By Ben Kerrigan-
Protesters use of racial abuse against a white Mp should be a wake up call for parliament to address the ignorance and stupidity that causes sections of the British public to comfortably use racist and abusive language in public. Directing spiteful and vile anti semetic language at Mp Anna Soulbry, is the lowest these protesters can go.
They reveal the ugly side to our otherwise civilised society in many ways, but let down by a handful of demented individuals who give the country a bad name. Soulbry is not Jewish, nor is she known to have any Jewish blood , but this is no reason for the case to be treated as anything less than a racial abuse suffered by someone from an ethnic minority background. The racist word was deliberately chosen to shock and offend in the most painful way.
The abuse against Soulbry was linked to discussions over Brexit, and may also be a hint that the protesters believe she has connections with the Jewish community.Ms Soubry, who was at the time conducting an interview with the BBC said:“I just think this is astonishing, this is what has happened to our country.
“But let’s try and move on and be positive about things.”
Protestors also chanted slogans including “Liar, liar” throughout a live interview by Ms Soubry on Sky News. The former minister was shouted at, called “scum” and jostled as she tried to re-enter the Palace of Westminster. Raising her voice in an attempt to drown the chants, Ms Soubry told interviewer Kay Burley: “I don’t have a problem with people demonstrating and making their views heard. I have a real problem with people who call me a traitor or ‘Soubry, you Nazi’. That is a criminal offence and I’m a criminal barrister.
Ms Soubry, a criminal barrister, has said MPs should not tolerate vile abuse.
“I’m also a lass from Worksop, so I don’t get scared by these people or intimidated. I was a reporter during the miners’ strike, so I don’t feel physically intimidated. My difficulty is I want to respond and you mustn’t, so I’m really behaving myself.”
Ms Soubry said the incident was “seriously worrying”, adding: “I’m afraid the truth is that Brexit has unleashed these people. This is Britain now. This is not the country I know and love and these people do not represent our country and they need sorting out.” Scores of MPs have written to Met police Commissioner Cressida Dick, citing “serious concerns” about the “deteriorating public order and security situation” around parliament.
Ms Soubry later criticised police for not intervening, and called for the protesters to be prosecuted under public order laws. However, public order laws against racism in the Uk are shamefully weak, mainly because Mps and the judiciary believe the courts may be flooded with several cases of racism. There might be some point to this concern, but if the penalty for provable and undeniable racism was sufficiently high, it could serve as a deterrent.
Today, speaker of the House, John Bercow, described the abuse and harassment of MPs outside Parliament “a type of fascism” and called for a change of policing policy. The Metropolitan police say they are dealing with it robustly, but the case is also a reminder for Parliament to set stronger laws against racist and anti-semitic language. Only last year, it was revealed that MP Diane Abbott had been subjected to serious racial abuse on twitter- with not much done to address it. In this case, Ms Soulbry is not a direct victim of racism, but as a Parliamentarian , also has a duty to contribute to making strong laws to punish perpetrators of racial abuse.
Last year, Roy Larner, was videoed heaping racial abuse against a black photographer who he spat on, and he also said Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan was scum and shouldn’t be in the country. This was after he threatened an Mp in his office. He was given a weak 26 weeks suspended sentence, after The Eye Of Media.Com brought his case to the attention of the Metropolitan police. We asked the Attorney General to review the case, and it was sent back to the Court Of Appeal.
The Met said it was investigating whether any crimes were committed, after having received a third-party report of a public order offence on College Green.
College Green – the area opposite Parliament – is regularly used by media to interview politicians, as well as being a popular site for protesters to gather. Labour MP Stephen Doughty coordinated the letter to Met Police chief Ms Dick, which has been signed by at least 55 MPs. The cross-party group of MPs – which includes those both for and against Brexit – said many of the concerns had been “repeatedly raised” with officers and senior policing staff.
“We write to express our serious concerns about the deteriorating public order and security situation in and around the exterior of the Parliamentary estate including College Green,” the letter read.