1/ The right to oppose is one of the core elements of democracy. During the two years after the referendum politicians and journalists opposed to Brexit were, with a few brave exceptions, intimidated into publicly supporting Brexit. During that time the UK was not a democracy.
2/ Thatcher echoed Attlee's warning that the "referendum was a device of dictators and demagogues". Such rulers love referendums because they can use them to demonise opponents as enemies of the "democratic will of the people" as Goebbels did after a Nazi referendum victory.
3/ This is one of the reasons why Brexit is politically illegitimate. Democracy is based on fair votes, the right to oppose, the rule of law and accurate information. The Brexiters violated all four of these pillars of democracy. Far from being democratic, Brexit was a coup.
4/ A democracy cannot go ahead successfully on the basis of a successful coup. The means by which Brexit was obtained must be fully examined, and those who violated the constitutional norms and conventions which underpin our democracy must be prosecuted.

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More from @nickreeves9876

26 Mar
Deindustrialisation has led to the crumbling of working class communities and the consequent massive weakening of the unions and Labour movement. Socially disorientated people in a fragmented society - ripe prey for populist propaganda offering the bogus solidarity of nationalism
And as working class communities and organisations have crumbled, working class individualism has been on the rise - working class people who are proud that they have made good through their own efforts, and feel that others should do the same.
Both the working and middle classes are now fragmented into groups with economic positions that push them into different political directions. Neither class forms a coherent basis for a political force. The working and middle class politics of the industrial epoch is dead
Read 6 tweets
25 Mar
This Flag Fights Fascists.

Take Back The Flag! It's time we took the Union Flag back from the fascists, racists, xenophobes, liars, cheats, spivs and charlatans. So here's a starter. (Apologies to Woody Guthrie) Image
Sensible factually minded people will tell me this isn't how things are now. And they are right, and that's why we have to launch a campaign to prise the flag from the clutches of the nationalist right by associating it with messages they hate. Image
And to all those who say we should ditch the Union flag, I'll say that's the route to being utterly crushed by the nationalist right. The same goes for any kind of frontal attack on the monarchy - who we should depict as being terrorised by unpatriotic right-wing tabloids.
Read 4 tweets
23 Mar
1/ People claim that being critical of Brexit is politically suicidal. There is no evidence for that. From 2017 onwards there was a majority for Remain in spite of both main parties and most of the press backing Brexit, and the BBC deliberately silencing Remain voices.
2/ In the 2019 election 2nd referendum parties gained a clear majority of the vote in spite of Corbyn's unpopularity and wretchedly bad Labour and LibDem campaigns. With better leaders, campaigns and electoral cooperation the opposition would have won.
3/ People point to the bad showing of the LibDems in the 2019 election, even though their vote share rose sharply compared to 2017. Their vote share was hit badly by tactical voting with people frantically switching to Labour in a vain effort to beat the Tories.
Read 4 tweets
23 Mar
When a few months ago, I criticised @Keir_Starmer for his Brexit stance, I was met by many polite replies suggesting that he was employing clever tactics and that we should give him time. The responses are very different now. Remainers are dumping Starmer.
Not only are Remainers reacting angrily to Starmer's Brexit stance, but unlike with Corbyn, when he came under Remainer attack, very few people are leaping to his defence. A few months ago people were enthusiastic about Starmer. Now that seems to have largely fizzled out.
Starmer appears to be taking his advice from Claire Ainsley who is “pretty clear-eyed about the political shift away from economic and social liberalism, and the new centrality of social, culture and identity issues in British politics.”
Read 4 tweets
22 Mar
Brexit: Starmer says Labour will not fight ‘yesterday’s wars’ and doesn’t ‘want to rejoin’

Starmer is deluded, the Brexit deal and the Protocol are so divisive, destructive and unstable that Brexit politics is here to stay. Brexit is absolutely not done. thelondoneconomic.com/politics/brexi…
Brexit is a horrible mess which the Tories and their press allies will use to stir up nationalist hysteria. It is not going away. And so long as Labour tries to appeal to Brexiters it will increasingly alienate and anger the majority of its voters and members.
And Labour won't succeed with the Brexiters, because it won't be able or want to match the Tories for loudmouthed jingoism and xenophobia. So by trying to appease the Brexiters it will lose on all counts.
Read 4 tweets
22 Mar
The #PoliceBill is not directed against violent protests. It has no impact on them. It aims to suppress peaceful protest. It is an attack on our rights and liberty. It is not the act of a democratic government. It is the act of a Putinist regime.
The #PoliceBill is not the act of any legitimate democratic government. It drives a bulldozer through the right to protest which is a constitutional cornerstone of any democracy. And the UK is only a democracy by dint of unwritten constitutional conventions and norms.
With a compliant Commons majority the PM has the power of an absolute monarch. In the UK the power of the monarch was not curbed by a constitution, instead it was transfered to the monarch's proxy - the PM.
Read 8 tweets

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