Roger Roberts attacked on front page of Daily Mail

Most Lib Dems would feel a bit worried if the Daily Mail expressed any admiration for them, let’s be honest.

Today, many of us felt huge pride in our amazing 82 year old Welsh peer – and frequent LDV contributor – Roger Roberts when he was attacked on the front page of the Fail. His son Gareth lauded him on Twitter:

Roger is one of the kindest, most compassionate advocates for the most vulnerable people in our society. He speaks up for the rights of refugees, for the right of young people to be given a say in their own future, for a fair system of social security, for treating people with dignity and respect and humanity.

He is exactly the sort of person the Daily Mail is going to want to rubbish. They took exception to his comments in yesterday’s Commons debate on giving Parliament a meaningful vote on the Brexit deal. He said:

Are we learning the lessons of history? Sometimes it is very valuable to see what has happened in other countries when similar steps have been taken. We remember the reluctance of Mrs May to allow Parliament to be involved. She wanted the Government to be in charge. My mind went back to Berlin in March 1933 when the enabling Bill was passed in the Reichstag, which transferred the democratic right from the Parliament into the hands of one man—that was the Chancellor, and his name was Adolf Hitler. Perhaps I am seeing threats that do not exist, but they are possible. Who would have thought before the 1930s that Germany, such a cultured country, would involve itself in such a terrible war?​

Let us take the warning. What we are doing here must involve Parliament. I would like to see it involving the people as well, but it must certainly be in other hands. We cannot let an enabling Act of the United Kingdom possibly lead to the catastrophe that took place in Berlin in 1933.

It’s certainly strong words, but these are very difficult times for our country. It is becoming a place of bitterness and division that I can hardly recognise. Vince talked about us being in a non violent civil war in his Conference speech and we should take heed of that. He’s right. The choices the country makes in the next few months could condemn us to a bleak few decades of struggle, or, put us on a path to creating a more equal, liberal society. We liberals, in and out of the Liberal Democrats, need to make sure we do all we can to make the country freer, fairer and friendlier.

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

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16 Comments

  • Being attacked by the Daily Fail ? A badge of honour that Roger should be very proud of.

  • And he’s said something which is spot on and needs to be said. No wonder his prophetic voice is being attacked.

  • Arnold Kiel 2nd May '18 - 7:08am

    So much for the will of the people

  • Philip Knowles 2nd May '18 - 8:28am

    What a country we are when a newspaper (which we protect its right to free spoeech) will attack people for using their own right to free speech.
    The Today programme, on its recent anniversary, asked the public what they felt had changed since it started broadcasting. I can tell you one thing – respect.
    This country has long had a reputation for allowing free speech and respecting other people’s opinions even if we don’t agree with them. It is perfectly OK to attack a person’s arguments if you don’t agree with them but it is never right to attack the person. If you are going for the person it is generally because you don’t have an answer to their argument.

  • Stephen Booth 2nd May '18 - 8:35am

    A badge of pride and honour indeed. No liberal or democrat should pay heed to what the Mail says on this issue, with its tawdry history of support for the Nazis in the 1930s along with the ex Labour minister Oswald Mosley and the British Union of Fascists.

  • Brian Dashs 2nd May '18 - 8:40am

    I am proud to be in the same party as Roger Roberts

  • John Marriott 2nd May '18 - 9:37am

    The Daily Mail? Didn’t it support the Fascists in the 1930’s and didn’t its owner live in Paris for tax purposes? And hasn’t its Editor received loads of EU cash from Brussels for his Scottish estate?

    However, beware! My wife and I used to caravan (please forgive us) and tended to stay at sites run by a well known caravan organisation. You could often order a morning paper and we usually did – The Guardian, of course. When I used to enter the office in the morning, they usually put the ordered papers on the counter. There was usually a couple of Guardians, a few Mirrors, a reasonable pile of Express and a veritable mountain of Mail! No wonder we rarely engaged in conversation with our fellow caravaners.

  • Arnold Kiel 2nd May '18 - 12:39pm

    Paul Walter,

    you probably misunderstod me, I agree with you. I was referring to the way the “will of the people” is manipulated and instrumentalised by the British press (and associated politicians).

  • Mick Taylor 2nd May '18 - 1:58pm

    Well said Roger Roberts. It truly is a badge of honour to be slated in the Fail.

  • “So much for the will of the people”
    Not sure of what this point is getting at, with respect to the HoL decision, regardless of which side says it.

    Everyone seems to have forgotten that back in December, Parliament asserted its right over the Government and have a vote on the final offer. All the HoL has done is agree that Parliament is sovereign and that the Executive are both answerable to and not above Parliament.

    Don’t see why Breiteers are getting excited, they wanted the return of sovereignty (which we never lost), ie. decisions concerning the UK are made at Westminster by an elected Parliament. In trying to make sense of what Liam Fox and others are spouting, I’ve come to the conclusion that he (and others) actually don’t want a democracy, they want a system whereby the Executive are a dictatorship and are applying unwarranted pressure on those that aren’t jumping to attention, hence I agree with the parallels Roger Roberts was drawing…

  • Barry Lofty 2nd May '18 - 4:11pm

    I was so pleased to read Lord Roberts speech in the Lords he said everything that is so worrying about the present situation regards the Brexit debate. The Mails front page was really disturbing and makes me worry afresh about my children and grandchildrens future. Whatever people say, thank goodness for the Lords!

  • Nom de Plume 2nd May '18 - 6:06pm

    The Daily Mail has a large readership and I do not understand them. I find the DM ridiculous and can not see what attracts people to it. Its headlines are mostly intended to be inflammatory. Mostly of an emotional nature, which I can understand, but do not connect with at all. The lexical choice and phraseology is unusual. There is a different Britain out there. A cultural chasm.

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