We wear red poppies for remembrance and hope for a peaceful future (Royal British Legion). But the EU provides more than hope, after centuries of conflict it was created to ensure that it must never happen again. Am I wrong to be cynical about Brexiteers wearing poppies?— Chris Davies MEP (@ChrisDaviesLD) October 27, 2019
It's not often I'm lost for words in the debate about Brexit, but this tweet from the LibDem MEP Chris Davies has almost achieved that. What on earth was he thinking? Brexiteers and Remainers alike have worn poppies each year for decades. We do it to remember those who died so we could live in a democracy. And in a democracy we should be able to disagree politely without questioning the patriotism of those who take a different view. I don't think question the patriotism of Remainers - they voted to Remain for perfectly valid and patriotic reasons. And all I ask is that those on the other side treat those on my side of the argument with the same respect. Is that too much to ask? On the radio show, if a caller calls Remainer MPs traitors, I pick them up on it and ask them to think again about using such language. I trust Chris Davies's fellow LibDem MPs might do the same with him.
Mr Davies, of course, has form. He likes to be noticed and maybe I have fallen into his trap. Let us remember, when he was selected as LibDem candidate in Oldham and Saddleworth, his election campaign was controversial due to Davies openly campaigning while the incumbent MP Geoffrey Dickens was dying from liver cancer.
In 2006, Davies was forced to resign as leader of the Liberal Democrat group in the European Parliament, due to the tone of a series of emails he exchanged with a Jewish constituent. Davies accused a Jewish constituent of "wallowing in your own filth"; accused Israel of "posing as a victim" while pursuing "racist policies of apartheid" and had written "I shall denounce the influence of the Jewish lobby that seems to have far too great a say over the political decision-making process in many countries." Party Leader Sir Menzies Campbell called his comments "unacceptable" and he was forced to quit.
Mr Davies clearly has a problem respecting others. His comments on poppy-wearing Brexit supporters are a disgrace. I'm sure most Liberal Democrats would wish to disassociate themselves from them.