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.

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