Saturday, November 12, 2016

Protesting against election results

If someone wants to organise a peaceful protest against something, no matter how silly I think they are being, then in a democratic and free society they should have the right to do so.

That includes organising a peaceful protest about the result of an election or referendum.

But dear Lord, anyone who actually does that looks like an idiot.

As the Sun said of Charlotte Church, "Voice of an Angel, brain of Angel's Delight."

Whether it is here in the UK or over the pond in the US, whether it is about a referendum or an election.

Of course, some of the protests against the election of Donald Trump as US President have not been peaceful. Rioting against an election result proves that you are an enemy of democracy.

Publicising the fact that you are holding a special summit of Foreign Secretaries because you are worried about an election result in another country isn't particularly clever either, especially if that country is an important trading partner and ally.

Putting relationships with the US on the agenda during a private meeting of European Union foreign ministers would probably be a very good idea. Making it known publicly that they are worried about the election of Donald Trump was a foolish thing for the EU commission president and some EU national leaders to do.. It comes over as challenging the right of the people of the USA to pick their own leaders. This is not going to improve relations with them.


Jim said...

The worst part is the people who are being violent on the protests, and writing hate statements all over statues and things, honest think they are spreading this message of "love and freedom"

How dreadful it will be when the nasty racist leavers lose the referendum, or how about when hillary wins the trump supporters wont accept it.

Erm, ok.

One thing though, when was the last time anyone seen scenes of violence and hatred out side a Labour party conference, or following the election of a labour govt?

Jim said...

Though I do have to admit, I think its slowly sinking into the minds of a lot of "the left" that both Brexit and Trump were their making.

For brexit, now opinion polls can tell you what people think, but they cant tell you what people feel. That cant really be polled until the moment before people do vote, the brexit "swing" happened just before the elction, this was when Geldof came out to play, we also had the open exploitation of the Jo Cox murder. From that moment Remain was doomed.

In the states it a lot more obvious, when a candidate openly states anyone who has supported her opposition "a basket of deplorable s consisting of the racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic – you name it.” then not only does that turn away a lot of her own support, it means that swing voters will go to trump, none will return and any that were considering not voting at all made sure they did turn out for trump.

Don't insult the voters and never underestimate them. No one bought into the Leave campaign and the £350 million. No one. I don't think anybody in the States bought into Trumps terrible campaign either.

Its not wholly unfair to suggest people did not know what or who they were voting for, But they certainly knew what they were voting against

Chris Whiteside said...

Agree with you entirely about when protests turn violent - and that you don't see right-wingers protesting when the left wins a vote.

One of the few things during the EU referendum period that the official campaigns on both sides got right was their dignified restraint after Jo Cox was murdered. There were a few journalists and individuals on both sides - I could name names but will not do so - who tried to use the tragic events to score points but it would be most unfair to blame the official Remain campaign, or indeed the Leave one, for their behaviour or to make the charge generally.

Bob Geldorf was not the only person whose behaviour during the "Battle of the Thames" did not do him credit - the behaviour of many people on both sides of that incident was an embarrassment to their respective causes. I doubt if it had an enormous impact though the Leave side may have made more effective use of images of Geldorf behaving badly than Remain did of the poor behaviour of some Leave supporters during the same event.

I am certain you are right, however, that Clinton's "basket of deplorables" comment helped lose her the election and deservedly so. She did of course apologise but the damage, as I said of Michael Gove after an even more unforgivable lapse, was done.