Burt on the Benches Nov 2016 Taking Back Control
Both of these elements were part of a judgement of the High Court the other week, when it ruled that Article 50, the trigger for leaving the EU as decided by the Referendum, required a vote in Parliament to become effective, as Crown prerogative could not be used.
The hysterical reaction from some politicians and national media to the judgement was quite astonishing, and frightening. Leaders of UKIP demanded that judges ‘be sacked’ – like in some tin pot dictatorship. Newspapers which should have known better tried to tell their readers that judges were ‘betraying’ the people, and wilfully misinterpreted the decision, which a smart child, reading the reasoning with a basic knowledge of history would not have done. One, the Daily Mail, printed a picture of the three judges with a headline ‘Enemies of the People’, as if oblivious to the concerns that overheated rhetoric of conspiracy, treason and betrayal can turn the minds of some to actions beyond mere words.
These newspapers, commentators and politicians responded to a decision they did not like by bullying of the worst kind, all the more ironic when it came from a source at the very heart of the decision they asked the people to take. It continued a worrying trend since the Referendum of those who won displaying a paranoid fear of having the decision taken away, and responding not in a measured, controlled and reasoned manner, but by belittleing and demonising their opponents in an inflammatory manner.
We should say ‘enough’. Challenge the views of those like me if you wish, but please stop calling anyone a ‘traitor’ or ‘enemy’.