Readers have their say on the ‘stop the coup’ protests – and say that it is the perfect opportunity to win over Brexiteers.
Last Saturday I protested at the ‘Stop The Coup’ march in Birmingham. However, unlike many I took the view that this wasn’t just about Brexit, it was about upholding the basic values of democracy that ought to unite Remain and Leave supporters alike. So I left my EU flag behind.
I believe that ‘Stop The Coup’ should reach out to Leave supporters who are having doubts about the people implementing the project they voted for, but to do so we need to set aside our own symbols and make our marches a welcoming place for honest Leavers so that we can all unite under a single banner that says we believe in basic democratic processes regardless of what we would vote for.
Our country is getting ever more polarised, but the Johnson government has just given us a golden opportunity to reach out to all who believe democracy must come first.
Let’s not waste it.
Tim Williams, Bournville
It is said to not respect the referendum result will be an affront to democracy. It is the primary duty of any government and of politicians to safeguard the prosperity, welfare and security of the nation. Brexit puts all at risk.
Helen Burland, Lampeter
Labour MP Anna Turley, whose constituents voted to leave 66% to 34%, is against no-deal. Here is the analogy which she makes with Brexit: “Asking me to support Brexit is like asking me to punch my constituents in the face. It doesn’t make it easier if you tell me my constituents want to be punched.”
Is she her constituents’ enemy? According to Mr Johnson, yes.
When I look with horror at Boris Johnson’s prorogation of parliament, I think about 1930 and what we Danes refer to as the Easter Crisis.
After the First World War, it was decided to hold referendums in three zones of what used to be southernmost Jutland, which we lost to Prussia during the Second Schleswig War of 1864. Only the northernmost of these voted to again become part of the kingdom of Denmark. This was accepted by the government, but the ultra-nationalist King Christian X demanded that all three zones returned to Denmark. When the government refused, he suspended the government.
This led to the nearest we have been to a popular uprising in modern times, and due to an effective general strike, the troops sent to Copenhagen to protect the king had to walk all the way from the barracks to their destination, as no trains were moving. Eventually, the king backed down, reinstated the government, and order was restored.
The present British situation is, in my view, a close parallel. A king suspending government or a government suspending parliament are both forms of coup d’etat.
Torben Bjarke Ballin, Denny
Our unwritten constitution relies on adherence to the principles of honesty, decency, respect for precedent, rule-of-law, fair play, and (essential) the self-limitation of power. Tragically, our current PM shows contempt for all this. Other PMs have probably bent the rules a bit. But he is the first PM to absolutely trash them.
Sadly, this PM has ensured that our historic unwritten constitution has outlived its noble purpose. It proves we desperately need a written constitution to clearly define powers. But that will take years to develop. Right now we need a strong parliament to take back control as our elected sovereign body.
Michael Gove’s refusal to rule out the government defying parliamentary legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit is yet another reminder that both he, Johnson and the ERG ruling clique hold our democratic traditions and freedoms in utter contempt.
The casual disregard for convention and the rule of law under our constitution underlines a growing sense amongst the British public that the struggle to stop a hard Brexit has now also become a struggle to preserve those rights and liberties fought for since Magna Carta.
Paul Dolan, Northwich
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