COMMENT: It’s time to draw the line over threats to our MPs
We all have our own personal opinions about our members of Parliament – love ’em or loathe ’em – but when it comes to vile online abuse directed towards them it’s time to draw the line.
As Caroline Dinenage said, watching security service personnel fitting a panic alarm in her bedroom was a ‘sobering moment’.
But why has it come to this?
Simple really. There are legions of keyboard warriors sitting at home who seem to enjoy logging on to various social media outlets and firing off hate-filled messages laced with obscenities and threats to MPs. And, of course, the vast majority of them hide behind nicknames happy they will almost certainly never be caught and brought to account.
The whole scenario seems to (perhaps somewhat understandably) have become worse since Brexit has turned into a major shambles but of course that’s no excuse to plague our MPs’ lives with such awfulness – and even bomb threats have been made.
It’s great that our nation has always upheld the notion of ‘free speech’ but this can always be interpreted the wrong way and when racism rears its ugly head then things get worse.
Fareham MP and former Brexit minister Suella Braverman has had to suffer racist threats and has even had to resort to legal action in some cases.
Every adult has the right to vote and if, say, you vote Tory but a Labour candidate gets in then so be it. That’s democracy, but at least you’ve had your vote. Accepting the majority decision is an integral part of living in a democracy.
PCC leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson said the level of abuse was putting many people off standing for public office. That’s a shame.
There is no easy solution but this vile abuse must be stopped and the culprits punished.