Together in Manchester

Every year the major political parties hold their conferences in the Autumn.  In 2020 lockdowns and extended Covid regulations disrupted things. But in 2021 in-person conferences are back. But still the spectre of yet more regulations hang over the proceedings. Covid certification is now required for certain critical workers to keep their jobs. There’s a real prospect that vaccine passports may be required to take part in large events, or even to eat in restaurants.

The continued attacks on personal freedoms and liberty has seen the launch of a new campaign called Together.  Launched just a few weeks ago Together has organised events at all the major political conferences. I took the opportunity to see what they were doing at the Reform Party and Conservative Party fringe.  Watch the video in full below – featuring Richard Tice, Leader of the Reform Party; Alan Miller of the Together Campaign; and Francis Hoar, the Barrister and Human Rights Lawyer.

The heart of the campaign is the Together Declaration which, in early October 2021, has had around 100,000 signatories. The conferences provided an opportunity for leading parliamentarians, journalists and business-people to sign the declaration…a declaration that includes the following words. 

“The glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel — ‘15 million jabs to freedom’ to protect the most vulnerable — soon faded as the goalposts kept on moving. When ‘freedom day’ finally arrived, the accompanying announcement of vaccine passports meant the prospect of returning to ‘normal’ had once again slipped away.

“We are human. We know this makes us seek safety above everything else. We seek it for ourselves, we seek to protect those we love, and we strive for a safe world for our children — and sometimes rules and restrictions can help us to feel safer.

“But being ordered to produce medical certification at pubs, clubs, theatres, on public transport, at schools, universities, or anywhere else, is unwarranted and risks deepening the inequalities already present within our society.”

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Losing my Faith in Secularism

We tend to kick against things when they try to control us. I remember doubting any religious faith I had when I was coerced, forced even, to attend church – or worse, Sunday School – when I was still in my skinned-knees years.  Sunday School was, admittedly, on Sundays but it sure wasn’t school. It involved a surly bunch of kids being talked at by some dour church lay-person who quoted, in monotone, tracts from the bible. It was interminably dull.  My chosen method of relieving the tedium was to ask difficult questions like, “where is heaven in relation to the stratosphere,” or “so who made God prior to him making the universe?”.  The answers were rarely adequate – and so began my journey to worshipping at the altar of secularism.

And so it has been since, until recently. I even got involved in launching the Conservative Humanist Association at the Conservative Party Conference in 2008 – with celebrity atheist Professor Richard Dawkins. The room was packed for the launch. 

Like most secularists I was of the view that society had little need for a moral codex provided by the church. While many in the Conservative Party were still of the view that we needed to respect our Judeo-Christian values, I felt that the church (especially the Anglican Church) had moved so far, politically, to the left that it had lost all credibility.  Society, I thought, and specifically the Conservative Party, would protect our freedoms and would create a political-based set of ethical standards to which we could all adhere.

As it turned out I was both right and wrong. I hadn’t fully bargained on woke, nor the Covid cult.  Nor had I fully appreciated the extent to which most people have become incredibly intellectually lazy. They expect to be told how to think and behave. And they do so readily. In effect, we have infantilised the adult population. There has been no agenda behind this. Rather, the process of ideas being replaced by messages has been happening for decades – and I’m, to some extent, to blame (or people like me). 

Marketing – the process of getting people to desire things and part with money to have those things – is a huge part of the British economy. For a while I even worked with the research division of WPP Group – where we researched the hell out of our target audiences so that we understood, in incredible detail, what messages we needed to use to sell to them. And soon political parties wanted to do this. Marketing messages were boiled down, condensed, tested, re-tested, and put to work.   And even God-squad politicians like Tony Blair realised that it was probably best to keep the messaging generic to keep as many on board as possible – to have an optimum addressable market. Politicians became simply parrots repeating the chosen lines, ignoring interviewer questions, and journalists became ‘gotcha’ merchants who sought aberrations from those chosen lines. 

Aldous Huxley, Author of Brave New World, discusses how people can become hypnotised. But the awake, or partially awake, are our salvation.

Woke emerged from this world. It probably emerged, showed its ugly head, with Cool Britannia – Blair’s revolting pastiche of national pride, consumerism, celebrity and American style schmaltz. He wasn’t one for soundbites, he claimed, while having the hand of history on his shoulder.  Offense was avoided. Electorates were maximised. Ideology was deemed toxic. Diversity was in (to maximise the market).  And to keep costs down it made sense to reuse campaign tools that had been proven in other similar markets. Populism was out, popularity was in.  In short, no one demographic was allowed to define the discourse – because that would mean that the electoral arithmetic wouldn’t work.

And because businesses were using the same techniques, corporatism and government started to look and sound very similar. Corporate-sponsored woke was born.  

In George Walden’s book, The New Elites, he argued that one could barely have squeezed a wafer-thin mint between Blair and Cameron in terms of policy positions or delivery. Both cultured faux common-man parlance, pretended to be interested in football and other common-people things, and built the apparatus of secular campaigning around them.  Cameron started the process of ‘greening’ the Conservatives (the ultimate secular-globalist nonsense) by making the Conservative logo a tree – dumping the Union flag in the process. 

But the secular/globalist golden egg is, without doubt, Covid. The so-called pandemic has allowed Western governments (including the UK government under policy-bereft Johnson) to embrace the version of secular government that is inevitable when the population ceases to realise what ethics are any longer: a command economy. 

Secular command economies can only really emerge when there is an emergency excuse to create them. The virus – handily provided by the Chinese – is anthropomorphised into an enemy that we must attack. The language of war is mustered, so that we can attack the enemy in the air, on the beaches, never surrendering. This requires everyone to rally together, not questioning the corporatist solution that’s mustered. And even when it’s clear that the solution – vaccines, masks, lockdowns and the like – doesn’t actually work (because the emergency is nonsense to begin with), non-compliance can be made to look like repellent anti-social behaviour. In short, a new cultish secular religion has been created that is beginning to look and feel like the command-based People’s Republic of China.  Even normal democratic processes have been suspended, such is the nature of the emergency.  And everyone must be subject to the commands – even children. The King has no clothes, but no-one is prepared to say. 

In short, secularism has turned into a monster religion.  And because some of us, innately, don’t like religions or regulations or to be told to do certain things (because they are counter-intuitive and freedom-suppressing) we end up rejecting them – but only some of us (those who aren’t hypnotised).  Nevertheless, the cultists are everywhere all of a sudden. 

Inevitably people will wake up.  But only a small percentage of our society (probably the best educated – not necessarily academically – and free thinkers) is currently awake. The awake will need to prod the middle group of partially awake, but drowsy.  But in meantime, the ruling elites are drunk on power and are running amok.  We’ll need new leaders to make the changes and restore liberty.  Because there’s every possibility that the Cultists will create too much mayhem for order to be restored.  The government and their cult-members are the problem – not the faux-pandemic. 

And I, for one, may have to embrace those Judeo-Christian traditions out of which our freedoms emerged. Uncomfortable, but true.

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Freedom Back?

New era freedom

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.