Brexiteers jump the shark again with high treason jibe

I was quite surprised by the newspapers on Friday. After Vince Cable along with representatives from Plaid Cymru, the SNP and Greens met Michel Barnier, I wouldn’t have been surprised if we’d had more “enemies of the people” nonsense from the more excitable right wing tabloids.

They were quiet, but this weekend, Leave EU jumped that particular shark, accusing Vince Cable of High Treason. Layla Moran retorted on Twitter that this was a badge of honour.

Last weekend 700,000 people marched in London. Like those who marched against the Iraq war back in 2003, we are right. No responsible government can ignore the strength of feeling that is building towards a vote that enables people to get out of this mess if they want to. Allowing a “People’s vote” is vital to legitimise any outcome to this. The Government must think big – beyond the civil war in its own ranks, to what is good for the whole country.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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25 Comments

  • Sue Sutherland 28th Oct '18 - 1:09pm

    Leave leaders seem to be getting more and more desperate in their use of language don’t they? Seems like a good sign to me.

  • nvelope2003 28th Oct '18 - 4:49pm

    The comparison with the break with Rome at the Reformation is a fair one but so what ? It unleashed a succession of pitiless wars ostensibly about religion. The European project was intended to end this and has succeeded for over 73 years. Surely obeying a few rules and regulations is better than costly and terrible wars, whatever their origin.

  • Peter Martin 28th Oct '18 - 4:58pm

    “Surely obeying a few rules and regulations is better than costly and terrible wars, whatever their origin.”

    Yes this does sound a superficially plausible argument. But, we either are a free and democratic country or we aren’t. “A few rules and regulations” at the start won’t be the end of it.

    I doubt that we’ll end up in a war in any case. Most countries in the world, even those with poor democratic records, manage to rub along reasonable well in any case.

  • nvelope2003 28th Oct '18 - 5:17pm

    Peter Martin: If only that was right but it isn’t. The free and democratic countries have been responsible for many wars including civil wars. No one pretends that the rules will never be extended. Free trade did not stop wars. Some people might think it is a good idea to have wars and I have heard this argument many times, sometimes from those too old to fight in them but quite often from people who like the excitement provided by them. Western European countries are relatively free and independent but even Norway or Switzerland are not completely free and have to abide by EU regulations without having a say in their making. Europe needs to be powerful enough to cope with the power of the US, Russia etc and Britain on its own would be a divisive force.

  • Funny how Leave leaders are so fixated on the possibility of a second referendum that they (and much of the media) have missed further bad news about Brexit: Young people to lose up to £108,000 in earnings if there is a no-deal Brexit

  • Yeovil Yokel 28th Oct '18 - 5:37pm

    I’m proud of you, Vince, you have won Leave.EU’s highest accolade, reserved for their doughtiest and most feared opponents. Don’t worry, I’ll happily take your place in the tumbril on the way to the scaffold.
    I agree with you, Sue, it sounds like the senior Leavers have lost their marbles.

  • Saw an article on the Guardian website saying ‘cross-party effort to force Corbyn to back a Peoples Vote’. Disappointed to actually read it though. Apparently this is all the work of Tory Labour and SNP MPs. and we only get mentioned as an aside The SNP, remember, only came on board a PV a couple of weeks ago. Are we not part of this initiative, or is it just the Guardian ignoring us? https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/oct/27/jeremy-corbyn-second-brexit-vote-commons-amendment?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Facebook

  • The Reformation unleashed war. yes, but in England, the Enlightenment, the agricultural and industrial revolutions, capitalism and liberalism (you cant have one without the other) and as success became apparent the spread of those values across the world by conquest and then imitation.
    56% of the internet is in english, less than 10% is in french and german combined. The french have a government department dedicated to preserving and promoting the french language ffs.
    Not bad for a small country on the periphery of Europe.

  • nvelope2003 28th Oct '18 - 8:13pm

    Talk of High Treason in this context is taking us back to the Middle Ages where the Brexiteers probably live. Treason for most people means betraying the country to a foreign enemy in time of armed war.
    Free Trade only works if there is one dominant power with the competive industries and armed forces ready to enforce it as we thought we had before 1914. There would have to be anti dumping duties and the means ( courts, a huge navy etc ) to enforce it otherwise our industries, or what is left of them, could be wiped out. Now that might be fine for Professor Mynford and his pals but maybe not for the unemployed, even if they could get jobs abroad. We had all this before the last world war and as I recall there were hunger marches of the unemployed although some new industries developed in the South. We already have lots of cheap manufactured goods despite being in the EU and no doubt it helps people afffected by the low wage economy but they might not thank the Brexiteers if living standards were at Cambodian levels. Tim Martin of Wetherspoons presents a very attractive picture of Free Trade outside the EU but he seems unaware of any downside, rather like David Cameron who was unaware that the US was not on our side in 1939 and waited until we had exhausted our gold reserves in their favour before coming to our aid. What do they teach them at school theses days ? US fanatasy films ?

