SHAME on Amber Rudd. She deserves to be turned out of the constituency that once thought they’d voted in a Conservative MP. Why she doesn’t stand down and openly join one of the parties that stand for censorship and silencing debate on Brexit, I don’t know.
Until now she had never struck me as being the sharpest tool in the box despite her Cheltenham Ladies’ College education. It was there, I assumed, that she acquired her Joyce Cameron from Home Fires persona that gives her that ‘grande dame’ authority. Until relatively recently I’d put her down as over-promoted but underwhelming, a boring but bossy Tory woman who in another era might have been content to corral her local Women’s Institute. I underestimated her.
It turns out that her grasp of political villainy is second to none. While Isocrates and his expertise in rhetoric must have passed her by, she seems to have found the time to master her Machiavelli. She must have known what she was doing with her statement – indeed accusation – that Boris Johnson’s language ‘does incite violence’. From a former Home Secretary she must have known that this moral-high-ground public condemnation – though spurious – would deliver the liberal Left/Remainer establishment a field day. And so it has. Since Friday criticism of Boris’s ‘speech crime’ has not let up over the airwaves. Low on brain but big on dictatorial bent, one after another pious ‘we must come together’ cleric or Labour Remainer has been intoning on the dangers of ‘such rhetoric’, and milking it for all it is worth.
Nicky Morgan too. Shame on her too for her double-edged support for the PM:
I know the PM is aware of & sympathetic about the threats far too many of us have received because I shared with him recently the threats I am getting. But at a time of strong feelings we all need to remind ourselves of the effect of everything we say on those watching us.
— Nicky Morgan MP (@NickyMorgan01) September 25, 2019
What is she doing still on the front bench? Not for her the honesty of her less newsworthy colleague Maria Caulfield MP, who tweeted how it really is:
Last week I had my car tyres damaged with nails and screws for the second time. No one cares because I’m a leaver and apparently deserve it. Abuse of MPs and death threats were happening long before yesterday
— Maria Caulfield MP (@mariacaulfield) September 26, 2019
We too will be clear on TCW. Describing the European Union (Withdrawal) (No2) Act 2019 as the ‘Surrender Act’ is, as Mr Johnson says, ‘absolutely reasonable. . .(for) it would take away the power of this government, and the power of this country, to decide how long it would remain in the EU and give that power to the EU and that’s really quite an extraordinary thing.’
Indeed it is.
Here are some synonyms for surrender in this context that equally apply to this dreadful Act: capitulation, yielding, giving up, submission, caving in. That is what this straightforward word surrender means, that they would ban.
What of course is terrifying the Amber Rudds of the world is suddenly to find themselves with a Prime Minister who can speak and is speaking up for Brexit. Gone is Boris’s waffle and buffoonery. Extant is his mastery of words. No inarticulate Theresa May is he, and he is proving even better at the art of communication than many expected, or hoped. With the public so far he’s been attentive, polite but clear. In Parliament, where he needs to be, he’s been impassioned. And they hate it.
This reaction, this Ruddite attempt to ban rhetoric – to kill the language of communication and inspiration – is institutionalised bullying designed to break Boris and censor debate. He must not be cowed by it. He must carry on declaiming.