse politicians received during the 2017 GE.

Bella Donna

26th September 2019 at 11:53 am

Remoaners have been using toxic language for 3 years it’s water off a ducks back now. They’re trying to take the moral high ground only they have no morals. It’s quite funny!

Jerry Owen

26th September 2019 at 1:16 pm

Can you give examples of toxic language being used by ‘leave’ politicians ?

Jerry Owen

26th September 2019 at 1:20 pm

Ooops my mistake !!

Dominic Straiton

26th September 2019 at 2:16 pm

Perfectly put.


27th September 2019 at 5:31 pm

‘Remoaners’. Is that an argument? It looks like an ad hominem to me, which is inadmissible as an argument. Do you have any arguments? Do you have an economic plan for when we leave? Do you have anything to offer except blind nationalism and political reaction? You don’t, do you?

What is your detailed economic strategy for post-Brexit Britain? ‘Foreigners out’ just won’t cut it (except perhaps among the Essex Cro-Magnons).

A Game

28th September 2019 at 5:26 am

Ah, this is the latest tactic. What are the solutions? Unless you can name them all, in detail, then everyone MUST remain. Cause, you know, that’s working so well.
For starters, “foreigners out” is a social/immigration policy, not an economic one. (Even though “foreigners in” is an economic policy.)
Here’s the most fundamental answer to your question: WHO YOU VOTE FOR will be the economic policies of Free Britain.
I know, weird, hey. The big democrat here fails to actually understand how democracy works and how it dictates what economic policies your country adheres to. Its politics that decides fiscal policy, regulation, redistribution of wealth, welfare. And the moment you don’t like the direction it takes, you VOTE for someone else. Get it?
This is what people have been trying to tell you, you wilful Helen Kellers. The EU will make economic decisions/policies based on their four pillars. And you have NO SAY in any of it. The courts will overrule your government (and as you’ve decided you’re Johnny Cochrane now, you should truly appreciate what that means: Lady Hale wheeled in to tell you all you are wrong) the moment it tries to push against the EU agenda.
If the Tories are in… they need growth. Thus, public spending. As time goes on, things improve, their nature will start to rear its head, and traditional dry economics will present. In the mean time, Labour have risen from the ashes of their present insanity and might actually have a lucid plan of how to counter Tory instincts and what is going wrong. Usually that trickle down economics (which is a favourite tool of the EU) don’t work, that wages are too low, and too much public money goes into private, wealthy hands. Via contracts and consultation, subsidising industry or protectionist policies, too much deregulation etc etc. The agricultural hand outs the EU gives wealthy, successful farmers is a classic example of pissing away tax payer’s money. Then Labour start making a hash of things again, not being economically sound or impractical, ideology over sense (which Tories are equally guilty of – trust fund tax havens for example) and time to vote someone else in.
I know. Its just so hard and complex and exhausting. Must live under a regime. Must be looked after like little children. EU mere and pere, safe, safe, safe. NOT.

H McLean

26th September 2019 at 11:42 am

I’ve always considered myself left-of-centre but I would sooner chew off my own leg than vote Labour while they have legions of obnoxious identitarian cretins like Jess Phillips representing them.

steve moxon

26th September 2019 at 12:13 pm

I’ll second that. I’m working class and I have never voted for their hate-the-masses nonsense and never will. If voting were compulsory and the only alternative to Liebore was some bunch of extremists, then as long as they were against ‘identity-politics’ I would vote for them against Liebore every time.

Eric Blair

26th September 2019 at 1:31 pm

No identity as insecure as “working class”. I doubt you qualify.

steve moxon

26th September 2019 at 3:32 pm

On the very contrary. It’s as secure as secure gets. I come from and live in a proper place where people know and get on with each other, and where many families have been here for many generations. We’re what David Goodheart calls ‘somewheres’ as opposed to the ‘anywheres’ elitist numpties.

Eric Blair

26th September 2019 at 6:43 pm

Hmm. Let me see. Author, Civil Servant, prospective MP. The very model of a son of toil.

A Game

28th September 2019 at 5:02 am

There’s Steve at his most sensible. When he can picture humankind. The moment its about women… the plot is lost.
How can you be an MP with the woman-hating propaganda you’ve spouted? Do they know? Or is it for UKIP? So it doesn’t matter. (Cause, you know, those muslims are so wrong in everything they do, but you share their ideology re women. So they can be so right, after all. Does UKIP know?)

Hana Jinks

29th September 2019 at 12:47 pm

The above chatter had me googling you again, Steve. I’d love to know why they de-selected you. They seem like nazi’s.

Bronk’s Funeral

26th September 2019 at 11:37 am


Ven Oods

26th September 2019 at 2:43 pm

You can’t see that criticising others for what you have also done is hypocritical?
Ah, well…

Jim Lawrie

26th September 2019 at 5:56 pm

Whataboutery is the practice of bringing up unrelated incidents from the past that are nothing to do with the person speaking. It comes from the ritualised exchange of historical brickbats that used to pass for debate in Northern Ireland.

The examples Mr O’Neill quotes are directly related to the people speaking in that they said them, they pertain to the matter in hand, they show the ersatz nature of the supposed outrage of the named MP’s and prove them to be shallow, vicious hypocrites.

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