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Pages tagged "David Campbell Bannerman"

WATCH our most recent webinar. What is the BBC for? Should it be defunded or reformed?

In a Freedom Association webinar held on Tuesday 4th May 2021, we discussed, “What's the BBC for? Should it be defunded or reformed?”

The panellists were:

Andrew Allison: Andrew is Head of Campaigns for The Freedom Association.

Nick Ross: Nick is a broadcaster, journalist, and campaigner. He became a household name in the UK launching breakfast TV, Watchdog and Crimewatch and flagship radio programmes including World at One, PM and The World Tonight.

Lord Moylan. Daniel was appointed a Conservative Peer in 2020. He was chairman of the London Legacy Development Corporation, deputy chairman of Transport for London, and chief airport adviser to Boris Johnson as Mayor of London. A lifelong listener of BBC Radio 3, he has described the radio channel as being "infected by a sort of relentless wokeness".

The webinar was chaired by David Campbell Bannerman, Chairman of The Freedom Association and a former Conservative MEP from 2009-2019, representing the East of England.

Click here to become a member of The Freedom Association. Click here if you would like to make a donation to support our work. 


What is the BBC for? Should it be defunded or reformed?

Please join us for our next webinar on Tuesday 4th May at 6.00 pm. We have a great panel ready to discuss, “What is the BBC for? Should it be defunded or reformed?”

Confirmed panelists are:

Andrew Allison: Andrew is Head of Campaigns for The Freedom Association.

Nick Ross: Nick is a broadcaster, journalist, and campaigner. He became a household name in the UK launching breakfast TV, Watchdog and Crimewatch and flagship radio programmes including World at One, PM and The World Tonight.

Lord Moylan. Daniel was appointed a Conservative Peer in 2020. He was chairman of the London Legacy Development Corporation, deputy chairman of Transport for London, and chief airport adviser to Boris Johnson as Mayor of London. A lifelong listener of BBC Radio 3, he has described the radio channel as being "infected by a sort of relentless wokeness".

The webinar will be chaired by David Campbell Bannerman, Chairman of The Freedom Association and a former Conservative MEP from 2009-2019, representing the East of England.

To register, click here


Method Behind the Madness

By David Campbell Bannerman, Chairman of The Freedom Association 

Has the world gone mad? A proposed assault on personal freedoms with a 6pm curfew designed to keep women safe. Not from some nutty fringe group, but from a Member of the House of Lords – Baroness Jenny Jones – and endorsed by the SNP’s international engagement spokesperson MP Hannah Bardell. 

Excessive policing of a vigil, not even a protest, but then with extremists hijacking it for their own extreme agenda. The supposed female arrested was actually an actress and activist. The police rightly had to protect Churchill’s statue from a mob shouting abuse at the police officers. Gatherings have been made illegal in these exceptional Covid times when we are meant to be all confined home, but enforced randomly it seems by Mayor Khan and Commissioner Dick. They stand back for BLM or extreme Left causes, and pile-in to those opposing lockdown or honouring the murdered Sarah Everard. 

Statues covering all aspects of our history are suddenly being damned or torn down with the say so of a few insistent and determined individuals, representing extreme elements in our society. Our great ‘traditional’ institutions – such as universities, the National Trust, English Heritage, and even Kew Gardens, are suddenly panicking and doing idiotic things such as questioning Churchill’s legacy at Chartwell or attempting to rename plants with potential slavery connotations. Potty indeed. 

A valued Duchess and her captured Duke are declaring war on the Royal Family with hearsay evidence and plenty of erroneous claims with the Media lapping it up and blasting it globally. The TV and radio are full of victims all being oppressed by the State, and demanding redress and special treatment, talking in strange therapist terms of ‘empowerment’ and ‘white privilege’ and ‘taking ownership of’, with presenters setting them up and cheering them on. People have been forced to resign for the tiniest remark seen to be a little controversial, or even ridiculously non-controversial on examination, just not in fad. Even the term ‘BAME’, which seems duly respectful, is suddenly out of fashion and inappropriate.

