I have been watching a programme on Abe Lincoln and the American Civil War and what is quite amazing is the role that the Southern press played in whipping up fear, loathing, hatred, racism and eventually treason.
Speechs were misreported, attacks on politicians encouraged, lies spewed out and racial tensions were stirred in an attempt to increase circulation, bulwark white power and protect slavery at any cost.
Now look at the Northern Ireland Protocol and the stories about it, remind you of anything?
This is enabling the Tory party which has just been hammered at the local elections, to claim something has to be done.
The attorney general has therefore, conveniently, found legal advice that the UK can tear up the protocol. I hear she sought external advice for this amazing judgement, which rings true.
Now, EU politician’s speeches are being deliberately mis-reported as threats, the deal which was the best available 2 years ago, we now learn was “forced on the UK”. International treaties signed under “coercion” are not valid, the NIP is now the Versailles Treaty of our age. The UK negotiators were given no choice but to sign.
All lies. Blatant, provable, shameless, dangerous and self serving lies.
And the media?
The right wing press push this agenda relentlessly, the BBC tries to be “balanced”.
Even appeals for calm and more rational talks by foreign politicians are immediately condemned as “demands”, “diktats”, “signs that no deal is possible”, “uncompromising” and a sure sign that they don’t understand what is at stake in NI.
All the evidence is that both sides do understand what is at stake, but the British government doesn’t care, so long as it can stoke up a Brexit battle to keep its core supporters engaged.
Decent British citizens must be in despair at a government that cares less for their country than foreigners do.
This won’t lead to a civil war but in taking on the EU and America at this time the government will do huge damage to the country.
Even once all this suicidal grandstanding has passed the Brexiteers will present this as the noblest of times, the fight for freedom that was betrayed and dedicate their lives to the Lost Cause. A Lost Cause which the press will whip up again and again.
Just as happened in the Southern states after they lost the Civil War. Then it was used to destroy black rights and freedoms, justify racism and lynchings.
Here it will be used to keep the fire burning, claim that Brexit was betrayed from within by the metropolitan elite, out numbered, never tried properly and went down fighting in a blaze of patriotic glory.
Like the South they will be lying, again. Like the Lost Cause in America it will poison the well of political debate for decades to come.