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Mob politics is putting our democracy in peril


Onward’s Director Sebastian Payne discusses the impact that threats of violence towards MPs can have on democracy in the i. He writes:

“What a mess. The parliamentary shenanigans of Wednesday evening’s Israel-Gaza ceasefire vote may prove to be the downfall of Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle. It’s easy to brush aside it all as a wonkish procedural row. But processes do matter if you think politics matters – how parliament operates and conducts itself should define our democracy. If you dismiss concerns about rules, you risk dismissing the point of the whole institution at a time when more people are feeling increasingly alienated from mainstream politics.

There is, however, reason to feel some sympathy for Hoyle’s wrongheaded decision to break with convention over who voted on what amendment. The Speaker finds himself buffeted by the dawn of thuggish mob politics in Britain. In his first round of contrite words, Hoyle explained: “I am very, very concerned about the security of all members”, revealing he had met with MPs to discuss real threats to them and their families. In short, the Speaker was scared. It is a very dark day when rules have to be bent to cope with the extreme views of the mob. And on this topic, emotions could not be running higher.”

Read the full piece here.

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