We now have a new Hate Crime Act in the United Kingdom, which criminalises thought and opinion at the dinner table; which encourages condemnation of adults by the words of their own children, as encouraged by Hitler, Stalin and in the pages of ‘1984’. Big Brother Yousaf of the SNP and his acolytes are watching and innocent speech and expression are now under serious threat in Scotland. The largest Arts Festival in the world with such diversity of expression, now subject to thought police. 

This is the politics of the mob. Of the Witch Hunt. As I learnt from TFA’s excellent ‘Cancel Culture’ webinar, it seems that social media is a big part of this, as it allows very personalised instant attacks on a person or organisation, for them to be ‘cancelled’ or shunned, in the old vernacular, like a virtual mob circling a house of an accused witch. No evidence of being a witch was needed to burn them in those days other than people feeling threatened. Twitter I know to be very direct and personalised – there is no real firewall protection apart from blocking. The SNP nats are adept at ‘pile ons’. 

It is tempting to dismiss this all as a mad, mad world. Perhaps even occasioned by enforced isolation due to Covid, but I fear it is actually not incidental but part of a sinister, deliberate and dangerous attempt to tear down our society, and destroy it from within. There is a plan. 

A cultural war is an easier battle to win than an economic or political one for Marxist revolutionaries. Because culture is malleable; it is not guarded in constitutions, in laws, in verifiable analysis and data. It is handed down from family to family, generation to generation, and is open to question and attack. Chairman Mao saw this in China – the Cultural Revolution may have inspired today’s events. This is a transatlantic movement as with BLM reciting US slogans and a US-style race problem the UK does not have. Favoured expressions of yesterday suddenly become unacceptable. 

Now the very term ‘woman’, incontestable before, is deemed unacceptable to use. Biden’s Democrats are seeking to outlaw its use there. The world must be turned on its head to safeguard the rights of binary people or transgenders. This is not to disrespect either group, it is just about maintaining a proper balance. 

What was thought acceptable 20 years ago is suddenly offensive now. Look at all those creepy warnings now put by the BBC on golden TV episodes that were mainstream and funny not so long back. Health warnings on ‘Fawlty Towers’ for ‘offensive content and language’; ‘Dad’s Army’ for its ‘discriminatory language’; and ‘Little Britain’ taken down because of one of the characters. Are snowflakes so easily offended?

Indeed, where has our humour gone? Monty Python stars are now lucky not to be damned or banned on university campuses. Everyone lives in fear of one ‘unacceptable’ joke ending a career or friendship. Political Correctness is a malign influence that seeks to make us all so self-regulated we all lose spontaneity or wit from fear of saying the wrong thing. The fear of damnation, with the Witchfinder Generals on the prowl. Hard-Left elements who seek to damn at the slightest error. We are becoming increasingly serious and contained. 

This regime is at its height now in universities, which routinely disrespect free speech and free opinion, and are marching through our institutions like that famous domino wave. The police have ‘taken the knee’ to hostile crowds. Big tech is politically correct to some extreme, rigorously now closing down or silencing all, seemingly beyond their ‘Woke’ sense of ethics. If you ban a President, as in Trump, who one may not agree with and take exception too, but is one of the greatest elected representatives in the free West, as Twitter has done, then who is safe? 

Then there is Hollywood. Highly insecure – Los Angeles is rich in fortune tellers – and obsessed with image and fortunes and fads, it is hardly surprising how Meghan Markle’s views are so well received there as she is a representative of it. ‘Me Too’ was all very well, but how many leading names in Hollywood knew about Weinstein, who was treated like its Royalty, but chose to stay silent because careers and money were at stake? Now awards ceremonies like the Oscars or BAFTAs are at risk of being degraded into a tick-box PC-driven exercise seeking to represent minority groups sufficiently. 

The intent of all of this in my view – the evil minds controlling this – is to cause chaos in our society, as the Frankfurt School proposed through critical theory, in order to make it weak, confused and introspective. That way it is easier to make it fall. 

They take valid causes – such as a vigil for a young woman tragically murdered after a late-night walk or for a flawed black individual killed unjustly by police choking (black lives do indeed matter) and they turn them into extreme anti-State, anti-Police, anti-White, anti-Establishment, anti-majority demonstrations. They are prepared to trample over the causes and people they purport to represent, and justify this all by being part of a wider Revolution – the destruction of Capitalism and Liberal Democracy. 

