Days of middle-class rage

The spiked team discuss prorogation and the Remainer meltdown.

Topics Brexit Politics UK

Is prorogation good or bad for Brexit? Why was a professor suspended for quoting James Baldwin? What do people get wrong about the fires in the Amazon? Tom Slater, Ella Whelan, Fraser Myers, and special guest Michael Shellenberger, discuss all this and more, on this week’s spiked podcast.

Picture by: Getty.

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


Amelia Cantor

2nd September 2019 at 10:18 am

It is not “middle-class rage”. It is the justified anger of educated, intelligent, politically astute progressive people at the failure of the so-called democracy system to deliver democracy. Brexit is and will be a disaster for precisely the ignorant and uneducated people who voted for it. They have to be saved from themselves, much as some of us educated, intelligent, politically astute progressive people might want to see them taught a sharp lesson about what happens when you vote the wrong way.

Andrew Leonard

2nd September 2019 at 10:48 am

LOL. Great trolling AC!
Don’t you just love it when people think you’re being serious?

Andrew Leonard

2nd September 2019 at 7:44 am

Re the ‘n word’ incident.
Wokerism seems to hold to two contradictory premises:

1. There is no such thing as racism against white people.
2. Offending white people’s moral sensibilities is absolutely unacceptable.

Whites are somehow both very low and very high status, simultaneously.
How best to explain this is something I haven’t quite worked out, but it sure smells of tactical opportunism. What is clear however, is that in spite of the Woke’s apparent anti-whiteness, it is white Progressives who nonetheless remain in control of what is and is not to be regarded as acceptable language.


1st September 2019 at 6:27 pm

Isn’t it somewhat ironic that the interlocutors on this podcast use the euphemism “the N-word” throughout, and exclusively at that.

June Jones

1st September 2019 at 5:34 am

I always love the extremely middle class university-educated-paid-for-by-the-poor ‘spiked’ journalists having a dig at middle class people. And as for calling people remoaners – how very essex.

Neil McCaughan

1st September 2019 at 11:53 am

Essex? While you are one of Islington’s least fashionable streets.

June Jones

1st September 2019 at 7:38 pm


Jerry Owen

1st September 2019 at 9:31 pm

Boo Hoo you lost !

Winston Stanley

1st September 2019 at 2:58 am

Again on proroguement – Brexit has democratic validity from the referendum. Direct democracy has greater democratic validity than parliamentary democracy b/c direct democracy more accurately and completely reflects the majority opinion of the demos, from which democratic validity is derived. Parliamentary democracy is of limited and fundamentally impaired democratic validity in so far as it diverges from or ignores the majority opinion of the demos. Parliamentary democracy has no validity of its own, and such that it has is impaired and is derived only from the majority opinion of the demos. Only the majority opinion of the demos has absolute democratic validity and that is most completely reflected by direct referenda rather than by parliament.

Therefore, proroguement to get Brexit through is both pragmatic and principled. It is pragmatic in so far as it gets Brexit through, which already has complete democratic validity, and it is principled in so far as it recognises that direct democracy has greater democratic validity than parliamentary democracy. Proroguement to get Brexit through derives its principle and its democratic validity from the majority opinion of the demos, which is the basis of all democratic validity, as expressed directly. Parliament on the other hand has no democratic validity in so far as it stands in the way of Brexit and thus in the way of the directly expressed majority opinion of the demos, which is the basis of all democratic validity. Pragmatism and principle may be artificially and falsely opposed, as in this case. A course of action may be both pragmatic and principled as is the proroguement of parliament to get Brexit through.

Thus there would be nothing unprincipled should spiked endorse the proroguement for Brexit. Rather spiked would thus display a genuinely principled democracy which recognises that democratic validity is derived from the majority opinion of the demos, especially as expressed directly in referenda. Spiked would further recognise that parliamentary democracy has no validity of its own except as based in the majority opinion of the demos. That would be a clear and principled position to take. Indeed it would be contrary to democratic principle to allow parliament to stand in the way of the majority opinion expressed by referenda. It would be contrary to democratic principle not to support a proroguement of parliament should that be necessary, as it seems, to get Brexit through. And spiked would also display a pragmatism to support proroguement, which is always intelligent, especially when it accords with the principle as correctly understood. It would be clear, principled and pragmatic for spiked to support this proroguement. It would be unclear, unprincipled and unpragmatic for spiked not to support this proroguement.

Jim Lawrie

1st September 2019 at 1:50 pm

A problem of their own making that Remain cannot resolve is that ⅔ of The House of Commons were elected on a promise to implement Brexit, thus nullifying the “advisory only” argument. Their response to this conundrum is incanted dogma about the supremacy of representative democracy, as embodied in the representatives. (Except when it put Donald Trump in power).

Based on this supremacy they see no need for an election, but instead talk of “a government of national emergency/unity”. A government declared on this premise will not need to consult ever again with the people, and if they do, will have to outlaw The Brexit Party.

Neil McCaughan

31st August 2019 at 6:47 pm

Even the BBC has struggled to hide the small and straggling attendance of today’s anti-democracy protests.

The game is up for the remoaners, and everyone knows it.


31st August 2019 at 12:26 pm

Why do the English always point the finger at Europe while denying the obvious absurdities of their outmoded, irrational and fundamentally unjust ‘constitution’? Why do the English oppose a written constitution, bill of rights, elected head of state, proper separation of powers and strong regional government? It seems that the English have a weak grasp of the fundamental principles of democracy.

