Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Brexit supporters behaving badly despite last weeks tragedy

The shocking murder of Jo Cox MP by a far-right terrorist (let's call it what it is) resulted in the supension of campaigning over the EU referendum.  Calls for calm during the debate seem to have fallen on deaf ears as violence breaks out.

In Carlisle Cumbria Crack reports:

A 78-year-old man handing out EU referendum leaflets for the IN campaign was struck in the face causing minor injuries by a 52-year-old man following an altercation about the EU referendum .

A 52-year-old man was arrested by Police shortly after the incident. The Police investigation into this assault continues.

Remain activist Gabriella Evans reports being assaulted whilst just walking her dog by an aggressive man shouting about "F**ing foreigners when he saw her "Remain" badge. Police are currently making enquiries and calling for witnesses.

And then there was this

@feedthedrummer Activist of mine punched in the stomach this morning for asking Vote Leave to remove a stake from his church yard.

According to a further tweet, the assailant has accepted a police caution.

The question we have to ask ourselves is why this is happening. Xenophobia has come to the fore in this brutish campaign and UKIP plus the far-right have latched on to it creating a quite vicious atmosphere.

There is a lot of ill-feeling amongst a large number of people though thankfully this has not in most cases resulted in actual physical violence. However there are clear dangers ahead which can be seen from the Scottish Referendum campaign.

When the SNP lost the vote for Independence there are marches on the streets claiming the vote had been "hijacked". Lots of nationalists suddenly declared themselves the "45%" despite not acknowledging the irony of that figure which meant they lost.

This resulted in the rise of aggressive Scottish Nationalism on a parliamentary scale. Can the same thing happen here with UKIP?

The far right are rising across Europe, The National Front in France, Jobbik in Hungary, the "Alternative" Party in Germany just to name a few.

The whole idea of the EU was to break down these nationalistic and antagonistic barriers to co-operation for a better future but other factors have come into play.

The biggest mistake was by Angela Merkel and is one she will live to regret no matter what view one takes on refugees. The decision to open Germany's borders brought chaos across Europe and frankly frightened a layer of poorer working class people who were already feeling the pinch. Combine that with growing Islamist terrorism and the situation became somewhat toxic.

We do not want or need political violence in our debates, ever.

Fortunately there are only a couple of days to go. Everyone must accept the outcome which frankly is quite uncertain.

If we don't then democratic politics will be under threat.

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