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Mob shuts down hustings event

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This week police allowed a mob of ‘anti-fascist’ demonstrators to shut down the only parliamentary hustings event for the by-election in Lewisham East. Tim Dieppe discusses what happened and the way in which democracy was undermined by the protestors. The mob had no respect for free speech and were extremely intolerant of those they disagree with. Tim argues that if we continue to abandon Christianity as a nation, mob rule or tyranny will result.

‘Anti-racism’ demonstrators

‘Anti-racism’ demonstrators blocked the street outside the hall and police had to intervene to enable candidates to enter the building. One candidate, Anne Marie Waters was prevented from attending the event on police advice because the mob outside was deemed uncontrollable.

The Labour candidate Janet Daby had said she would boycott the hustings, explaining that she didn’t want to share a platform with Anne Marie Waters whom she accused of being far-right. Other candidates accused Ms Daby of avoiding scrutiny. The Lib Dem candidate accused Labour of “fanning the flames of intolerance and refusing the people of Lewisham the chance to hear from those who wish to serve.”

Speech interrupted

David Kurten, the UKIP candidate, had his 2-minute opening speech interrupted by a female heckler who came to the front and shouted at him. The audience were clearly unhappy with this interruption. She was asked to leave, but she continued ranting for nearly two minutes until police came to escort her out. A video of the event can be viewed here.

Police close the meeting

Just 20 minutes into the hustings, it was announced that the police inspector had decided to close the meeting because of public order dangers outside. The meeting therefore ended abruptly, and the speakers were led out of the building. There they faced aggressive shouting from a large mob with police lining the route out.

A triumph for mob rule

By shutting down the hustings, the police were agreeing to the demands of the mob. Instead of supporting the democratic process and preventing the mob from interfering with the hustings, the police capitulated to mob rule.

The organiser of the event described it as “a triumph in some sense for mob rule.”

Labour’s Ms Daby won the by-election but saw Labour’s majority slashed from 21,213 at the general election to 5,629. The Lib Dems overtook the Conservatives to achieve second place, with a turnout of just 33% - under half the turnout at the general election.

A blow to democracy

The fact that a mob was allowed to prevent a parliamentary hustings event from taking place is a serious concern for anyone who values democracy.

As David Kurten explains:

“A mob has closed down a political debate in the United Kingdom and prevented voters from questioning candidates and making up their own minds who to vote for. It is endemic in the ‘progressive’ Left to censor opinions with which they do not agree. This was a victory for mob rule, where the far Left suppressed free speech and stopped people debating and discussing opinions they did not approve of. Just as disturbing is the message sent out by the police in allowing the mob to get their way and close down part of the democratic process. The right thing to do would have been to arrest those who were clearly harassing and intimidating candidates and attendees.”

If the police are unable to protect hustings from interference, then we are left without a functioning democratic process.

What is perhaps even more concerning is the almost complete absence of coverage in the mainstream media of this blow to democracy. It is as if the mainstream media are also colluding with the mob in wanting to shut down free and open political debate.

Left-wing fascists

In the end it is the so-called ‘anti-fascists’ who are behaving like fascists by bullying and intimidating of those they disagree with. They have no respect for free speech. They do not want to reason or to hear the arguments. They are extremely intolerant whilst claiming to act in the name of tolerance. They celebrate when debate is stopped. They prefer mob rule to democracy.

One could call them ‘left-wing fascists’. It is worth remembering that similar bullying and intimidation took place in Germany in the 1930’s, contributing to to the National Socialist Party gaining power and dismantling democracy.

Moving towards mob rule

As far as I know, this is the first time a parliamentary hustings event has been shut down by mob protest. I hope it will be the last. However, it will only be the last if there is a concerted effort by police and society to prevent mob rule. The mainstream media silence does not make me optimistic about this.

As our society abandons Christianity, it abandons the foundation of morality, and the foundation of democracy. If we continue to dismantle these foundations, mob rule or tyranny will be the inevitable result.



David Kurten: Howled down by the Left, closed down by the police.

Politics Home: Police shut down hustings amid angry protest.