Notes From the Margins…

Ceasefire: Goddard’s ‘Westminster mob’ are a threat to our common future

  • January 11, 2019
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Few people who pay any attention to British politics will be unaware of the small but vocal group of far-right demonstrators who have been gathering outside Westminster for the last month. Led by Tommy Robinson fanboy James Goddard and inspired by the ‘gilets jaunes’ movement in France, these protesters have heckled and abused MPs, journalists and activists including the Sky News journalist Faisal Islam, Owen Jones, anti-Brexit campaigner Femi Oluyole, Sky News presenter Kay Burley, and – most famously – the Tory MP and anti-Brexit campaigner Anna Soubry.

Until this week, these protests aroused little concern from politicians or the media. On Monday however, Soubry was jostled by ‘yellow jacket’ protesters who called her a ‘Nazi’, a ‘traitor’ and compared her to Adolf Hitler.

In a television interview delivered against a background of taunts and abuse, a visibly-shaken Soubry declared that it was unacceptable to be called a Nazi and lamented the fact that ‘this is what is happening to our country.’ That same day Owen Jones was also jostled while trying to enter Westminster by Goddard and his cohorts, who called him a ‘traitor’ and a ‘lying little snake’ for supporting Jeremy Corbyn.

It was the Soubry incident that finally burst the bubble. The Commons speaker John Bercow condemned the abuse directed against her and described the protesters as a ‘type of fascism’. Fifty MPs have now written to Metropolitan Police commissioner Cressida Dick to complain about the ‘deteriorating public order and security situation in and around the exterior of the parliamentary estate.’

 

My piece for Ceasefire Magazine on James Goddard, Anna Soubry and the ‘Westminster mob’.  You can read the rest here

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About Me

I’m a writer, campaigner and journalist.  My latest book is The Savage Frontier: The Pyrenees in History and the Imagination (New Press/Hurst, 2018).  The Infernal Machine is where I write on politics, history, cinema and other things that interest me.

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