Mob rule

The reaction of the tabloid press to the High Court ruling that parliament must have a necessary involvement in the Brexit process was both contemptible yet predictable. These rags regularly wrap themselves in the Union Jack, claiming to stand in the frontline against the encroachments of European law, then they respond with a disdain for the very constitutional process they have been supposedly championing!

This is a worrying development. All of this has come off of the back of a campaign won by a blonde-haired demagogue exploiting the mob to pursue his own ambitions with a cause he never really believed in in the first place. It reminds one very much of “mobs and nobs” in the eighteenth century. Whenever the aristocracy wanted to put pressure on the government, they would whip up the mob to a frenzy. Lord George Gordon, for example, inflamed anti-Catholic feeling in response to small concessions granted to Catholics by the Papist Act of 1778. Hence, the Gordon Riots. Aren’t we seeing something similar with mobs and nobs now, except the fear of Catholics has been replaced by that of migrants?

That the Mail and other rags would exploit such low fears for their own ends should not surprise us: ‘Hurrah for the Brownshirts‘ anyone?


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