There is a dangerous phenomenon developing in politics right now.
It is the attempt by certain individuals and groups to shut down anyone who doesn’t agree with their point of view.
The latest relates to Brexit and dissent is no longer to be tolerated it would seem.
The referendum produced a result and Britain is leaving the EU. That is fact.
However that doesn’t mean that those who wanted to remain should all of a sudden pack up their opinions and lock them away in a trunk never to be heard again.
There is a ‘winner takes it all’ mentality.
Remain voters’ opinions on what is important and what deals we should aim for are as important as those who voted to leave.
There is a difference between respecting the result and forcing all those who voted otherwise to bow down before the Brexit altar and praise Nigel Farage.
There was no right or wrong in the referendum, only opinions and arithmetic.
The latest hounding of opponents can be seen in the attempts to oust John Bercow as the Speaker of the House of Commons.
Mr Bercow’s crime is he dared to tell students that he voted to remain in the EU as he thought it was the best for economic and other practical reasons.
He has, say the angry mob, broken the rule of impartiality hat his position demands not only now but even after he leaves office.
It comes after he opined that Donald Trump should not be allowed to address MPs and Lords in Westminster Hall.
So a motion of no confidence has been tabled and Mr Bercow’s future as speaker hangs in the balance.
The rule of impartiality doesn’t mean he is not allowed to vote in elections or referendums. That would be ridiculous.
He stated his opinion after the event so he was not able to influence the outcome at the time and nor did he attempt to.
Mr Bercow had an opinion, of course he had an opinion it would be strange if a man in his position didn’t.
He kept it to himself during the referendum and he has been impartial in chairing the debates in the commons since.
Those who think he has overstepped the mark only do so because he disagrees with their point of view.
Had he said “personally I voted to leave” and “of course President Trump is welcome to come and spout his racist and sexist message” would there be such an outcry from the same people claiming to be upholding the parliamentary rules?
The test is how he conducts himself in the House of Commons and maintains his impartiality in overseeing proceedings in the chamber.
Perhaps he should have been more careful in his comments.
It is a strange tradition to expect a politician to completely keep his views to himself and no longer have an opinion.
In a world of politics which is becoming more polarised and filled with dangerous and divisive rhetoric, maybe we need voices like Speaker Bercow who can hold an opinion but still act impartially.