When does protest become unacceptable abuse?

Reuters has the article on its website see link below:-

uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-eu-abuse/facing-chants-of-nazi-and-scum-mps-ask-police-to-act-over-brexit-abuse-idUKKCN1P2187

That Anna Soubry is called a fascist is bizarre especially as those who so label her are often of the far right themselves. I’m no Conservative but you have to respect Anna for standing up to the ridiculous people who are presently running the UK; I admire her as I do the small number of Labour MP’s who are speaking out against their similarly ridiculous party leadership.

Should the Met Police intervene when MP’s and others are being unreasonably abused?

Well, firstly the Met will be considering its own reputation before doing the decent/right thing. Secondly, the taunters will probably want to be arrested so they can claim that their freedom of speech is being infringed/stopped. Thirdly, freedom of speech is vital in our admittedly crumbling democracy where lies are traded as everyday facts these days.

As a Liberal, my stance is that I will defend anyone whose rights are being infringed

Do I want to shout abuse at Brexiters, yes I do! Will I do it? Well, I try to choose my words carefully on this blog and face to face I generally do not engage with Brexiteers because you can’t have logical arguments with folk who base their views on prejudices whilst also ignoring facts.

Abuse is often a difficult thing to define though. I’ll give you an example – I was once called a useless bucket of tripe in my time as leader of Sefton Council. I thought it was the funniest thing I had heard in years yet many others around me were horrified by it and the context it was used. So is calling Anna Soubry a Nazi legitimate protest or abuse? Well, I guess the reason for those saying it will be associated with trying to gain media attention and they succeeded in that. Anna seemed to laugh it off though as it was clearly a ridiculous thing to say.

The Police will have to act though if the behaviour of protestors is felt to be abusive and threatening by those on the receiving end of it but having seen a senior Met officer being interviewed today you can tell how they would rather just be referees not using yellow cards never mind red ones.

Tough calls and extreme Brexiters will defend their own come what may I guess. The balance will tip when the seemingly ‘acceptable’ behaviour attracts the absolute nutters who will go too far. Freedom of expression and protest comes with it responsibilities……………..

Interesting that Remain protesters behave reasonably…..

3 thoughts on “When does protest become unacceptable abuse?

  1. Phil Holden says:

    I agree, Tony. You might be interested that your bete noire, the Daily Mail not only agrees also but has today outed one of the culprits as a UKIP supporter.
    However, I don’t agree that Remain protesters all behave reasonably. We have seen many strident Remain demos outside Parliament, including frequently disrupting press conferences and tv bulletins. Maybe not as extreme in the main but at least as mischeavous and definitely intended to intimidate.
    However, isn’t it bizarre for a UKIP extremist to call someone a Nazi?

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