Saturday, 25 November 2017

Traitors, quislings and enemies of the people

The Daily Mail has one agenda only. To make money. It is better than all the rest at it because it knows the business better than anyone. It lives by the one golden rule of media which is as true in the internet age as it was in the age of the printing press. Sell the people their own opinions back to them. People love nothing more than to have their own opinions validated and shown to be mainstream rather than fringe.

So when the Daily Mail runs a headline like "Enemies of the People" it is largely reflecting the opinions of its core readership. And when it comes to the judges and various officials involved in the various attempts to forestall Brexit, the average readers probably does cast them as enemies of the people.

If you identify with a certain popular shade of Britishness then for decades you've watched a succession of governments handing over powers to Brussels without ever having a direct say in a matter which is of supreme importance to you. The message comes over loud and clear that the establishment is doing something to you, it isn't being honest about what is being done, and it does not want you to have a say.

Then comes a referendum - a free and fair vote, which was won by leavers, albeit by a small margin, in which the government was explicit that they would implement whatever was decided. We can equivocate but those are the indisputable facts of the matter. The ballot boxes were not tampered with and more people voted to leave than to remain.

And though you might say the public didn't know enough about the EU to make that call, it transpires that collectively we know little of the vagaries of the Westminster system or the broader UK constitution either. Hence why ordinarily sensible people of all persuasions get bent out of shape when an ill judged parliamentary amendment is voted down.

It is, therefore, from a position of ignorance, entirely understandable that ordinary people would see judicial activism as a complete betrayal of what they understand in the most basic terms, to be democracy - ie winning a vote. You might very well then see such people as enemies of the people along with the rest of the establishment which conspired to take us ever deeper into this wretched union.

And when it comes to the rhetoric, it is in keeping with euroscepticism from the year dot. In my more extreme youth I probably would have been seen calling such individuals quislings and traitors. And this is not exactly rhetorically inaccurate. Politicians whose loyalties serve a foreign agenda without the knowledge or consent of the people.

And now that I mention it, I'm being a patronising hypocrite because, though I have trained myself not to say these things, I still pretty much think that. I do see the EU as an occupying power and I do see the hardcore remainers and establishment figures as servants of that regime and the globalist agenda and though I have some fairly unpleasant bedfellows, I would still side with them on this issue every single time.

Had there been a referendum on Maastricht and Lisbon then I might feel differently about it. In fact, I am certain that Lisbon would not have even been ratified and we wouldn't even be in this mess. It is the hubris of our rulers that has led us to where we are and we are setting about correcting that.

So when it comes to the handwringing of our liberal establishment, ever more forthcoming in its belief that Britain is turning down a dark road toward fascism, I just have to tell them to get a grip. The post-referendum landscape tells you all you need to know. The majority of Ukip has drifted back to its natural home in the Tories and what is left of it is split between a fragmented moderate faction and one that is going all out against Islam.

The latter faction does not command much in the way of mass appeal and it barely has an organisation behind it. Ukip is yesterday's news. As to the Daily Mail, they're actually having a laugh. The public at large is not baying for the blood of Gina Miller and would not be able to name a single judge involved. The right wing are not going to go overboard nor are they especially agitated. Except the DM knows who precisely who will go overboard. Those same handwringing liberals.

As a permanent fixture in the twitterspehere I seldom ever encounter somebody of the right who shares these splash front page images. And if I do it is seldom ever to the extent that remainers and leftists do. The DM is a master at clickbait and it knows how to rattle cages.

This of course brings about yet more forelock tugging, worrying that such incendiary rhetoric  could result in the murder of another MP. That is to completely overlook the fact that Jo Cox was murdered by a self-radicalised psychopathic nazi who was reading far more sinister stuff than the Daily Mail. He most likely thought the Daily Mail was a left wing establishment rag. That is how extremists think.

The general public however, are just getting on with it and wondering why on earth the government isn't. Nobody is shining up their jackboots and flexing their red braces. There is, however, a disturbing trend in death threats being sent to MPs who register their objections Brexit. MPs may complain but they love any opportunity to play the victim.

As it happens, when the plod do track down these ranty losers, it's usually some ordinary tosspot with fairly pedestrian views who's had one too many on a Friday night and sent a poison pen letter to Anna Soubry. A night in the local slammer and a fine will usually set them straight. If the policing is good it results in a caution and nothing more is said. Very very occasionally there is cause to take it more seriously and the police have a good idea when that is.

The only time I can imagine such threats being much more serious is if by some means they do manage to overturn Brexit. The mood would be most sour indeed in that your average layman will never comprehend the many roadblocks that could have killed Brexit. They will just see it as an establishment conspiracy. They already think such is underway by way of a sustained media campaign to delegitimise the vote and blame it on the Russians.

But even then I suspect such threats would be empty. We would see some ugly incidents but things would most likely return to a depressingly pedestrian norm with an undertone of seething hatred for politicians. No uprisings, no civil unrest - just bitterness and acrimony. Why? Because we're not Nazis and we are not "far right" and we are not extremists. We're just people of the United Kingdom who do not want to be governed by Brussels.

Later down the line that resentment would fuel a new Ukip, only this time the gloves would be off. Last time around Ukip played it by the establishment's rules which saw it coming and was skillfully able to defuse it. What that will result in is a Westminster establishment becoming more illiberal and authoritarian simply because it thinks that is what is required in order to appease the public. They will do virtually anything except what they have been instructed to do - ie leave the European Union.

But then returning to the now, there is a more pressing political concern. Because the left and the remain establishment very much believe there is a seething mass of fascism they are taking ever more illiberal measures to police language and the debate in general. If anything feeds, validates and emboldens the sense of resentment it is precisely that sort of paternalistic intervention - where the establishment believes the plebs must be protected from harmful words and ideas. This we have already had two decades of, and it is, in part, a goodly reason why so many voted to leave.

If anything at all causes the UK to turn down a dark corner it will be an establishment that fails to learn the lessons and continues to treat ordinary people like halfwit pondlife. And if then they are still willing to use any and all means at their disposal to ensure that a vote has no meaning, then maybe they really are traitors, quislings and enemies of the people.

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