The jostling and shouting at MP Anna Soubry the other day outside the gates of Parliament has led to much hand wringing and the usual skewering of the truth and the convenient ignoring of the facts.
The men and, I believe, one woman doing the jostling cannot be in any way condoned. They were over the top, rude, arrogant and to a certain extent aggressive. No hands were laid upon Ms Soubry, that must be made crystal clear. She was of course called a variety of names over and over again. Scum, Nazi and traitor were the more often repeated allegations. She was in trouble in that she clearly had no immediate means of escape. She did carry on along the road as best she could and eventually got through Black Rod Gate into the Palace of Westminster.
Various things have emerged from this incident. She has now done the rounds of TV and radio studios and has played the victim, very well and to the fullest extent. Let me be clear: I do not support the actions of these people, they were wrong and have totally lost the argument in my opinion, that argument being that Soubry, a remainer, has long advocated the overturning of the referendum. She has in the past called those who voted to leave Nazis and Far Right and traitors. She is not shy in using language that many could take great offence to. Nigel Farage has for years been subjected to the kind of behaviour Soubry experienced. His family were attacked in a pub whilst they were having Sunday lunch.
Soubry herself said of Farage “He looks like someone who has had a finger stuck up his bottom and enjoys it”. Hardly the language of a temperate lady of the Commons! Her allegation that she had been threatened with anal rape was very wrong on all levels. Being told to stick the EU flag “up your arse” is not in any way a threat of anal rape. The letter by fifty MP`s that followed, to Cressida Dick, the Commissioner of Police in London, demanding action was, to be honest, a total knee-jerk reaction.
Lets also not forget John McDonell, the would be Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer. who can be seen on video in 2012 saying ”I want to be in a situation where no Tory MP can travel anywhere in the country or show their face anywhere in public, without being challenged, without direct action”. Nothing was said about this, no hand wringing or virtue signalling over this little snippet.
Its also very important to note that whilst the press were making so much of this incident and giving over hours of news time to it, a young fourteen year old boy accidentally crashed his moped into a car. The occupants got out and stabbed him to death, the eighth murder this year so far in the Capital. Hardly any mention of this was made, given the salivating of the press and media about an MP who was shouted at.
People all over the country have been shut down, screamed at and verbally abused when trying to make a point in public, myself included in 2017 when standing for parliament in Bradford. Bill Etheridge MEP when he was still in Ukip was supposed to give a speech at Sussex University. He was no platformed by the students union and ended up giving his address in a local park. Last year at Lewisham, in a parliamentary by-election hustings, David Kurten was jostled and hassled and initially refused entry. Anne Marie Waters from the For Britain party was refused entry, full stop. The hustings was cancelled at the last minute – such was the potential for violence outside the venue by the far left. Two years ago at the Tory conference, the far left hung dummies from a bridge with a banner above saying “hang the Tories”.
The Ukip Youth Conference planned for 2017 was cancelled due to real threats via telephone and email to the venue. This is the future youth of the country engaging in politics and they were stopped. A secret venue had to be booked and the attendees informed via text prior to the conference, which was actually cancelled subsequently.
Two other major things have happened since the incident involving Anna Soubry. The first is that James Goddard, one of the more prominent members of the group who shouted at her, has had his facebook page taken down and his paypal account closed. Press have doorstepped his elderly parents: who says there is not an establishment! The Daily Mail have front paged a picture of him with Gerard Batten, leader of Ukip. Mr Batten has made it quite clear that he does not know him and has his “selfie” photo taken with hundreds of people.
The other much more disturbing thing is that there was clearly an undercover police officer within that group surrounding Soubry. Three things point to this:
- The other members of the group who all know each other, do not know this man
- He is seen on video clearly putting something inside the coat pocket of Anna Soubry`s PA
- He is seen on the video to have a police type radio in his pocket
I would go further and say that this man’s dress, deportment and whole aura is wrong. It just does not fit in with the rest of the group. He is far to smartly dressed, well spoken, and stands out from the crowd.
This is a very disturbing development and one that should be looked into by both those groups who intend on demonstrating in this way and by the public at large.
Whatever happened with Anna Soubry the other day, it was unpleasant watching. Street demonstrations like this will never win, they will always be denigrated and slammed by the media and those in the parliamentary bubble. I do undertsnd though the frustrations of people who only have one thing in their armoury and that is their vote.
People in general do not have newspaper columns and tens of minutes on mainstream news media through which to vent their feelings and opinions. They only have the once-every-five-years vote. Their frustrations are real and anger is clearly growing throughout the country. People feel very let down and trodden on, and that the one thing they do have, the vote, has been ignored, skewered and changed beyond all recognistion by an elite of 650 in Westminster.
Unless things change significantly then the jostling and screaming at Anna Soubry will be children’s playground stuff compared to what is to come.