For Britain watched with interest the scenes at Westminster on Monday 7th January 2019, which included Anna Soubry being called a 'nazi' while on TV from a distant crowd, and receiving other verbal challenges when walking to Parliament. We also saw left wing activist Owen Jones being challenged by protesters as he walked by.
For Britain watched with interest the scenes at Westminster on Monday 7th January 2019, which included Anna Soubry being called a 'nazi' while on TV from a distant crowd, and receiving other verbal challenges when walking to Parliament. We also saw left wing activist Owen Jones being challenged by protesters as he walked by. As two individuals that regularly use inflammatory and derogatory terms against people who support Brexit, perhaps they will now consider their own language moving forward. This kind of behaviour is reflective of the ugly environment we see today in politics, whipped up by the media and politicians, and something we as a party are sadly all too familiar with.
The surprise with this incident was the sudden media interest, as though this is something new. The BBC have made it headline news with articles bizarrely describing this is a 'far right' issue without putting forward any evidence. With shameful reference to Jo Cox, there's a demand for action, with 100 MPs at time of writing insisting that the issue is looked into by Ms Cressida Dick of the Met Police. One wonders why the vile abuse Nigel Farage and his family received constantly, or Jacob Rees-Mogg outside his house didn't receive similar attention. Could it be that when 'the right' as determined by the media, or Brexiteers receive it, that's not worth raising? But when someone on the opposite side has acted, there is suddenly an opportunity to make Brexiteers and/or 'the right' look bad?
Let's remember, that by falsely calling people 'far right' or 'fascist', the media creates an environment where people feel open hostility is acceptable. The terrible consequence of this seems to have happened in Germany, where an AfD member of the German Parliament was beaten close to death, days after an explosion at their offices. Many far left activists took to twitter to celebrate this shocking act. How strange that this major event in Europe received almost no attention from the mainstream media, yet the far less serious 'Soubry affair' held top billing for two days. Trump has accused the media of being the 'enemy of the people' and when you consider the blind eye turned to certain events, while others (often more trivial) are covered ad nauseum, it does add fuel to the view that many in the industry are activists not journalists. Trust in the media is at an all time low, and this wound is entirely self inflicted. Activist groups that present an apparently benign front on TV and radio have a history of publishing addresses of meeting places of groups they do not like, encouraging Antifa and other thugs to go and confront. Where is the media and political outcry? This is creating an angry environment that risks leading to violence or worse.
We await with interest the reaction from Cressida Dick, Commissioner of the Met Police, as she has yet to respond to a letter of complaint for the policing of a parliamentary hustings at the Lewisham East By-election in June 2018. Over 6 months later she is showing less haste than the 24 hour statement on whether Boris Johnson had committed an offence by comparing the burka to a letterbox. One would hope the far more serious incident would solicit a serious and speedy response. Here a large group of far left activists created an environment so toxic and hostile, our party leader was told by the police not to attend for her own safety. Labour Party imprints appeared on the leaflets from the mob of around 100, with Stand Up to Racism, a group chaired by Diane Abbot, screaming 'Nazi scum' whipping up a dangerous atmosphere that incited trouble. When blatant lies were shouted, such as 'Anne Marie Waters calls for violence against Muslims', something she never has nor never would do, the police response was a shrug of the shoulders. They stated the person with the megaphone was doing nothing wrong. I wonder how Anna Soubry would have reacted if a similar lie was shouted to a crowd, stirring them up into an angry frenzy?
Public were spat on and an elderly For Britain member knocked to the ground. Despite Ms Dick's lack of response, For Britain identified and successful prosecuted one of the Labour activists, seen previously posing in a selfie with a smiling Owen Jones. Full story here: https://tinyurl.com/yan85aav
Also, our deputy leader at the time was told by the police to leave the Durham Gala Miner's event or be arrested, after the union flag was spat on and police felt his flag may start a riot. To repeat, a British flag may cause a riot at a Labour event. See more details here: https://tinyurl.com/ybkoc2ee
We recently could not attend a university debate due to local Labour Party activists raising the threat levels to such an extent that the security did not feel they could safely allow the event to go ahead. There seems to be no appetite to challenge this behaviour, until now at least.
We do not condone the actions against Anna Soubry, but would call on the media and politicians to stop turning a blind eye to the relentless and frankly more troubling actions from the far left. We urge politicians such as David Lammy and journalists such as Owen Jones to refrain from calling huge swathes of the population 'fascists and racists'. When senior Labour Party figures such as John McDonnell call for street resistance and 'days of rage', it isn't acceptable. They must tone down their irresponsible and dangerous rhetoric, just as the media must report the almost daily threats and abuse Brexiteers and anyone not deemed as socialist receive. This includes abuse aimed at Jewish members of the Labour Party from momentum and other activists. We also recently saw the awful verbal abuse of an elderly Brexit supporting lady, having 'nazi scum' screamed in her face from left wing groups at a protest supported by Labour MP Clive Lewis. Again, no political or media concern. No 100 letters from MPs.
Despite the police admitting to their failings at Lewisham East, For Britain are pushing for an independent review of the events, in particular the political ties, and we call for all sides that are condemning the verbal abuse of Anna Soubry to support us to rid this menace from public and political life. We have numerous examples from death threats to abuse, so as stated, our legal officer will watch with great interest what the police and political action is from this point.