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Toby Neal: This madness couldn’t happen here, could it?

Read the latest column from Toby Neal.

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Fencing is placed around the exterior of the Capitol grounds, Thursday morning, Jan. 7, 2021 in Washington. The House and Senate certified the Democrat's electoral college win early Thursday after a violent throng of pro-Trump rioters spent hours Wednesday running rampant through the Capitol. A woman was fatally shot, windows were bashed and the mob forced shaken lawmakers and aides to flee the building, shielded by Capitol Police. (AP Photo/John Minchillo).

Today Washington, tomorrow the world. Or at least Westminster.

The storming of Capitol Hill? It couldn't happen here. Well, it could, actually. Because it is a fact universally acknowledged and all that, that what happens in America is mimicked at some point in the UK.

So perhaps it is our good luck that this week's events in America did not happen during the height of the Brexit tensions and the contentious debates in Parliament.

There are some very broad parallels if you want to look for them. The US presidential election was quite close, as was the Brexit result.

With the U.S. Capitol in the background, workers place fencing around the Capitol grounds the day after violent protesters loyal to President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Congress in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci).

After the referendum hundreds of thousands of people marched through the streets of London calling, in effect, for the Brexit referendum result to be ruled invalid as in their view it had been based on a big fraud.

This, they argued, was perpetrated on the British voters as a result of lies and deceits from the mouths of the leading Brexit campaigners such as Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage.

The protesters saw themselves as true champions of democracy, and called for another referendum, which they described as a "people's vote."

"Nearly all the polls show that now people want to remain in the EU. We feel that we are voiceless,” said one of them.

Last year there was a crowdfunded attempt in the courts to have Boris Johnson prosecuted for lying during the campaign, which led to a summons being issued for him to answer the case in court (later quashed).

A supporter of President Donald Trump puts water in her eyes after U.S. Capitol Police officers deployed tear gas at demonstrators outside of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

There were also protests on the streets, albeit very much smaller, from Brexit supporters who, amid the tortuous twists and turns in the Commons, were angry that the "will of the people" was not being respected by MPs and that Brexit was being thwarted.

So they saw themselves as true champions of democracy too.

Had the two groups, Remain and Leave, chosen to join forces and storm Parliament, that sense of being guardians of true democracy would have been the common ground to bind them, although presumably they would have assailed our temple of democracy from different directions to reflect their differing ideological viewpoints.

The UK is a unique bridge, a Little America on the edge of Europe. You don't think we're a Little America? Well double down on that. I don't even know what double down means, and am irritated every time I hear the expression, but it is just one exhibit in a body of evidence demonstrating the American influence and mind control of we Brits which is far more profound than the mere use of language.

A hurricane approaching the Florida coast is a television news story here in a way in which a typhoon approaching the coast of the Philippines is not. The killing by police of George Floyd in America resonated here in a way the shooting by police of 16-year-old Nathaniel Julies has not.

You haven't heard of Nathaniel? QED.

Young Brits are brought up with American trends, fashions, and cultural values they acquire through American television, music, and American-based social media.

So you guys, you can see what's happening, and what's probably going to eventuate (another American expression).

And as we can see what's coming at some point down the line in copycat fashion, it may be an idea to strengthen the locks to some of the offices in the Palace of Westminster.

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