It’s strange. Only today (March 24) I was in a dialogue with someone who was determined that all the abuse in the Brexit debate comes from remainers.
How wrong can a person be – especially on the day after Margaret Georgiadou, the woman who wrote the “Revoke Article 50” petition, revealed she has received death threats from his fellow ‘leave’ supporters.
According to iNews, she has received three death threats from people who called her on the telephone, and a torrent of abuse on Facebook that has pushed her into closing down her account with that platform.
Here are her tweets confirming it:
IN the past 10 hours have had three death threats over the phone, my fb account has been hacked andhad a torrent of abuse on Facebook. Am closing my FB account.
— MargaretGeorgiadou aka GangstaGran 3.5%. (@madgie1941) March 23, 2019
Hi – am the person responsible for the Revoke Art 50 petition. Just needed to tell you that 1. am currently visiting Cyprus. and 2. last night I had three telepohoned death threats. (!) Who wants Brexit so much that they are prepared to kill for it?
— MargaretGeorgiadou aka GangstaGran 3.5%. (@madgie1941) March 23, 2019
It seems these miserable individuals have forgotten that one person has already died because she supported remaining in the European Union – Jo Cox.
Hopefully the police will track them down and teach them the error of their ways. Threatening to kill somebody is a crime, you know.
The petition itself has now been signed by more than 5.25 million people.
Leavers like my own sparring partner are saying that it won’t have any validity, no matter how many signatures it attracts – because it isn’t another referendum. It doesn’t have to be.
All it has to do is demonstrate that enough people in the UK now disagree with the decision to leave the European Union. In this instance, “enough” is any number greater than the 17.3 million or so who voted to leave in 2016.
According to iNews (again), Brexit expert Alex de Ruyter reckons 20 million would be nearer the mark – to show a significant shift in public opinion.
Well, it’s a quarter of the way there!
In fairness, though, it’s slowing down.
But there’s a fair bit of time before any of the deadlines – the new deadlines – set for Brexit.
For the record: Owen Jones, pursued by James Goddard – both recording the encounter on their mobile phones, while a policeman watches. The behaviour of these right-wingers is like that of cartoon villains, so I’ve cartoonised this scene.
Some of what follows is very ugly indeed.
The left-wing journalist Owen Jones, together with Conservative MP Anna Soubry and who knows how many others were targeted by right-wing pro-Brexit protesters outside Parliament yesterday (Monday, January 7).
They were wearing yellow vests because they have styled themselves after France’s gilets jaunes, protesters against rising fuel prices and taxes who blocked roads wearing yellow high-vis jackets on November 18 last year, sparking a pan-European movement.
Think about that for a moment. These anti-EU protesters were aping people who are citizens of the very bloc they hate. That should give you an inkling as to their twisted thinking. But it gets worse.
Here’s Mr Jones’s tweeted video clip of his treatment at their hands:
I’ll be honest – sometimes I disagree with Mr Jones’s opinions, but always in the most cordial way and always with reason. Calling him a “tampon”, a “traitor”, and a writer of “fake news” is neither cordial nor reasonable. And take note of the way the chief bully in the crowd called Mr Jones a bully; it’s a classic tactic, accusing a victim of one’s own behaviour.
The principle antagonist in the clip appears to be one James Goddard. You can witness more of his behaviour here:
Britain has become so normalised to extreme-right rhetoric that Brextremists like this can scream threats and threaten war and nothing is done about it.pic.twitter.com/9gelu2Cv7m
It seems astonishing that this man retained his liberty after the behaviour in the clip tweeted by Another Angry Voice. If you’ve seen any of the many reality documentaries showing the police on duty, you’ll know that they usually issue a stern warning to members of the public who start exhibiting loud and threatening behaviour to desist, and arrest them if they don’t comply. The racist claim that the officer in the clip isn’t even British would be a chargeable offence, I believe.
There may be a reason he hasn’t been arrested, but it isn’t a very good one. We’ll come to it shortly.
(If I may interject a note of personal pride here, I seem to recall coining the term “Brextremist” on This Site. I am delighted to see that it has fallen into general usage.)
In a further tweet, Mr Jones added: “By the way, the things they’re yelling at me – traitor, terrorism supporter – are all legitimised by the right wing press and politicians. If anything happens to one of us on the left at the hands of these fascists, they will share the blame. Hope that’s clear.”
