Jess Phillips – Labour: Birmingham Yardley – has an article in the Guardian, one entitled: Jo Cox’s murder has left us MPs more fearful to speak our minds with a sub-heading: Online hatred, abuse and threats of violence to force politicians – female ones especially – to sing to a certain tune will be the death of our democracy.
Her article begins: Recently, I was in one of my weekly surgeries giving advice to local constituents when a man who was in a state of some distress leaned down to get something out of a holdall. I began to panic. It might be irrational, but since Jo Cox was murdered I have this feeling frequently. This week a local church called about my annual address at the Christmas carol concert. Every year I do a reading, never before have they called and asked me if they need to arrange a discreet police presence for my safety.
Do not the majority of MPs, at least those wishing to ‘remain loyal’ (fearing deselection), or those hoping for advancement, not toe the party line, thus ‘sing to a certain tune’? Leaving aside the point that democracy, per se, does not exist in our nation, cannot it be argued that true democracy is long dead since MPs, in the main, follow the party line for whatever reason, whilst failing to represent the views of their constituents?
With regard to the local church inquiring whether she required a discreet police presence is probably more to do with the church realizing that they ‘needed to cover their cross’ in case someone did cause physical harm, or worse, to their MP; and that they then might be held liable?
The article continues: Yet I still cannot shake the feeling that in our country – and across the world – there is a rising tide of hate that mean events such as Jo’s murder are more likely. That statement begs the question: but who created the changes in our society from which were borne resentment; in regard to which it is possible to include the aftereffects of unlimited immigration, the apparent ‘favouriting’ of non-British where housing is concerned, the introduction of political correctness which now seems to govern political and legal decisions? In none of these decisions were the indigenous people of this nation consulted to seek their approval.
More follows: Regardless of how people love to deride politicians, democracy is not an easy gig. My decisions, views and heartfelt principles are dismissed by so many as careerist, opportunist or attention-seeking. I cannot think or do anything without my motives being called into question. It is right and proper that I should seek opinion on how I vote, that I should gauge the feeling of my constituents (who, incidentally, are the most respectful and decent of all those who get in touch demanding I listen to them). Pressure and protest is fine, but using fear and threats to force politicians to sing to a certain tune will be the death of our democracy.
In regard to the first sentence; forgive me but I appear to have mislaid my Stradivarius – in other words, if one can’t stand the heat of the kitchen then one vacates. Bearing in mind how Jess Philips voted in the EU Referendum, she surely can not have sought the opinion, nor gauged the feeling of her constituents, as her reasons for voting as she did can only be considered personal.
Yet again Jess Phillips writes: During the Labour leadership election there were lots of threats about my job – “Do what we want or we are coming to get you.” This is not democratic – it’s despotic. Is it not a fact that do what we want or we are coming to get you is the attitude of politicians where the people attempt to disagree with the laws they create – or those to which they acquiesce? So when the people attempt to fight against the government it is not democratic but despotic – but when the government forces people to obey a law they do not like or want, or have had no consultation about, then that is democratic and not despotic.
For me the ‘killer paragraph’ comes at the end of this article as it appears to show where the priorities of politicians lay: People who say “I hate politicians, you’re all the same” will soon have to face the fact that all politicians do say the same thing – the thing that keeps them safe.
So we can assume that as all politicians say the same thing, the question arises why do we have different political parties, what is the point of their individual existence and, why therefore, is tribal voting so prevalent? It then appears that regardless of their need to keep safe those they represent, they are more concerned with keeping themselves safe.
When MPs do speak their minds one only has to view the interview of Rebecca Long-Bailey by Andrew Neil to witness that their minds understand not that for which they claim the right to decide – so what is the point of having someone speak their mind when what they utter is total ‘spheroids’? That question is addressed not only to Rebecca Long-Bailey and Jess Phillips, but also to John Redwood and Nigel Farage, together with a host of other political figures and political commentators.
George Orwell is reputed to have said: Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. I could not agree more.