One of the banner headlines that caught the eye last week suggested that, should the UK not leave the EU, the Far Right will rise further, thus fuelling the seeds of discontent even more than at present.
The headline came from a statement by Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary, who is reported as saying that the 17 million who voted to leave the EU would feel ‘cheated’ by any moves to water down Theresa May’s deal or thwart our exit entirely.
Grayling is probably right is his contention that leave voters will feel cheated if Brexit does not happen for the fact remains that a majority of those who voted cast their vote to depart the EU and therefore the UK must indeed leave.
What will undoubtedly be cheated if the UK does not is democracy itself but if there is further delay in the UK’s departure – or indeed if the country does not depart at all – whether or not the Far Right will be ‘let in’ as the report says, is another matter. Support for this stance is however, bolstered by the treatment handed out to Anna Soubry and Owen Jones recently. The aggressive and confrontational displays by those responsible is indeed bigoted and intolerant and, by virtue of the utterances screamed by them, indicative of their far-right tendencies.
Owen Jones may not everybody’s cup of tea but he was entirely correct when he said on last Thursday’s edition of ‘This Week’ (BBC1) that such attitudes need to be fought against and he also condemned the deep-rooted thread of Anti-Semitism currently running through the Labour Party on the same programme – and having watched the programme I can vouch for his remarks. Anna Soubry is also within her rights to campaign for the UK to stay in the EU if she wishes, although whether she can do so as a Conservative MP is another matter (in my opinion obviously).
The right however, of them to air their views is threatened by extremism, both of the far left and right. In the case of the far right, this has been on the rise in Europe over recent times and it is a trend that should be of great concern. Will it however, rise further on the continent and in the UK as well? And if it is rising, why?
The reason for it is that the so-called ‘Political Elite’ are increasingly seen as not being interested in, or caring in the slightest, about how ordinary people feel. Yet it is those ordinary people who put the Elite where they are by voting for them, one way or another, and in a democracy, those members of that Elite are in their jobs to represent the people. Not rule them. Yet the far left is not the answer either. The far left have been shown throughout history to be one that does rule, and not listen. Either end of the spectrum will do the same for if it acted in any other way, it would not be what it is.
One of the biggest dangers of extremism is one that again has been shown throughout history and again more recently in the UK itself; that of the murder of Jo Cox MP. The way in which Soubry and Jones were harassed and intimidated is not too many steps away from taking matters that much farther so a danger is present – if that it, it is allowed to remain so.
The inept conduct of the Police who were present at the time of Anna Soubry’s incident has rightly been criticised and there must come a point at which intervention must take place. It may be completely in order for somebody to ask Soubry for a moment of her time and to then voice one’s disagreement with her (or for that matter Owen Jones) and one can do so passionately and with vigour. Jones himself is a passionate advocate of his views so there is nothing wrong with that. But screaming abuse is wrong. Whether that happens in a public place or online, there is no excuse for it. And there is even less for ‘taking out’ or ‘eliminating’ an opponent because you disagree with them.
The biggest danger to our society is the attitude from what is a minority, an attitude that has been allowed to creep in through political correctness and laxity is setting standards, something that has been prevalent in the UK for longer than most people realise. It is something that I was very critical of in my book, ‘Comments of a Common Man’. It also manifests itself in less obvious ways, for example, in schools, where teachers have given up establishing clear lines of behaviour and standards because when they do, they are confronted by aggressive parents, who demand that little Johnny is not sanctioned in any way, even when caught in the act of doing something wrong.
This stance goes back a number of years and it shows now, in the faces of young(ish) and early-middle-age men who scream abuse at people like Anna Soubry and Owen Jones. Oh and by the way, has anybody noticed that Soubry and Jones’ abusers were the same people?
Extreme indeed. Whatever side of the fence you may be on, there is no excuse for it and it is time to start making that voice heard.
© Kevan James 2019.
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