In the last few days, there has been uproar over the use of the term ‘Surrender Bill’ by the Prime Minister in Parliament, with many calling it an incitement to Brexit violence. Whilst it was somewhat amusing to watch our elected representatives put aside a day of shouting insults across the Chamber to debate moderating their language and acting like grown ups, it won’t be long before they are back acting as children in slanging matches. Even Jeremy Corbyn, who generally doesn’t speak at the Despatch Box without shouting, moderated his tone to sound quite reasonable.
Somewhat perversely, some of those with the most measured the language during the debate where they called for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to apologise for calling the ‘European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 2) Act’ the ‘Surrender Bill’, had just days earlier openly been vociferously shouting him down as a liar and demanding his resignation on the grounds he ‘broke the law’. He pushed the envelope on a point of law which was yet to be decided upon by the High Court. Those opposing him were frankly gobsmacked that they won but the behaviour of many MPs following this even has been deplorable and that includes MPs from all parties. One might conclude that many of the current crop of politicians are two-faced (on all sides of the debate and the chamber) and it will be interesting to see how many of them keep their jobs after the next General Election.
There is of course a serious side to the debate on inciting hatred and violence. Many of us are sensible reasonable people and will listen to the words, agree or disagree with them, and get on with our lives. There is however a tiny minority who are deranged lunatics and send threats or very occasionally act such as the man arrested on suspicion of a public order offence for Brexit violence when he as banging on the windows of Birmingham Yardley MP Jess Phillips.
With all of this in mind, it was somewhat of a surprise when a friend (who’s not in the ecommerce world) sent me a link to a notebook for sale on Amazon, sold by Amazon, and picked, packed and fulfilled by Amazon, with the cover title “My Little Book Of All The Brexiteers I Want To Stab”. The notebook is described as a journal/notebook to ‘put a smile on the face of anyone who is against Brexit’ for ‘all anti-brexit remainers and Pro-Europeans, Anti Leave British supporters who want Britain to remain in the European Union’.
A bit of tongue in cheek fun, or just another example of how toxic the country has become on the subject of Brexit? Currently there seems no end in sight with a Government that can’t govern, a Parliament who can take over the Order Paper at any time that they choose but who for three years have only been able to universally disagree with everything, political parties whos chosen course of action is a “Confirmatory Referendum” (for which, whether you are in favour or not, read “a please change your minds referendum”) and a Prime Minister who resolutely insists that the UK will leave the EU on the 31st of October with or without a deal even through MPs voted through a law requiring him to ask for an extension if a deal hasn’t been agreed.
It might be reasonable to expect Amazon to remove this item for sale. Whilst it’s understandable that third party sellers sometimes list offensive products on Amazon and naturally more difficult to police, it’s a surprise to see Amazon as the merchant of record in this instance. Whether you are for Brexit, against Brexit, want a different type of Brexit, or are just past caring, this type of tat has no place in Britain. It doesn’t matter if it’s a joke, it’s distasteful in the extreme, mistimed, and somewhat of a surprise to see Amazon as the retailer selling it.