Following last year’s EU Referendum there has been a disturbing trend in the use of warlike and other deplorable insults, labels and terms of abuse. Whilst it is understandable, in fact essential, that people have strong feelings, and that they do not just evaporate overnight, the idea that this excuses some of the foul, degrading and wholly inappropriate terminology is totally and utterly reprehensible.
The war associated terms that being applied to remainers are disgusting and totally over the top. Phrases used by newspapers, especially the Daily Mail, such as “Enemies of the People” or “Giving comfort to the enemy” were coined to describe traitors to our country of the worst kind, those that literally sided with an enemy attempting to kill us and subjugate our country. Equally those being applied to Brexiteers are equally repugnant. The idea that they are engaged upon “Kamikaze missions” is complete folly.
The group of insults that relate to people and their qualities, and or beliefs, seem to be aimed almost exclusively at Leavers. Rascist, Xenophobic, Bigoted, Knuckle Draggers, Thick, Low Information and other similar epithets. There are some terms used by leavers in retort but they do not seem as extreme. Things such as Metropolitan Elitist, Liberal Letfy, Fearmonger. sometimes the suggestion of cowardice is allowed into the discussion but these seem rarer. Why is it not possible to argue with a Leaver without assuming that he or she is motivated from some source of ignorance or hate. Most of us make up our view, of important things, through a combination of self-interest, including friends and family, and information recieved or sought from common sources. It is as likely that a Remain voting individual has fallen victim to groupthink, and virtue signalling, as it is that a Leaver is victim of a far right brainwashing effort.
A step up from this though and what should be regarded as utterly unforgivable is the use of terrorist terminology in describing those who take another view for genuine and strongly held reasons. Brexiteers have been described as having a “Jihadist mindset” and a core group of Remainers are refered to as “Continuity Remain”. Just think for a minute what this means. In short Brexiteers are being equated with ISIS and it’s splinter groups and Remainers are being labeled as similar to an extreme sect of the IRA that did not wish to accept peace even when it presented itself. These terms should have no place in civilised discussions over essentially political matters. Indeed those who use them should be challenged and persuaded that they do nothing to help the cause which they proclaim to support.
During the EU referendum and previously many discussions, and debates, were held in polite and respectful terms. For those in any doubt I suggest a You tube search for Daniel Hannan or Jacob Rees Mogg and Jeremy Corbyn on the EU. It must therefore be possible to further the discussion of how we leave and the future direction of the UK without the need for the extreme polarisation of the debate and the complete and personal vilification of those who hold another view.