  • Yeovil Yokel 28th Oct '18 - 8:33pm

    The original Leave.EU tweet said: “The nation does not want to humiliate itself with a second referendum.” Well, the June 2016 referendum WAS the second one and the nation has already been humiliated enough during the last 28 months, thank you v. much.

  • David Raw. You miss the point. I never mentioned the conditions under which people lived but the progress the people made and continue to make to this day. Even you have to admit that we live in a much better place.

  • Suzanne fletcher 29th Oct '18 - 7:42am

    I’d like to know the answer to TonyH question re Guardian article. I read it and could not make out why we were not mentioned. Is it that we are not part of the move, or Guardian not reporting we are ?
    If former just why not.
    If latter hope someone in the know gets something done to add us.

  • Ian Hurdley 29th Oct '18 - 8:04am

    @CJ What about Scotland, Ireland and Wales – all part of Britain at the Reformation? What about England’s Civil War? The Peterloo Massacre? Ireland from 1916 to 1922?
    As for the global spread of English, it has a certain inevitability if you spend a couple of hundred years colonising the globe and insisting that henceforth ‘the natives’ shall speak English.
    Our history is just as bloody and messy as that of our neighbours.

  • The use of American English in the internet is of course because of the influence of the USA. Things might have been different. In the nineteenth century large numbers of Germans moved across the Atlantic due no doubt to the ongoing instability in their lands. The English however drove enough Irish out of their land through starvation, thus ensuring that the dominant language was English. It is time we in the U.K. saw things from a realistic perspective.

  • nvelope2003 29th Oct '18 - 9:42am

    Ian Hurdley: Scotland may have been geographically part of Britain but it was a separate Kingdom until 24th March 1603 when James VI succeeded Elizabeth I as James I of England. Scotland had its own more overtly Protestant Reformation under John Knox. I assume you are referring to the 17th Century English Puritans who were the origins of Nonconformity and went into business as they were not allowed to have government jobs unless they joined the Church of England. Many of them later became Unitarians when the severe laws against them were relaxed. Maybe an inquiring mind made them good businessmen.
    There is not much evidence of that in modern Britain where abject conformity is the norm even in supposedly radical parties. Mercifully there are a few exceptions but not many. I do not think Britain would thrive on its own but I hope I am wrong. The dead hand of the state is all pervading.

  • Making false accusations makes the accuser liable to legal action in common law, so how is it that false accusations of treason pass without question? Democracy depends on freedom of thought and expression (subject to prohibitions on incitement to hatred and spreading falsehoods). The repressive use of treason laws to stifle legitimate dissent is an abuse of power and is, in itself treason.

  • Sue Sutherland 29th Oct '18 - 12:54pm

    Perhaps we should all crowd fund Vince to take Leave EU to court?

  • Peter Hirst 29th Oct '18 - 4:52pm

    The Brexiteers are losing the war and don’t like it. Expect more like this. It’s time to ask what are they so afraid of. Losing? Their arguments will return to haunt them.

  • Peter Martin 29th Oct '18 - 7:28pm

    I can understand that those who are interested in the EU are concerned about Brexit but it’s not even the EU’s biggest problem right now.

    There doesn’t seem to be any awareness at all of just how dangerous the Italian situation is becoming:

    https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/the-crash-is-going-to-be-violent-italy-headed-for-crisis-warns-banker-20181029-p50ckf.html

  • Hi Suzanne. I’m not sure any of our MPs or anyone in the press office reads LDV. 8=( But I certainly would like to know what happened here. As you say, if we are not part of this cross-party amendment it would be good to know why, and if we are then it’s pretty bad that we’re not mentioned in the article.
    The fact that so many MPs – and the SNP – are backing the peoples vote is obviously great, and yes we only have 12 MPs and are the 4th party now. But we have been calling for the PV for 2 years now, long before anyone else, and now the momentum is with the campaign we need to make sure we get at least some of the credit for that. The fact we are omitted from articles like this is really dispiriting for members and activists – just at the point where we should be out there pushing the message.

  • Ian Hurdley 30th Oct '18 - 8:15am

    :nvelope2003 What I was taking issue with was the tendency of so many to conflate the four nations (five if you include Kernow) into ‘England’.

  • clive englisjh 1st Nov '18 - 9:24am

    Actually contrary to the comments made above as far as I am aware the only time 2 democracies ever declared war on each other was the UK and Finland in WW2 not a shot was exchanged. That is if one does not count the Confederacy, but I assume we would not call that a democracy.

  • nvelope2003 1st Nov '18 - 11:04am

    Clive English: Democracies may not have declared war on other democracies but they have attacked and/or declared war on other types of regime e.g. Iraq and of course on Nazi Germany, Bolshevik Russia etc, not to mention the numerous attempts by the US, France and Britain etc to intervene in civil wars or overthrow regimes they disliked and maintain control of colonies or dependent territories like Algeria, Ireland etc

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