1/ After a Nazi referendum victory Goebbels said that "the will of the people is the will of the government and vice versa". He said this to delegitimise the core democratic right to oppose. The Brexiters used the "Will of the People" in exactly the same way.
2/ Aspiring populist dictators love referendums because they give them the chance to demonise opponents as "enemies of the democratic will of the people". Thatcher was entirely right when she echoed Attlee in saying that "the referendum was a device of dictators and demagogues".
3/ In a healthy democracy there are the majority and minority, there are arguments and compromises, there is government and opposition. There is no place for the totalitarian unity of the "Will of the People".
4/ When the "Will of the People" is invoked opponents become "enemies of the people", they are no longer part of the people, they are the "chattering classes" and "liberal metropolitan elite" – alien bodies infecting the otherwise healthy body politic.
5/ Because the opponents are "enemies of the people" and no longer belong to the people, they need no longer be accorded the rights and respect proper to the people. If lies and cheating are needed to defeat them, then so be it. That is how you treat enemies.

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More from @nickreeves9876

7 Feb
British towns with the most
immigrants and highest levels of diversity tend to do far better economically than areas with little, a study has found.

Brexit was built on the xenophobic lies of the right-wing press and politicians.
Here's something which almost never got mentioned in over 4 years of Brexit debate. EU migrants had higher employment rates and far better education levels than their native counterparts. They are on average the kind of people who boost the economy.
And in 2017 Gove said that migrants had raised school standards in London. Such a contrast to the usual xenophobic Brexit lie that migrants lower school standards. A pity that Gove didn't say that before the referendum.
Read 4 tweets
6 Feb
Peter Oborne – “I have been a political reporter for almost three decades,” he writes, “I have never encountered a senior British politician who lies and fabricates so regularly, so shamelessly and so systematically as Boris Johnson.” theguardian.com/books/2021/feb…
But more important than Johnson's lies is that a majority of Tory MPs, members and voters put him into power and continue to support him. It seems they approve of his lies, because they are the lies that win them power and express their prejudices.
Lies undermine and destroy democracy, so we must conclude that the majority of Tory MPs, members and supporters no longer support democracy. For them, we are the enemy, winning is everything, and if lies lead to victory then they are good lies..
Read 4 tweets
6 Feb
One of the most toxic legacies of Brexit is the "Will of the People" which replaces the core democratic right to oppose with the totalitarian notion of the monolithically united people and its enemies, who by dint of opposing the result of a vote are outside 'the people'.
It is of course the rich and powerful who get to define who are the 'real people', who belong to decent (white native) middle England and who are the alien chattering classes, the cosmopolitan infestation in the polluting the otherwise healthy English body politics.
It is no accident that the Daily Mail located the 'chattering classes' in North London, where the paradigmatic intellectuals are often Jewish. The attack on the cosmopolitan other has strong echoes of the Nazi attack against the 'rootless Jews'.
Read 5 tweets
5 Feb
1/ 37% of a rigged electorate excluding the most affected groups. Advisory status used as a legal loophole to prevent the referendum being annulled because of electoral fraud. A campaign of hate and lies, dark ads and Russian & private US interference. Brexit was a coup.
2/ A Leave option which was a catch-all blank cheque, bait and switch propaganda, a post-referendum campaign of populist intimidation leading to death threats which silenced many opponents and the BBC shutting out Remain voices. Brexit was a coup.
3/ The lies continued. In the 2019 election campaign 88% of Conservative ads on Facebook were 'misleading'. A vote won by lies is not democratic. Firms discussing Brexit arrangements with the govt were gagged. Information was withheld. Parliament was illegally prorogued.
Read 4 tweets
18 Jan
1/ I attacked Corbyn and I'm attacking Starmer and now Davey because without a reasonable degree of opposition buy-in all our pro-EU campaigning is futile. We can attack the Tories with all our force and it will come to absolutely nothing without opposition leadership support.
2/ Some people say we should trust their party's leader. I say trust and votes have to be earned, and neither Starmer nor Davey have done that. I believe the only sure means of getting them to do the right thing is the political brute force of threatening them with lost votes.
3/ I think Starmer and to a lesser extent Davey would like us hard core Remainers and Rejoiners to disappear. But let's remember that the Tory leadership wanted the Brexiters to vanish, but they didn't, and in the end they prevailed. That's a lesson for us.
Read 4 tweets
18 Jan
1/ There's a lot of work to be done before actually seeking to rejoin the EU, I'd reckon it will take around a decade at best. But what Davey is doing now is chasing away a large part of the LibDem voters and activists. He's killing the LibDems. It's very sad.
2/ If the LibDems try to challenge Starmer on the cautious, pragmatic centre ground they will be eradicated. They need to adopt a distinct and more radical position on the EU and rebuilding our broken democracy than anything Starmer will dare risk.
3/ We need PR, we need big money kicked out of politics, an end to private sector jobs, gifts and payments to MPs. We need media reform, a much stronger Electoral Commission, and a clampdown on the political lies undermining our democracy.
Read 4 tweets

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