There are signs that people-power is beginning to flex its muscle. This coming weekend the World Freedom Alliance (WFA) is organising a series of ‘demonstrations for freedom and democracy’ – literally across the globe, with especially large ones planned for the major Western capital cities, including London.
The idea that governments can tell us to stay at home – and that we, as individuals, are unclean biohazards – is an idea that’s wearing rather thin. Freedom was hard won. Its demise isn’t being accepted by a growing number who just don’t really like the look of the new, reset, normal.
Many of us who have been opposed to lockdown as a policy response to a coronavirus have been doing as much as we can to register our view that liberal democracies just don’t do this kind of thing. It’s clear that agencies and corporations are pulling strings. The media (or, rather, the legacy media as activists in the WFA call it) hasn’t really been saying much about that. The BBC has become a propagandist. Other outlets are now so dependent on government advertising spend that their futures depend on not upsetting big brother.
So those of us with a tendency towards editorial ranting have done our bit by writing for the few independent media outlets that have had the courage to take a stand. I’ve written on my own blog, Medium, Spiked, The Conservative Woman – and have conducted pro bono work for some of the more active campaign groups. But there comes a time when new titles need to be spawned. And this is it.
The new era, as far as I’m concerned, isn’t about resetting. It’s about reclaiming: freedom of speech, freedom to associate, freedom to protest. Those are three of the most fundamental pillars of Western democracy and civilisation. Authoritarian governments lockdown and repress and force people to stay at home. Democratic governments don’t – or, rather, shouldn’t. When they have a manufactured excuse – a pseudo-pandemic – they seem to be able to do what they like.
But the police suppression of citizens claiming their right to protest was something of a turning point. The BBC’s Mark Easton implied as much in yesterday’s BBC news reports. And now attention has turned to parliament where, this week, MPs get to debate and vote on increasing police powers to clamp down on protest – and on the extension of the Coronavirus Act.
Like Easton I sense that the tide is turning. But we need to discuss what comes after the shock of the new: the new era after democracy was taken away from us without most people even noticing. Perhaps society was bought. Furlough payments, home working and cheap loan money has created a new dependent class. But the cost to the nation has been crippling – to the extent that many are even questioning whether money loses its ability to be a store of value (enter the negative interest rate).
Hence this site. I know that many have views and want to take part in the debate. Please participate. If you’d like to be published please send me your pitch ideas.