Thursday, May 10, 2018

One American Man’s Thoughts on Britain’s "Day For Freedom"

We are excited to welcome guest blogger Jamie Horan! He is insightful, smart, and will give you something to think about. Jamie is an American and a Philadelphia native. He's married with four kids, owns his own business, and finds time to think and write about the important stuff. He started writing as a youth when spending days ditching school and hanging out at the public library. Apparently, it worked for him - he has a fine mind and a gift with a pen. 

Recently, advocates for freedom of expression/speech in the UK, against the government's increasingly censoring "hate speech" laws - a completely subjective phrase - held a rally in London. Although liberal progressive news media called it "dangerous" (The Guardian was most ridiculously alarmist - Heaven knows, when those who don't toe the company line get uppity, world chaos might ensue!) and estimated the crowd from 2,000 to 4,000, many who actually attended put estimates at 10,000 to 60,000.  Speakers were an international assembly of the cream of the anti-globalist crop: Tommy Robinson, Milo Yiannopolis, Lauren Southern, Anne Marie Waters, Raheem Kassam. Although one progressive liberal article cynically pointed out that the speakers, while decrying censorship, stood and said whatever they wanted to - it ignored (or was too ignorant to know) that several of these people have been arrested for just that: speaking. What follows is Jamie Horan's account, and some astute thoughts. - LC

May 6th was a hot day in London.  Though I wasn’t there personally, I could see it on the faces of throngs of British Citizens gathering for what they called “A Day For Freedom.” A festive event in many respects, but with an object no less important than the reclamation of the dignity of free expression earned for them by their forebears, and taken from them slowly but ceaselessly over their lifetimes.

"Freedom of Speech" has only one meaning. In the United States it is codified in writing as the first item in the Bill of Rights. Our constitution would not have been ratified without it. Its main operating principle is that our government shall make no law which respects or restricts the following four things: 
  • Religion
  • Speech
  • The Press  
  • Peaceable Assembly by people to redress grievances with their government. 
Although she enjoys no such codification**, Great Britain provided the basis and the inspiration for each of these four items. I won’t bore you here with my thoughts on how it did so, but suffice it to say that without Great Britain, we wouldn’t have this language in our founding document.

For some years now, I and I’m sure many like me in the states, have watched the happenings in Europe, and particularly in England, with increasing alarm: the demographic slide into malaise; the lame-brained reactionary social policies foisted upon people by those in power (in many cases unelected);  the dangerously under-thought importation of the labor Europeans and Englanders alike failed to produce at home. We watched as the governments of these nations moved in directions opposite their polity and watched with particular disbelief as the polities bought the big lie, that economic security is more important than individual liberty. As it happens, that’s not  just wrong, but demonstrably and completely wrong. 

But then, in June of 2016, Great Britain gave us hope when she voted to leave the EU. It appeared that
once again, the She was rising to save Europe by example and not rhetoric. Millions of Americans were ecstatic at this outcome. Predictably though, the backlash began before the vote was counted, as those who bought the lie, and those in power who perpetrated the lie, sought by many means to soften or even erase the decision compelling them to throw off the lie. They haven’t finished.

Many very bright and thoughtful people continue to resist this effort by the political elite to mislead the people, and have made their positions known over the years. They did so on major news networks and television shows, in debate halls and on social media, and all too often in direct opposition to mobs of indoctrinated pseudo-intellectual, virtue-signaling imbeciles, themselves holding advanced degrees in stupidity of one type or another. As an outsider I watched these bright people eviscerate these infants on countless occasions, but knew and still know, that change happens on the ground and by the people who live there. You see, a listing ship is never righted by men in conning towers alone, but always it is righted by those on and under her decks. I waited, I watched, I wrote what I could, noticing here and there ground-level groups organizing around one type of flawed approach or another, but who always aimed toward the same objective: the refusal to cede ground on the basic human dignity enshrined in and carried forward by the freedom of expression.

