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Violent, threatening and unparliamentary language | Letters

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Comments that the prime minister should be stabbed in the front and the knife twisted were reported earlier this week (Calls for anonymous MPs to lose whip over ‘shameful’ violent rhetoric about May, 23 October). Why has the MP not been named? Why is this seriously violent threat not being investigated further? If a member of the public had said this, they would be in considerable trouble for inciting violence and prosecuted. The House of Commons press office and Conservative central office say they do not know who made the comment. This offence should not be covered by any kind of diplomatic immunity – are the police investigating?

At a time when the government is aware of the increase in knife crime, violence and misogyny, why are such comments allowed without further investigation? To say that it was a lighthearted joke would not be acceptable. Have we forgotten Jo Cox?

Could the Guardian help to ensure that this threatening comment is not accepted as normal in the House of Commons or anywhere else in the country and that the culprit is named?
Lynda Aylett-Green
Wensley, Derbyshire

Yvette Cooper doesn’t want to see the normalisation of violent language in public discourse. Too late. Even a cursory scan of the daily media confirms this. When words and phrases like “criticises”, “contradicts”, “vigorously disagrees with”, “remonstrates with” or “gives emphatic response to” would be apt, we are instead usually treated to “hits out/back at”, “attacks”, “slams”, “blasts”, “slaps down”, “fires back at”, “shoots down”, “jumps on” etc. Perhaps editors could curb their use of such metaphors and so take a lead in denormalising the use of violent language – perhaps thereby contributing to a reduction in violence itself. Somehow I doubt it will happen and perhaps I’ll get “kicked” for even suggesting it.
Nick Barton
Henstridge, Somerset

Good to see Suzanne Moore praising Yvette Cooper for calling out the bullying and violent language aimed by the “Tory boys” at their leader (G2, 23 October). Funny though, I don’t recall hearing a peep out of either when Jess Phillips was loudly threatening to knife Jeremy Corbyn “in the front!” (Report, 15 December 2015).
Brendan Coffey

We continually hear references from Brexiters to the sanctity of the “first” referendum, yet Bill Cash and the rest of John Major’s “bastards” never respected the huge majority who voted in favour of staying in the EEC in 1975 – that was actually the first referendum. The anti-Europe Tories have sought to undermine that ever since, so it sticks in the throat to hear the likes of Rees Mogg sanctimoniously preach the need to “respect the will of the people”. They bullied Cameron into a second referendum, so how can they argue against what in fact would be a third?
David Toft
High Peak, Derbyshire

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