On the 3rd of November yet another shake up, in the rocky ride that has been Brexit, came about. After a case put forward by a group led by Gina Miller, the High Court ruled that PM Theresa May triggering Article 50 via Royal Prerogative was unlawful. In fact, the fate of Brexit must be decided by MPs. You know, the guys who we elected to represent our constituencies, to represent us? Who we put our trust in to make political decisions on our behalf? Because they know what they are doing? Yes, them. The sovereignty of Parliament, which Vote Leave champions argued that the EU had stolen from us, won the day. Whether this will actually change whether Brexit goes through is another matter in itself. Nevertheless, it’s a nice reminder that we are a country where our democratic system works to prevent people going crazy with power.
But it’s the aftermath of this ruling, that some British newspapers thought was appropriate, that needs to be dealt with. No matter what side of the closely-divided fence you sit on, I invite you to take a look at them with me. Because the outright manipulation, the demands to light a torch… They just aren’t messages the British media tends to deliver. We tend to be better than that. But these are the kind of messages being put across at the start of the Brexit road, whilst we are already in such a dangerous amount of political unrest:
We were transported back 50 years with The Daily Mail’s headline that ‘an openly-gay judge’ ruled with two other judges. Read that back. Since when did judges have to be ‘closet-gays’? Did The Daily Mail miss the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the 60s? Did they miss the gradual acceptance that led on from that, the leaps and bounds to the point where homosexuality is considered a norm by most? I don’t know. But what I do know is that being openly gay is not an insult. In fact, it’s being homophobic if you think it is so. This will start getting people to think that is acceptable to throw those kinds of slurs at people again. It will take away so much progress our society has made, if the media continues to encourage this. But if you know The Daily Mail, once it latches onto one horrible message, it will string it out for all it’s worth if the people lap it up.
The Sun, hilarious wordsmiths as usual, ran with ‘Who Do EU Think You Are?’. This rhetorical question is aggressive, demanding. Who are three of the top judges of England, to challenge the ‘will’ of the almighty voters? The voters may want a lot of things. Lots of different voters want lots of different things, in fact. That’s the way it’s always been, but for important political decisions beyond every day grasp, it is Parliament that have always had final lawful say. And whilst yes, the voters were told they were to fully decide, it has been decided that the referendum alone shouldn’t have given Theresa May the power to evoke Article 50. It has to be done by the book that has always been used. For The Sun to make people even question one of the three estates, as if Brexit has automatically given people the right to mob-rule for everything, is ridiculous.
These messages that have been portrayed have been done so in a way to evoke anger in the British people. The people are angry and confused at the moment, and don’t need to be pushed any further. After a referendum riddled with false facts and hopes from both sides, we cannot afford to have the unrest in our society made any worse. The attacks and the divides are hurting everyone in so many different ways. So please, don’t let the British media coerce you into lighting your torch. As if they do, Britain will soon be up in flames.
By, Eve Smallman