There’s just one issue with that comment, as Hazel Nolan makes clear:
Except something already has happened to one of us.
Her name was Jo Cox,
and she was politically assassinated by the far right- in the middle of a campaign with heightened rhetoric such as this.
The displays against Ms Soubry and Mr Jones, attracted widespread denunciation from both members of the public and the political classes.
Aislinn M-D, a doctor, tweeted: “Now im no fan of Soubry but the accusation of being a ‘Nazi’ seems to be one of the most flippantly overused and totally disconnected insult from reality. It disgracefully undermines what the Nazis actually did and makes those using it demonstrate total ignorance of history.”
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon stated, “This is appalling – as is footage today of Owen Jones facing a similar experience. We all have a duty to stand against this kind of behaviour. Robust debate is the hallmark of any democracy – but so too is decency, civility and respect for those holding different opinions.”
So why weren’t the perpetrators arrested?
Why aren't the Police arresting the far right thugs who were harassing Anna Soubry and Owen Jones, an MP was murdered by a far right loon ffs, i can only think the Police are acting on orders, the @Conservatives own this, they are responsible for the breakdown in our society.
“Citizen of Everywhere”, responding to a similar question from the Mail opinion hack Dan Hodges (with whom, for once, I found myself in agreement), suggested: “They’re trying to provoke an overreaction from the police so they can paint themselves as victims fighting the good fight against an oppressive regime. It’s usually better to mock them than arrest them, but I agree that changes when they cross the line into individual harassment.”
Nick Church also suggested: “The MPs who have legitimized this level of racism and xenophobia and allowed it to become mainstream should be utterly ashamed.”
Sadly, it seems Parliamentarians were only interested in protecting their own when the issue was raised as a point of order in the House of Commons.
Tory Nick Boles asked Speaker John Bercow, “Will you consult the Serjeant at Arms to see whether the Metropolitan police are doing everything they can to protect the public’s right to protest but also to ensure that Members are able to go about their business in total safety?”
Here’s the answer: “The House authorities are not technically responsible for the safety of Members off the estate—that is and remains a matter for the Metropolitan police—but naturally, I take this issue very seriously and so, I am sure, do the police, who have been made well aware of our concerns.
“Reflecting and reinforcing what the hon. Gentleman said about peaceful protest, let me say this. Peaceful protest is a vital democratic freedom, but so is the right of elected Members to go about their business without being threatened or abused, and that includes access to and from the media stands in Abingdon Green. I say no more than that I am concerned at this stage about what seems to be a pattern of protests targeted in particular—I do not say exclusively—at women. Female Members and, I am advised, in a number of cases, female journalists, have been subjected to aggressive protest and what many would regard as harassment.”
It took a further intervention from Labour MP Pat McFadden, asking Mr Bercow “to do everything possible to ensure that journalists and broadcasters can do their job and that Members of this House are free to speak their minds” before the Speaker included all members of the press, including Mr Jones, in his considerations.
Following on from this exchange, more than 50 MPs wrote to Metropolitan police commissioner Cressida Dick, demanding stronger action to protect people who work in Westminster from aggressive far-right protesters.
The letter stated: “After months of peaceful and calm protests by groups representing a range of political views on Brexit, an ugly element of individuals with strong far right and extreme right connections – which your officers are well aware of – have increasingly engaged in intimidatory and potentially criminal acts targeting Members of Parliament, journalists, activists and members of the public.
“We understand there are ongoing investigations but there appears to be an ongoing lack of coordination in the response from the police and appropriate authorities including with Westminster borough policing – and despite clear assurances this would be dealt with following incidents before Christmas – there have been a number of further serious and well publicised incidents today.
“It is… utterly unacceptable for members of parliament, journalists, activists and members of the public to be subject to abuse, intimidation and threatening behaviour and indeed potentially serious offences while they go about their work.”
Would they have taken this step if only Mr Jones had been targeted? I have doubts about that.
He is a divisive figure, and often cannot count on other members of the media for support in matters such as this. Consider his clash with BBC Radio 5 Live presenter Tony Livesay. Mr Jones tweeted: “I went on @bbc5live earlier and the presenter @tonylivesey said that by describing these fascists as “knuckle-dragging Tommy Robinson supporters” I was comparable to them. This is what we are dealing with in the British media.”