It is time we all saw the very real dangers in what is happening and come together to expose the reality and to fight it all the way. The Freedom Association should take a lead on such a fight back, and is well placed to do so. Let’s organise!


Join us for our next webinar - The British Union at risk: how do we fight back?


During our next webinar, The Freedom Association will address the subject of 'The British Union at risk: how do we fight back?' It will take place on Tuesday 23rd March at 6.00 pm. Confirmed panellists are:

Andrew Allison, Head of Campaigns for The Freedom Association

Rt Hon Baroness Hoey. Born and brought up in Northern Ireland, Kate served as the Labour MP for Vauxhall from 1989-2019

Rt Hon David Jones MP, Conservative MP for Clwyd West and a former Secretary of State for Wales

Brian Monteith, Council Member of The Freedom Association and a former Conservative MSP

The webinar will be chaired by David Campbell Bannerman, our Chairman and a former Conservative MEP. David has written this article about saving the British Union. 

You can register by clicking here. Places are limited. We hope that you will be able to join us. 


Defence and Security: the great new post-Brexit opportunities

In the latest Freedom Association webinar, recorded on 2nd February, we looked at defence and security: the opportunities post-Brexit Britain presents, and the challenges that as a country we face.

Click HERE to watch it 

The panellists were:

Colonel Richard Kemp: Richard served as an officer in the British Army from 1977 to 2006. During his years of service, he completed eight tours of Northern Ireland. During one of those tours he was wounded in a multiple terrorist mortar attack in South Armagh. He took command of British Forces in Afghanistan in 2003, although most of the last five years of Richard’s military career were spent in Downing Street as head of the international terrorism team at the Joint Intelligence Committee, where he was responsible for producing assessments on the growing global terrorist problem for the Prime Minister and the Cabinet.

Rt. Hon Julian Lewis MP: Julian is the Chair of the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament. Prior to that, he was Chair of the House of Commons Defence Committee from 2015 to 2019. During that period he supervised the production of more than 30 Inquiry Reports and consistently campaigned to renew the Trident nuclear deterrent submarines and to restore the Defence budget from two per cent to three per cent of GDP. Julian is a member of The Freedom Association, and has served as the Conservative Member of Parliament for New Forest East since 1997.

Tim Scott: Tim is the Treasurer of The Freedom Association and served as a Captain in The Queen’s Fusiliers. Tim was a Platoon Commander in charge of 25-30 soldiers, and served in Cyprus and Northern Ireland. Tim now works as a Business Development Manager.

The webinar was chaired by David Campbell Bannerman, our Chairman, who served on the Defence Sub-Committee at the European Parliament and also served in the Territorial Army (OTC).

To become a member of The Freedom Association, click here


Join us for our next webinar - Defence and Security: the great new post-Brexit opportunities

During our next webinar, The Freedom Association will be looking at defence and security: the opportunities post-Brexit Britain presents, and the challenges that as a country we face. It will be held on Tuesday 2nd February at 6.00 pm. Confirmed panellists are:

Colonel Richard Kemp: Richard served as an officer in the British Army from 1977 to 2006. During his years of service, he completed eight tours of Northern Ireland. During one of those tours he was wounded in a multiple terrorist mortar attack in South Armagh. He took command of British Forces in Afghanistan in 2003, although most of the last five years of Richard’s military career were spent in Downing Street as head of the international terrorism team at the Joint Intelligence Committee, where he was responsible for producing assessments on the growing global terrorist problem for the Prime Minister and the Cabinet.

Rt. Hon Julian Lewis MP: Julian is the Chair of the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament. Prior to that, he was Chair of the House of Commons Defence Committee from 2015 to 2019. During that period he supervised the production of more than 30 Inquiry Reports and consistently campaigned to renew the Trident nuclear deterrent submarines and to restore the Defence budget from two per cent to three per cent of GDP. Julian is a member of The Freedom Association, and has served as the Conservative Member of Parliament for New Forest East since 1997.

