I apologise in advance to non-UK readers, as this post will have no relevance, and even less interest, for you.
I caught a post the other day. It alluded to Brexit supporters being brainless morons. I know, you thought Brexit was done and dusted, but it still rankles here. This particular one has been a common refrain for the last five years.
If your politics is to the right, some very prominent people supported Brexit. Even somebody like Margaret Thatcher came to want out of the EU. Somebody like Enoch Powell (as right as they came) argued against the EEC way back in 1975. Plus of course, many Conservative MPs of the recent past have supported Brexit. In the same vein, Major, Cameron, Heath… all of them wanted to be inside the EU.
And if your politics is to the left, again, people Like Michael Foot, Tony Benn, remember Eric Heffer? They all wanted out. Far from being “extremists”, out on the edge, Foot actually became Leader of the Labour Party, and Benn came within a cat’s whisker of being elected Deputy Leader. If you think Brexit was about immigration, these people had sounder views on immigration than you or I!
And ex-Labour PM Tony Blair, not to mention current leader, Keir Starmer, have both been vocal supporters of the EU.
I mean, many of these people, far from being brainless morons, actually played a large part in shaping their respective ideologies. So, before anybody condemns people as idiots, they should find out the various reasons which made these people think as they did. So it cuts across the divide.
Whatever their view, some people are idiots, no doubt about it. But on both sides of this argument, there are reasoned principles. We should be tolerant of people who might not agree with us. It’s kind-of an easy refrain, but I think when we uttere it, it shows us to be the idiots.