Mr Livesay responded: “Did I equate it @OwenJones84 ? Or did I say some people might say you’re not elevating the debate.”
In return, Mr Jones stated: “There is no debate to be elevated with fascists screaming abuse. This is beyond a joke.”
It is. I had intended to present an example of the abuse tweeted to Mr Jones by someone using the handle “MidNightLion1”, threatening extreme violence. It has been deleted, but it read: “You will get smashed one day Owen. Someone will beat the life out of you and it will be brilliant to see.”
Mr Jones responded: “Whatever happens to me, we crushed fascism before and we’ll crush fascism all over again.”
“Whatever happens to me”? Nobody should have to contemplate the possibility of serious harm coming to them, simply for expressing opinions – which, in contrast with those of the so-called yellow vest protesters, do not threaten harm to anybody.
As Grace Petrie tweeted: “It is gravely strange that not three years ago an MP was murdered in an act of far-right terrorism and it had no meaningful effect on this country’s discourse.”
That MP was Jo Cox. Her widower Brendan added: “The problem isn’t (just) extremists like this but mainstream commentators who spur them on with talk of traitors, enemies & betrayal. We should be able to debate difficult issues without making out the other side is evil.”
I hope I am not overstepping the mark if I include politicians among the “mainstream commentators who spur them on”, because, as “Red ’til I’m Dead” points out…
This Tory government has done everything possible to stir the pot of racial hatred and division. And now when the racist thugs are at their door screaming at them, they cry foul. Own. Your. Shit. These are your people.
Memorial: A photograph of Labour MP Jo Cox among flowers left in tribute to her. Economist Andrew Lilico’s words about her murder are vile.
Economist Andrew Lilico deserves recognition.
This Fellow of the Institute of Economic Affairs and Chairman of the IEA/Sunday Times Monetary Policy Committee, as chief economist of Policy Exchange from 2009-10, produced what the BBC has described as the “essential theory” behind the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government’s initial deficit reduction strategy.
Not only that, he also takes credit for being the lead economist of the UK’s official Leave campaign that led to Brexit.
The association with the two atrocities against the UK’s population mentioned above – austerity and Brexit – should be enough to mark this man out as a vile individual, but the tweet reproduced immediately below should leave no doubt in anybody’s mind:
It's impossible to avoid the thought that that 4-6% margin that the murder of Jo Cox cost the Leave vote in 2016 has had a profound impact on politics. (Leave was 10% ahead & rising, before her horrific murder.) One of the most influential assassinations in British history.
This person’s only interest in the politically-motivated murder of a fellow human being, it seems clear, lies in the effect of that murder on his campaign for the UK to leave the European Union; he’s more concerned about the loss of votes than the loss of a life.
He makes no mention of the fact that the killing was carried out because his campaign, and those that supported it, whipped up far-right nationalists to a point at which one of them believed murder was acceptable.
His only interest is in the number of votes the Leave campaign may have lost as a result of it – as if it makes a difference. Leave won anyway and UK politicians have been planning the country’s departure from the EU, which is set to take place at the end of March 2019.
And he’s lying about the Leave campaign having a 10 per cent poll lead, too.
Complete bullshit. Only one poll ever suggested Leave had a 10-point lead. Leave was marginally ahead before the murder; for a coupe of days Remain got a boost, then opinion reverted to where it had been. This kind of lie has to be challenged.
He also claims to be an adult human. No evidence of that either. Three opportunities to do the right thing: don’t think it; don’t write it; don’t press ‘tweet’. Failed three times. Cynically foul-minded.
If you had added a warning to people who may be minded to take similar action should there be a 2nd referendum, I could understand a bit more but you seem more upset for the alleged loss of possible votes rather than the loss of a human life. I’m sure your mum would be very proud
Wow. Arguably the most insensitive & utterly disgraceful tweet I have ever seen. Now we play politics with the murder of a young mother & MP? The thought behind this, & the actual wording of this tweet is sickening. You, Andrew should be terribly ashamed of yourself.
Wow. This is unspeakable. I thought I couldn't be shocked anymore at the depth our political conversation has sunk to. This marks a new low in the race to the bottom. What happened to ethics? Or basic human decency? Fills me with despair
Thomas Mair, murderer of Labour MP Jo Cox, is the man in the blue hat in this image – but Nick Robinson says there’s no evidence to connect him with the far-right wing organisation.