Tim Scott: Tim is the Treasurer of The Freedom Association and served as a Captain in The Queen’s Fusiliers. Tim was a Platoon Commander in charge of 25-30 soldiers, and served in Cyprus and Northern Ireland. Tim now works as a Business Development Manager.

The webinar will be chaired by David Cambell Bannerman, our Chairman, who served on the Defence Sub-Committee at the European Parliament and also served in the Territorial Army (OTC).

Places are limited. Click here to register.


No deal just became the most attractive way forward

By David Campbell Bannerman, Chairman of The Freedom Association

Very soon a choice will have to be made: whether to continue negotiating a trade deal with the EU or to end negotiations and to prepare for ‘no deal’/Australia deal/WTO rules.

The way the EU has behaved has made no deal much more attractive. What they have done is to narrow the gap between the advantages of a free trade deal, with zero tariffs and quotas, and that of working under WTO Rules, to such an extent that having such a thin deal laden with all sorts of restrictions and continued ties is the greater risk. This is encapsulated in what they call cheekily ‘Level Playing Field’ rules, but what are in effect the EU forcing us as an independent sovereign nation to follow the rules they set, including new ones we have no say or voice on. 

Now, if we had opted for an ‘EEA’ type solution such as Norway’s then we would be signing up to such an arrangement. Norway has to follow all EU Single Market legislation with no voice and little influence. It kicked up a fuss on one Directive – on Postal Services, but even that rare challenge was overturned. EEA also means no control of immigration, which is a no-no post our Referendum. 

This is why we went, after much debate, for a free trade agreement relationship with the EU because it is looser, more arm’s length, less prescriptive, and means we are out of the Single Market and Customs Union, with its rules.

I say this as someone who has pushed for an excellent free trade agreement – what I have called ‘SuperCanada’, that is bigger, better and wider than the EU-Canada deal CETA – for years now. It is what Boris Johnson has called for – he used my term ‘SuperCanada’, as did Jacob Rees Mogg, after I presented to the ERG on the proposals in September 2018. I wanted a SuperCanada deal not just for our benefit, but for that of our EU colleagues and friendly nations. 

This is basically what the EU concluded was the only deal possible right from the start post-Brexit, and has been offered three times – by the previous President of the EU Council Donald Tusk and by Mr Barnier himself.

On 7th March 2018, after coming to Number 10, Tusk said: “I propose that we aim for a trade agreement covering all sectors and with zero tariffs on goods. Like other free trade agreements, it should address services. I hope that it will be ambitious and advanced.” Ambitious means wide and with as few tariffs or barriers as possible.

And Barnier himself said, “It is possible to respect EU principles and create a new and ambitious partnership. That is what the European Council has already proposed in March [as above, 2018]. The EU has offered a Free Trade Agreement with zero tariffs and no quantitative restrictions for goods. It proposed close customs and regulatory cooperation and access to public procurement markets, to name but a few examples.

"On security, the EU wants very close cooperation to protect our citizens and democratic societies. We should organise effective exchanges of intelligence and information and make sure our law enforcement bodies work together. We should cooperate to fight crime, money laundering and terrorist financing. We can cooperate on the exchange of DNA, fingerprints, or Passenger Name Records in aviation to better track and identify terrorists and criminals. We are also ready to discuss mechanisms for swift and effective extradition, guaranteeing procedural rights for suspects.

"If the UK understands this, and if we quickly find solutions to the outstanding withdrawal issues, including the backstop for Ireland and Northern Ireland, I am sure we can build a future partnership between the EU and the United Kingdom that is unprecedented in scope and depth.”

Yet on 18th February 2020, the same Mr Barnier suddenly declared “we remain ready to offer the UK an ambitious partnership” (partnership in EU terms normally means embracing non-trade affairs such as defence, security, judicial cooperation or foreign policy). The EU has suddenly noticed the UK is geographically close to the EU after 47 years and has reduced the partnership “unprecedented in scope and depth” to “a trade agreement that includes in particular fishing and includes a level playing field, with a country that has a very particular proximity – a unique territorial and economic closeness – which is why it can’t be compared to Canada or South Korea or Japan.

