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Opinion Politics

On Liberty and The Left

Prior to lockdown and the various paraphernalia of anti-freedom Covid laws, I’m not sure that Dr Naomi Wolf and I would have as readily agreed on so much. Covid response policies have brought together many from disparate ideologies who are united in our contempt for authoritarianism – and our belief that Covid is a handy excuse for squeezing the will out of the people by the government.

On the eve of the House of Commons vote to renew the Coronavirus Act it’s clear that MPs should be voting for or against the restoration of freedom – because this draconian legislation is one mighty large sledgehammer. The United Kingdom is moving inexorably towards a command economy.

We were promised by the government that when the vulnerable were vaccinated we’d have our liberty restored and that emergency legislation would be removed. But the end-game seems to be getting further and further away. Increasingly this seems to be less about a virus and more about a new way of life outside of normal democratic processes.

Naomi has been long associated with liberal politics and civil rights in the United States. Her latest venture is Daily Clout.

Having come from the left, she recognises that the so-called liberals are letting themselves down badly by not standing up for liberty and freedom, on either side of the Atlantic. I don’t agree with everything she has to say. And I’m more from the classical liberal tradition than a US-Democrat style liberal.

But her analysis is absolutely correct in terms of how easily administrations seem to have lapsed into the type of authoritarianism we only associate with China or other totalitarian regimes. We may not be quite there yet but it may not take too much longer unless we do something about it.

The conversation starts with a focus on her assertion that the UK’s lack of a bill of rights makes tyranny more possible. She then discusses the origins of the loss of liberty (with coronavirus as the excuse). And then she touches on how corporatism is potentially killing our salvation – capitalism. Finally, she provides some useful tips for protesters. Enjoy.

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