What does Nick Robinson think he’s playing at, and where’s the apology from the BBC?
It seems Mr Robinson told listeners to Radio 4’s Today programme that , although Jo Cox’s murderer, Thomas Mair, shouted “Britain First” as he committed the crime, there was “no evidence” that he was connected with the organisation.
Oh really? I’ll hand you over to Devutopia on Twitter:
The guy in the cap at a Britain First demo is Thomas Mair, the man who killed Jo Cox. Nick Robinson has just said on #R4today that although Mair shouted Britain First as he killed Jo there’s “no evidence he was part of Britain First”. Robinson is a fake journalist, he needs to go pic.twitter.com/NJBVgWmB9w
It seems there’s a slight controversy about which political Christmas single we should all be buying.
Should it be the single in memory of Jo Cox – a cover of The Rolling Stones’ You Can’t Always Get What You Want?
The Stones themselves have waived their claim on royalties, meaning more money from each sale will go to the Jo Cox Foundation – and bookmaker William Hill has said it will donate money staked on the single being Christmas Number One to charity.
You can use this link to buy it, and here’s the video:
Or should it be the piece in support of Jeremy Corbyn, JC4PM4ME?
All profits from this one go to food bank charity The Trussell Trust, it is available here on CD/Vinyl, here on download, and there’s a video as well:
… and then this morning This Blog received a comment from ‘malsainsbury’ about another Christmas song, by her son Guy Calhoun.
It’s called Hobo’s Christmas. All proceeds will be donated to charities supporting the homeless, and This Writer has a soft spot for it because the video was shot in my original home city, Bristol.
You can buy it here, and – guess what? – there’s a video:
Whatever you think of these songs – and I’ve seen some fairly vitriolic remarks about the ‘Jeremy Corbyn’ single – they have all been created with good intent, to help charities and the people who rely on them.
Whether you buy one, all, or none of them is up to you.
If you do buy any of them – have a Merry Christmas! You’ll be helping others to do the same.
Anarchists protest as police intervene in Liverpool to protect members of National Action [Image: Peter Byrne/PA].
I wonder if this will do any good, or simply drive these people and their genocidal beliefs underground.
It is in line with the new definition of anti-Semitism that the UK government has announced it is supporting, and that shows a certain amount of initiative to ensure that it is supported.
And it follows the conviction of Thomas Mair, the murderer of Jo Cox, with positive action.
But I would like to see the government introduce education on the reasons the opinions held by these groups are abhorrent.
You beat these people by proving them wrong, not by giving them the opportunity to make martyrs of themselves.
A neo-Nazi group that celebrated the murder of the Labour MP Jo Cox is to become the first far-right group to be proscribed as a terrorist organisation by the home secretary.
Support or membership of National Action, an antisemitic white supremacist group, will become a criminal offence under the Terrorism Act 2000, pending approval from parliament.
National Action has held demonstrations in UK cities with banners that say “Hitler was right”, and speakers have been filmed telling a small group of supporters about “the disease of international Jewry” and that “when the time comes they’ll be in the chambers”.
The group has also been filmed training supporters in hand-to-hand combat, and putting up posters across Liverpool and Newbury declaring them “white zones”. The slogan on its website is “Death to traitors, freedom for Britain,” which was the only statement given in court by Cox’s murderer, Thomas Mair.
Thomas Mair killed Jo Cox in what her husband Brendan described as “an incompetent and self-defeating act of terrorism” and the Judge, Mr Justice Wilkie, said was “carried out to advance a political cause of violent white supremacism, associated with Nazism”.
But The Sun and The Mirror want you to believe it was because his mother married a black man, and the Daily Mail would rather blame the phantom threat of immigrants taking his home.
What utter drivel.
There is no evidence that Mair’s family history contributed to his crime.
There is no evidence that his landlord – the local council – wanted to evict him. In fact, under the terms of his tenancy, it seems this was impossible.
It seems all three periodicals have become apologists for terrorism.
The Mail‘s dubious stance was compounded by the fact that it buried its report of the court’s verdict on page 30 of that day’s edition of the paper – an act that drew justified attention from LBC radio’s James O’Brien.
Speaking on his show, he said: “The Daily Mail has chosen to put the murder by a neo-Nazi of a serving British MP – and by her own husband’s account, a mother who put her children ahead of anything career-wise – on page 30.
