Parliament must defend itself to avoid Boris Johnson’s dog-whistle slogans controlling the narrative

Boris Johnson speaks in the House of Commons. (PA Wire/PA Images)

Boris Johnson speaks in the House of Commons. (PA Wire/PA Images) - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Readers argue that, ahead of a general election, parliament must defend its actions to avoid Dominic Cummings and Boris Johnson controlling the narrative.

The dog-whistle slogans which the Cummings-Gove-Johnson triumvirate used to distort the case for Brexit are being lined up ready for the next election.

By defining all parliamentary opposition as Remainers intent on thwarting Brexit they can use their 'parliament versus the people' campaign slogan with great effect.

So let us unite to deny them this simplistic untruth by constantly pointing out that the current parliament consists of no-deal Brexiteers on one side with have-a-deal Brexiteers and Remainers on the other.

We must thump home the message that parliament is accurately representing the divisions in the country and is only fighting to take back control and assert its sovereignty.

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Boris Johnson's offensive language in the Commons is obviously a tactic to stoke up a 'parliament versus the people' general election.

How can parliament be against the people when it represents the people with, for example, one of its main roles being to examine and challenge the work of government on our behalf? Imagine what would happen if a no-deal Brexit does go ahead, damaging our economy and ruining lives and concerned MPs from all parties had not come together to try and stop it. Parliament would then be derided for not challenging it.

Roger Hinds, Coulsdon

I am appalled by Boris Johnson's suggestion that Supreme Court judges should be vetted and face "accountability" from politicians. Our so-called prime minister is behaving like a petulant child, throwing his toys out of the pram in frustration over last week's setback to his plans.

But these toys are hand-grenades, which threaten the institutions and conventions on which British parliamentary democracy is based.

Catherine Rowett MEP, Norwich

In the spirit of 'dialling down' our overheated public discourse, I found the front cover of TNE #162 unhelpful. Boris Johnson is not a 'felon' nor has the government been found 'guilty' of anything.

The UK Supreme Court is not a criminal court but our highest constitutional court dealing with civil law matters. Its unanimous decision that the government's action in shutting down our sovereign parliament was unlawful protects us all.

These differences matter when a populist fervour is being deliberately whipped up, with all the risks ably pointed out in Matthew Flinders' article "Why Johnson could still have the last laugh". We on the Remain side should be careful not to feed the beast.

Susanna Reece, Oxford

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