Populism is a cancer that must be cut out from a democracy

Given that Trumps dishonest and often inflammatory and racist form of populist politics has caused a deep division within American society, I am certain many British people will be pleased to see the back of him.

Unfortunately, however many British politicians such as Johnson and Farage are cut from the same cloth as Trump. This is perhaps best demonstrated by their deceit and dishonesty during the EU membership referendum campaign which was often also inflammatory and racist in nature and caused a deep schism in our country which is yet to heal.

Sadly, we have also seen this malign form of politics more recently, with one example being the totally unwarranted claims about the EU made by Justin Tomlinson MP that I wrote about a few weeks ago.

Tomlinson claimed that EU was trying to split up the UK and prevent food being sent to Northern Ireland from the mainland. Not only do those claims lack any basis in reality, they were inflammatory and headed towards racism.

Despite being publicly challenged to provide evidence to support his claims, Tomlinson has not done so. In fact, all he has done is hit the block button on his social media accounts.
Populism, with its falsehood and often inflammatory and racist narrative has no place in democracy and needs to be cut out like the Cancer that it is.

→ Democracy is a continuous process…by Jon Danzig


This time last year, Nigel Farage and his new Brexit party wanted Britain to leave the EU without any deal, and without the British public having any further say.

But that’s not what Mr Farage said just one month before the EU referendum of 2016.

On 16 May 2016, the then UKIP leader told the Daily Mirror that if Remain scraped through with a narrow win, he’d want another referendum.

In those circumstances, Mr Farage predicted, there would be growing pressure to re-run the vote.

Just 38 days before the referendum, Mr Farage told the Mirror’s associate editor, Kevin Maguire:

“In a 52%-48% referendum this would be unfinished business by a long way.”

On the other hand, if Remain won with a decisive victory, such as happened in the first referendum in 1975, the game would be over.

Said Mr Farage, “If the Remain campaign win two-thirds to one-third, then that ends it.”

BBC News also reported at the time, ‘There could be unstoppable demand for a re-run of the EU referendum if Remain wins by a narrow margin on 23 June, UKIP leader Nigel Farage has said.’

It was obvious that before the referendum, Mr Farage thought that Remain would win by a narrow margin.

Just before polls closed on 23 June 2016, Nigel Farage said, “It looks like Remain will edge it.”

After the polls closed, he told a party of supporters that Remain had probably won. He added, “I hope I’m wrong.”

But even in the face of defeat, Mr Farage assured his supporters that the Brexit campaign would continue.

“Win or lose this battle, we will win this war,” said Mr Farage.

It’s clear that if Remain had won the referendum, Mr Farage and other Brexiters would not have given up. They would have carried on campaigning and called for another referendum.

Just as Eurosceptics did after they lost the first referendum in 1975 – by a landslide.

There is no shame in Remainers now continuing to argue the case for Britain to re-join the EU.

Just as there would have been no shame in Brexiters continuing their campaign for Britain to leave the EU if they had lost the referendum.

Democracy is a continuous process, in which no vote is ever permanent, and any vote can be changed by a new vote in the future.

Whatever side you are on, Remain or Leave, Labour or Tory, one thing is clear: losing a vote does not mean you have to give up what you believe in.

Isn’t that a message we can all agree with?

▪ Commentary and graphic by Jon Danzig

▪ Please re-Tweet:

▪ Link to Daily Mirror story of May 2016: