The Guardian reported this week that:
Zac Goldsmith, the former Conservative MP who is standing in a byelection having quit his Commons seat as a protest against the Heathrow airport expansion, warned that moves to block the UK’s exit from the European Union could also lead to anger, saying it would provide a boon for the far right.
He told LBC radio: “If we were to overturn the outcome of the biggest democratic exercise we have ever had in this country – 17 million people – if we put our fingers up to them, if we turn our backs on them, or ignore them, I think we would see the emergence in this country of the kind of far right extreme movements that plague the continent, but fortunately do not plague this country.”
So what Goldsmith is saying is that we must act in accordance with the wishes of the far right out of fear of the far right or the far right might get angry and threaten to take power to ensure that we act in accordance with the far right's wishes.
In this context two things are apparent. The first is that Goldsmith thinks that any discussion of the future international relations of the UK, including the possibility that still exists after what was just an advisory referendum that the best option for those relationships might exist within the EU, is unacceptable.
The second is that Goldsmith sees his interests and those of the far right as being similar.
The consequence is clearly that Goldsmith, who ran what many think was a profoundly racist campaign to be Mayor of London, is suggesting that no one should have the temerity to challenge the opinion of the right or the right will impose its will, like it or not.
You should feel threatened, because you are being threatened. Goldsmith is saying freedom of speech is no longer acceptable.
Goldsmith is wrong. And we have to say so.