Then it happened. Some young guy from Luton Town, later to be named as Tommy Robinson, decided to take the fight directly where the fight needed to be: not in the clouds where the educated debate the lofty ideals of democracy, tolerance and free speech, but in alleys and on the streets of his little town where the fight for his family’s future was much more visceral.  He was fighting the real fight - the fight to resist the tacit imposition of blasphemy law, a draconian system of control long thought to be dead in the West, and which had risen from the bowels of the massive importation of a poisonous ideology by the above-mentioned infants. I watched as he was castigated and marginalized as a far-right racist extremist, imprisoned, beaten, battered, conned and indulged - but unsurprisingly, not silenced. He’s not glib, or posh, or privileged. He’s just a young man who won’t abide the encroachment on the rights of his children in order to appease a coddled and abhorrently violent subculture in his town.

On May 6th, I saw this young man put together a gathering of what I could see as about 60,000 people. These people would remain standing for hours in the heat right in front of Whitehall, the seat of British government. There were numerous speakers who’ve gained fame in social media circles, and whom I’ve enjoyed for years, but my favorite was the first guy. His name, as I recall was “Inman.”  He wasn’t posh or privileged or glib, either.  He was the guy who fights the battles; the guy who rights the ship. He’s the guy the elected lean to when they’ve got themselves into something they’re not equipped to handle, and wouldn’t know where to start. Further, he’s the guy who knows there is no such thing as “pooled sovereignty.”  He knows that just as a nation, an individual is either sovereign or he is not. He‘s an Englishman, and like Tommy Robinson, a classic bull dog in every respect. 

Standing before him in the crowd were so many like him. They were of all stripes, men and women, old and young, gay and straight, etc. who considered this event important enough to attend in person. What they seemed to me to have in common was the need to physically demonstrate that they’ve just had it -  that they’re done being told by their elected officials, their media, their police, and so on, that their priorities are unimportant; that they and their progeny are no longer needed for the future of Britain, you know the one that they and their forebears built. They’ve had it with this new, less free Britain where their concerns are subordinate to the priorities of a significant, but simple-minded minority who have never built or had to defend anything at all. Had I been able, I would have stood there with them with an American Flag in one hand and a Union Jack in the other.

I tweeted recently that “there are none more dangerous than a free people compelled to silence.” I am bewildered that after alarming events - for many, in living memory - the political class in Britain and elsewhere seem not to know this. The trend in British Government has been toward this incremental silencing, electronic surveillance and other Orwellian methods of censorship for so long now, these simpmletons convinced themselves that it’s all okay. In fact, it’s not. No trade of liberty for security ever does what it is intended to do - namely, protect citizens - and always does what it was not intended to do - harm citizens.

It is astonishing to me that the mere mention of a critical thought of one protected group or another (of which are so many now) can land a British citizen in court or even prison. Worse still is the tendency toward hate crime law, a thought to me as an American so abominable as to be akin to national suicide. So damning a trend has this become that now London is arguably not British. This is not for its cosmopolitan composition, but for the failure of its leadership locally, and its parliament nationally, to stop their casual and incremental abandonment of the rights, will and traditions of British citizens. What this group did on Sunday and will undoubtedly continue to do, was to let their elected officials know that they’re just there to hold a place for them; they are there to move the ball for them - make what is already there better for them, and to my mind they did that. One after another, the Youtube stars and the bulldogs alike let the tepid houses of Parliament and the prime minister know that their Britain still is Great Britain, and they’re not going to see it taken from them. 

For Tommy, I recommend he take the next rally to Buckingham. It is, after all, Her Majesty’s government. For the elected, I recommend what they themselves like to call Active Listening, because although this group numbered in the thousands, they exist in the millions, - and frankly, the elected are running out of time.

**  Although Great Britain previously held law that protected the right to speak out against specific things like religions, this coding was abrogated by its adoption in 1998 of the European Convention's Article 10 into the domestic Human Rights Act, which contains numerous exceptions to free expression - many inherently vulnerable to a changing subjective interpretation. As of 2017, two major news outlets in the UK said that an average of nine persons per day were being arrested for violations of the law through online speech, and that of these five on average were convicted. Big Brother has at last come to Great Britain. 

Tommy Robinson's books can be found at Amazon