I have been giving a lot of thought today to the issue of the Farage call to march on the Supreme Court. I think it can be turned to our advantage in the following ways:
1. By personally attacking innocent (until proven guilty) members of the public who serve the nation as judges, the Daily Mail, Express, Sun and Telegraph have widened the debate well beyond "the EU".
>>> It is now about "RESPECT FOR THE LAW" and "DECENCY".
2. I hope that pro-EU people will march, but I would not "brand" the marches as being "against Brexit". It is always better to be "for" something. So I would rather say that they are:
- in favour of the RULE OF LAW (the legal profession, civil rights groups)
- in favour of the FUTURE (researchers, students, young people)
- in favour of values of TOLERANCE (LGBTI, anti-racism, and Mumsnet because UKIP is a sexist organisation too)
- in favour of BUSINESS because people need jobs, not waiting for years and years for trade deals ... (CBI, big companies, even bankers can join in) ... disclaimer - I am an economist by academic background, so take that as you will ...
- and in favour of WORKERS RIGHTS (unions) and ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION (environmental campaigners) because UKIP do not care about these issues.
3. There is a significant risk of violence if the marches are held on the same day, so I would absolutely AVOID that.
4. Therefore the marches should be THE WEEKEND BEFORE any proposed UKIP march so that people with jobs can march with their families if they want to.
5. And they should be SPREAD ALL AROUND THE COUNTRY.
>>> I think many people with children would be scared to travel to London for one big event with huge security (I would be), but I think they would be happy to stand in their local town square with many friends for half an hour with the local media present.
>>> I suppose I have in mind the way the French responded to their terror attacks. Short, highly dignified ceremonies across the country. I am not for one moment equating UKIP with terrorism, but the manner of the response of the French people was an example to the world, I think.
6. If all people have to do is stand together in their local gathering place (I am from Nottingham originally, where it would be Slab Square) and hold up signs saying "RESPECT OUR JUDGES" or "UPHOLD BRITISH VALUES OF DECENCY" or "BETTER TOGETHER" then I think people would respond.
Kind regards, Ian Vollbracht
PS You should know that I live in Italy and work in a research role (not front-line policy, like I used to do) at the European Commission. This post is personal and has nothing to do with the institutional position of the Commission. I am in no way involved in the Brexit talks or their preparation. I do of course therefore have a personal interest in the UK's relationship with the EU, but having been concerned about Brexit for months, what has incensed me are the personalised attacks in judges, which I abhor and condemn absolutely.