“I don’t really understand why. Unless a murder by a neo-Nazi is less offensive to the sensibilities of the editor of this newspaper than a murder by a radical Islamist.
“Surely any fully-functioning moral compass would be equally disgusted by both.
“For people to use terror and death to pursue a political or an ideological goal in a civilised, peaceful society, it doesn’t matter what colour the killer is, does it?
“Or what religion they are? Or what ludicrous, violent ideology they are trying to pump. The point is it is violent. It’s ideological. White supremacy, radical Islam, they are both equally vile, equally repugnant.
“And yet, if this woman had been murdered by a Muslim? Page 30? You think?”
The Public Order Act 1986 is still in effect, is it not?
According to that Act, “A person who uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or displays any written material which is threatening, abusive or insulting, is guilty of an offence if he intends thereby to stir up racial hatred or, having regard to all the circumstances, racial hatred is likely to be stirred up thereby.”
The articles discussed above were certainly likely to stir up racial hatred because of their abusive or insulting attitude towards people of colour and/or immigrants.
So when will the owners, editors and writers of these pieces be prosecuted?
This was a terrorist attack by a right-wing extremist – and just the first sign of a wave of aggression, around the world.
People like Thomas Mair saw the anti-immigration rhetoric that fuelled the vote to leave the European Union as an endorsement of racist, nationalist views.
And the proliferation of hate crimes suggests those views appear to be on the rise in the United States of America, after the election of Donald Trump as President, and in continental Europe.
People are committing these crimes because they think they can. They think that, somehow, atrocities against their fellow human being are now permissible – or at least that the authorities will turn a blind eye.
But what makes them believe their racism, homophobia, sexism, sectarianism, anti-Semitism or whatever is justified, anyway?
Have we, as a culture, failed to address these issues?
This Writer finds that hard to believe. I’ve been brought up in the same culture as everybody else and my compassion for another person has never been conditional on the colour of their skin or the compatibility of their religious beliefs.
Yet these crimes have happened and are continuing to happen. Thomas Mair murdered Jo Cox on the basis of a falsehood – for a lie.
I know many Vox Political readers have been waiting to air their opinions on this very subject; now is your chance.
What on Earth do you think has been motivating this?
Thomas Mair has been jailed for life after being found guilty of the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox.
The 53-year-old shot and stabbed to death the mother-of-two in Birstall, West Yorkshire, on 16 June, a week before the EU referendum vote.
Mair shouted “Britain First” in the attack, but the judge said the true “patriot” was Mrs Cox, not Mair.
Prosecutors said Mair was motivated by hate and his crimes were “nothing less than acts of terrorism”.
Mair was also found guilty of having a firearm with intent, causing grievous bodily harm with intent to 78-year-old Bernard Kenny, who tried to help the MP, and having an offensive weapon, namely a dagger.
Flowers and tributes placed by a photo of Jo Cox in Parliament Square after she was killed [Image: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images].
Comments are off; I won’t be offering any opinions on this until the case has concluded and none of you should try to provide any either.
The chances of anything said here prejudicing the case are small – but let’s not take a chance, eh?
The Labour MP Jo Cox was repeatedly shot and stabbed in a “brutal, cowardly” and politically motivated murder, the trial of the man accused of the killing was told on Monday.
Thomas Mair uttered the words “Britain first” and “keep Britain independent” as he carried out the attack, Richard Whittam QC, prosecuting, told the Old Bailey.
The killer struck as Cox went about her business in her Yorkshire constituency during the European referendum campaign, in which she had supported the campaign to remain in the EU.
Her final moments – in an assault described by the prosecution as “dynamic, fast-moving and shocking” – were captured by closed circuit television cameras. “It was a cowardly attack by a man armed with a firearm and a knife,” Whittam told the jury. “It was a premeditated murder for a political and/or ideological cause.”
Mair is charged with Cox’s murder on 16 June, possession of a firearm with intent to commit an offence, possession of a dagger and and grievous bodily harm to a second victim, the passerby Bernard Carter Kenny.
The 53-year-old unemployed gardener declined to enter a plea when he appeared at the Old Bailey last month. As a consequence, not guilty pleas to all four charges were entered on his behalf.
The jury was told that Mair struck as Cox was on her way to a meeting with voters at the library in his home town, Birstall. The town lies within Batley and Spen, the West Yorkshire constituency to which she had been elected in the 2015 general election.
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