Monday, July 30, 2018


Tim Montgomerie wrote a good piece on "Unherd" a few weeks ago about the tendency in many parts of the political spectrum to wish not just to defeat but to crush and delegitimise those who disagree with you, a tendency he calls "Hegemonia."

You can see it in those who have been trying to deselect their political opponents whether pro or anti-Brexit. A Labour party with no place for the likes of Frank Field would be much poorer, but a majority of his local party apparently cannot see that.

You can see it in those for whom opponents are to be smeared.

You can see it in those on the leave side for whom any attempt by Theresa May or anyone else to find a compromise which leaves the EU on terms which do not totally ignore the concerns of the 48% who voted differently is "betrayal" or "treason" or a "sell-out"

You can also see it in those on the Remain side for whom the referendum result is not legitimate and must be overturned at any cost.

As Tim asks,

"Can we recognise that attempting to call any and all opponents racists, fascists and bigots – without good cause – is not just offensive but electorally incendiary? 

"And can we be patriotic enough to yearn for minorities to feel that their country’s institutions (whether the US Supreme Court or the BBC or universities) are not closed to them? 

"And can we have the humility to know that victory and vindication are not 100% bedfellows. That political and other opponents who may have lost votes or circulations or professional prestige may still hold useful, insightful opinions and, occasionally, there might be some merit in listening to ‘the defeated’ a bit more carefully – and sometimes changing course as a result?"

I do hope the answer to those questions is yes.

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