Pro-EU demonstrators marched in large numbers in London at the weekend demanding that Britain hold another referendum on membership.
The People’s Vote campaign says a second vote should be held on the terms of UK departure from the EU.
There was a nasty undercurrent to some speeches at the event and in tweets after.
Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable told marchers that the 2016 vote to leave the bloc had been based on ignorance.
“We didn’t know about the cost of the divorce bill … we didn’t know that we’re going to destroy the trading system on which Brexit depends,” he declared.
The decision to leave was the fault of old people, he claimed, saying that “the younger generation have been shafted by the older Brexiteers.”
In tweets after the demonstration those who voted Leave were arrogantly dismissed, insulted or ridiculed. As is so often the case, those who disagree with the chattering classes were depicted not just as wrong but as BAD people. Richard Dawkins was a prime example tweeting:
“Yes of COURSE there are people who voted Leave for reasons other than xenophobic bigotry or fading imperial jingoism. I’ve met at least four.”
“But it felt good to be marching through London with the hundred thousand yesterday. And to be reminded of the decent half of Britain.”
Notice the suggestion that most Leave voters are xenophobic, jingoist, backward looking bigots. Clearly Dawkins has no understanding of what gave Leave a majority at all.
Think also about that phrase: “the decent half of Britain”. It shows the contempt people like Dawkins have for ordinary folk. He is writing off half of his countrymen as not decent. Why? Because they dared to vote differently from him and his social set in a referendum. Is it any wonder that people kick against these entitled, arrogant people?
Some on the demo also set-back their cause by attacking Labour’s leader, chanting: “Where’s Jeremy Corbyn?” in reference to his refusal to back their demands. Mr Corbyn was visiting a refugee camp in Jordan as part of refugee week. Labour do not, in any case, favor a second referendum. They want a General Election called.
Left Leave campaign Lexit convener Alex Gordon declared that Saturday’s march was “a reactionary, lavishly funded protest.”
He said: “At its heart is the complaint by the entitled upper middle classes in British society that they have not been allowed to get their own way as usual.
“The fact that the People’s Vote march rapidly became a focus for anti-Corbyn slogans tells you all you need to know about the political outlook and class interests of those supporting it.”