Lisa Nandy unfortunately receives tons of abusive emails, which unpleasantly greet her each morning. I thought I would write her something nice.
Here you go, Lisa:
I note with dismay the abuse that you have been subjected to via email, of which you have chosen to share some examples of on Twitter. Your tweets have been [re]published by the national media on a number of occasions, prompting me to contact you today, mainly to offer an apology.
Although I have no discernable responsibility for the actions of the deplorable individuals who have sent you inexcusably abusive emails, and I owe you no apology on their behalf, I still want to say sorry. I want to say sorry, because I have been outspoken with my opinions about Brexit - albeit without being abusive - so I must shoulder my share of responsibility for the fractious nature of the discourse, both public and private.
Sorry that you have been subject to such horrible abuse.
I am very sorry that you have been a victim of such hateful, horrible, abusive emails, and other malicious communications: unequivocally wicked, wrong, contemptible and unforgivable. Nobody deserves to be spoken to in the way that you have, in person or via electronic communications. I am sorry.
I read your blog post on labourlist dot org, dated October 22, and it seems incomprehensible that you should have drawn such ire from people, when your arguments are so convincing; I detected not a hint of so-called 'Lexiteer betrayal' if I may be so insensitive as to paraphrase some of the abuse to which you have been subjected.
Furthermore, your argument that we have reached a deadlock, and a general election is the only way to resolve the situation, was compelling and convincingly presented.
Having been motivated to write to you and offer an apology on behalf of the abusive individuals who have sent you the deplorable emails you shared, and the many others who which fill your inbox with vile words, insults and ad-hominem attacks, I took the time to investigate your position on Brexit. It surprised me to learn that you are far from being a so-called 'Lexiteer' which I was led to believe, knowing that you had been a target of so much wrath and abuse.
Our opinion on the matter of how to proceed regarding Brexit, a 2nd referendum, and a general election, are only subtly different. However, in the eyes of many of your abusers I suspect they would categorise me as a remainer and you as a Brexiteer, from their black & white point of view.
If you might indulge me one tiny suggestion, which I hope might surprise you. You have written and said that the idea of a 2nd referendum would be "absurd" in your constituency. You said that a 2nd referendum would be the “final breach of trust with the working class”. I respectfully suggest that for representative democracy to implement a deal is the "absurd" idea, because the referendum was presented as a form of direct democracy. The apparent return to representative democracy, having given working class people a taste of direct democracy, is a dreadful "breach of trust" in my opinion; a betrayal.
It strikes me that many of your Wigan constituents who consider that they "won" the 2016 referendum, were not aware of the technicalities of representative democracy. Most of your constituents believed that MPs like yourself would immediately implement the outcome of the referendum. Vast numbers of your constituents were dismayed to learn that the UK still remained a member of the EU on June 24th 2016 - they had expected that the result meant the UK immediately exiting the EU.
I know you must think me patronising to say any of this to you and your constituents, but we need look no further than the popularity of The Brexit Party to find clear evidence that a very significant proportion of your pro-Brexit constituents would be extremely unhappy to leave the EU with a deal.
We know that securing parliamentary support for 2nd referendum has proven almost impossible. However, this was always on the same question of whether to leave or remain in the EU. If we ask the question "deal or no deal" then remainers will always choose an orderly exit with a deal, thwarting those who wish to leave with no deal. Thus, the only 2nd referendum which might find enough cross-party support in parliament, would be one which offered deal, no-deal and remain. In hard-Brexit areas, like Wigan, there are MPs who are prepared to represent their constituents' desire to leave the EU without a deal - this is how a 2nd referendum can be secured.
I know it sounds highly irresponsible, to risk the possibility of a disorderly exit without a deal, but it seems to me as if this is the only fair and democractic way to resolve the situation. I know you have written and spoken regarding your concern about the far-right factions, emboldened to campaign on a platform of xenophobia and hate. I share your concerns, but I fear that to further anger, disappoint and frustrate the people of Wigan, by disallowing a seemingly undesirable (to some) but perfectly valid option, is corrosive to their trust in democracy.
This is a lengthy email, which I doubt you will have the time to read, but I am very afraid that we might see attempts to replace representative democracy with populist direct democracy, and lose the safeguards which the Westminster System has afforded us for hundreds of years. I am terrified that the proverbial baby might be thrown out with the bathwater, for the sake of allowing the public to choose from the complete gamut of viable and implementable options, in a binding referendum. We should give voters just enough direct democracy to restore faith in the existing systems, and heal some of the damage, even at the risk of an undesirable "no deal" victory.
I respect your choice to support a deal, instead of interminably blocking any Conservative deal, and I respect your opinion that a general election could resolve the deadlock. However, I must insist that a significant proportion of the electorate is presently not represented: namely those who want to leave the EU with no deal. Although I personally believe "no deal" would be foolish and irresponsible, we must offer it as an option, along with a deal and remain, in a 2nd referendum.
Given the clear demonstration by the British public that they are not swayed by the sage advice of experts, and the wisdom & guidance of experienced parliamentarians, it seems essential to permit an option which parliament does not wish to offer, but it must offer if it wishes to restore faith in democracy.
That the Westminster System operates representative and not direct democracy, contrary to the widely misheld beliefs of a vast swathe of society, is at the root cause of much of the dangerous and escalating tension. Again, I am sorry that you have been the victim of unforgivable abuse. Please don't think that I am in any way justifying the abhorrent actions of those people who send you horrible emails, and otherwise treat you despicably.
Sorry again, and I trust this finds you well in the morning!
(lifelong Labour voter, remoaner & pragmatist)