Neil McCaughan

31st August 2019 at 2:51 pm

And you have a comprehensive ignorance of our history and the operation of our constitution.

Iain Pringle

31st August 2019 at 10:57 pm

When you say ‘English’, can we all assume you actually mean British? Also, could you perhaps explain what the obvious absurdities of our outmoded etc etc constitution are to someone not nearly as fluent in such things as yourself? Incidentally, despite your undoubted fluency, I would like to quietly mention that in terms weak regional govt, Scotland has been given more powers as a regional governmental institution that possibly any other in the world but I’m sure you know that.

Willie Penwright

31st August 2019 at 10:25 am

The Guardian campaign has today stepped up a gear with a news story written entirely in the future and conditional tenses. It reports on what will and might happen at several venues around the country and on the people who will/might attend and what they are going to/likely to do. Another first for Guardian ‘journalism’.


31st August 2019 at 12:20 pm

I agree. Guardian journalism is almost as plausible as the absurd promises and lies on which the pro-Brexit campaign was based.

Jerry Owen

31st August 2019 at 6:06 pm

I will ask yet again to tell us what lies were told.

Iain Pringle

31st August 2019 at 11:03 pm

I’d like to know what the absurd promises were as well as the lies Jerry. I suspect we both may have quite a while to wait for our answers…

Brandy Cluster

30th August 2019 at 11:10 pm

The UK has had at least four chances to vote FOR Brexit – which includes two general elections. Each time this is confirmed. It is becoming increasingly untenable for the Remainders now – who are starting to appear like Bolsheviks or the Jacobites. There IS a precendent.

Christopher Tyson

30th August 2019 at 10:41 pm

It not really clear how committed to Brexit Johnson is, and if he does support Brexit why? He does appear to be adopting a role as advocate rather than committed believer. Like Mr Loophole getting his clients off a speeding charge, Johnson can claim that he was acting in the interests of his clients. Corbyn has not given a clear position either, as veteran politicians they may have more in common than they think, with Blairite pragmatism continuing to influence how politics is done. ‘What works’ rather then points of principle, and also a pretty vague idea of what the thing is that you want to work. As a Conservative PM and Oxford Etonian, Johnson can get a way with bending the rules in a way that even Corbyn wouldn’t (similarly the Labour Party have generally been regarded as more effective in controlling Trade Unions than the Tories have been). Spiked on the other hand have quite rightly defended Brexit on democratic grounds, to paraphrase Stalin ‘how many divisions does spiked have?’ (Stalin said this about the Pope). Without integrity, spiked is nothing, if Johnson on the other hand can put Brexit to bed and win an election for the Tories, how he did it will be forgotten.

Michael Lynch

31st August 2019 at 11:03 am

Great observation. Boris is a centralist at heart and always has been. Although he leans toward a Eurosceptic position he’d probably rather settle for European reform whilst remaining in the club. His main concern at the moment is the damage the BP will do to the Tories in a GE so all this hardline stuff is merely an attempt to win back the grass roots and stop them from straying. That’s unless he blinks at the last moment and gives in to the Parliamentary hysteria. Then he and the Party are done for. He’s looking a bit tired at the moment and I wonder if he’s the stamina for the ensuing battle?

jessica christon

1st September 2019 at 6:57 pm

I don’t think it will be as easy to pull the wool over people’s eyes as Boris seems to think. We’ve seen betrayal after betrayal after betrayal under his predecessor, and there’s no more benefit of the doubt left for Boris or anyone else.

Aso, if you’ve listened to Farage on his LBC show he isn’t buying any of the “hardline Boris” schtick, and that means his supporters mostly won’t either. The Conservative Party will be finished if Boris gets his way (Teresa May’s WA with a watered down backstop).

Jim Lawrie

30th August 2019 at 9:57 pm

Remain is beginning to resemble an assembly of zombies engaging in a giant game of whack-a-mole, starting to splatter each other.

Gareth Edward KING

30th August 2019 at 6:35 pm

The key term here for those who have the temerity to complain about the ostensible ‘n-word’ in a seminar that deals with James Baldwin is philistinism. Talk about shrouding one’s ignorance and laziness in actually being unable to pick up the appropriate text and read! yes, that’s right read! It’s far easier to proclaim one’s pseudo-anti-racism whilst running along to the university administration to denounce a lecturer. Pathetic indeed!

jessica christon

1st September 2019 at 12:19 pm

It’s stupid. It goes to show that not all ‘progress’ is good, and I agree with you that a lot of this stems from a lack of academic capability. The universities need to revert back to becoming the centres of academic excellence they once were by taking only the brightest 10% instead of over 50% of school leavers or whatever it is now.

If they did this and automatically failed any student who refused to take compulsory modules, I’m sure that most of these problems would be solved. And any “university” that was a poly before the 90’s should turn back into a pumpkin.

John Reic

30th August 2019 at 6:22 pm

The fact these remainers who’re trying to stop democracy ,don’t realise they’re fascists is shocking
Without having another referendum and thinking they can lie to get a different result

Brandy Cluster

30th August 2019 at 11:11 pm

You misunderstand them and Fascism: both believe/d they are on the side of Right, which is terrifying. One can always rely upon that old trope, Self Interest.

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