So just after we had left the EU on 31st January 2020, the EU moved the goalposts and took away a comprehensive free trade agreement, instead offering a partnership agreement which was not comparable to the kind of FTAs the EU had concluded, and which Lord (David) Frost has cleverly kept the UK’s requests very closely aligned to. The EU weren’t willing to offer the FTA they offered 3 times before because we were now considered geographically close! No wonder several of our top Brexiteer lawyers, including Bill Cash in the Commons recently, regard this as ‘bad faith’ in legal terms, which could in theory invalidate the Withdrawal Agreement itself, as our payments and approach were grounded on receiving an FTA. 

So, it is bad faith and a huge misunderstanding by the EU of the realities of the balance of power in trading terms that has brought us to this impasse. As in the Referendum, the EU makes the cardinal mistake of believing its own propaganda: they think that because the EU nation economies put together are bigger than the UK’s, that they hold all the cards. This is supported by our mainstream media, such as the BBC.

But the reality is that the UK is just about to become the EU’s second largest trading partner after the USA. We are the world’s fifth largest economy, the same size currently as India; 20% larger than Russia. If tariffs are imposed in no deal, the EU will be paying £12-13bn a year and the UK only £5bn. Actually, although 43% of our exports go to the EU (57% to the Rest of the World notably), only 7.5% of GDP – of our economy – is exports of goods and vulnerable to EU tariffs.

The EU has a £95 billion goods surplus with the UK, mostly on tariff heavy agricultural and manufactured goods, and though the UK has a £13bn surplus in services, these don’t have tariffs on them, though are subject to licensing such as EU financial passporting, which UK institutions have already worked around. 

So, the reality is that the EU needs a trade deal with us more than we do with them. Not something you hear very often.

If we go to no deal/Australia/WTO Rules, then it is worth remembering that two-thirds of the world trades under WTO Rules, and that the USA and China export more to the EU than we do. So much for geography! Also, most countries do Free Trade Agreements from a WTO Rules position – the recent EU-Japan FTA took Japan and the EU out of a WTO rules position. 

If we are trading under WTO Rules, and the EU is hurting from £13bn a year tariffs, with job losses from these – remember the UK Market employs over a million Germans, half a million Dutch, 400,000 French people – then far from the UK rushing to do a deal, as the French arrogantly claimed, the EU would be under the cosh most. 

By the time a UK-EU FTA is signed – perhaps even finally that SuperCanada style of deal – the EU could have lost a huge chunk of that £95 billion goods surplus from ‘reshoring’ within the UK, from returning manufacturing jobs in food, drink, car parts, steel, trains and from ‘import substitution’ to UK producers or non-EU suppliers from all round the world, such as our Commonwealth, driven by less red tape and the massive surge in UK Free Trade deals Liz Truss has rolled out.  

Whilst we are not protectionist as an organisation, a resetting of the UK’s trading position with the EU, as President Trump reset relations with Mexico and Canada (replacing NAFTA with the USMCA FTA) might be in order, and allow us to redirect our trading markets and suppliers away from an EU focus. 

In short, we shouldn’t be worried if no deal occurs at the end of the year. It will affect only 7.5% of our economy directly by tariffs, and where those are high (many are low or zero rated anyway), those sectors can obtain legal support under WTO rules: farming directly and manufacturing indirectly, such as through aid for Research & Development. The EU Single Market has not suited us at all well since 1992, and a short sharp shock of rebalancing the trading figures would be no bad thing. 

So, let’s not allow the latest Project Fear hysteria to detract us. We should not be signing a deal that ties our hands on EU laws, keeps us in a regulatory straightjacket and seeks to seize our sovereign fishing waters under UN, not EU laws. Boris Johnson is holding firm on our sovereignty and we should stand right beside him and with those principles if we have to go to no deal.


WATCH a webinar we hosted in October: What‘s stopping a trade deal with the EU and is no deal better anyway?

Answering the questions were: David Campbell Bannerman, Chairman of The Freedom Association, a former MEP and international trade expert; Martin Howe QC, a leading barrister in the fields of intellectual property and EU law; Rt. Hon David Jones MP, Conservative MP for Clwyd West, and a former Minister of State at the now defunct Department for Exiting the European Union; Lee Rotherham, Director of think tank The Red Cell and a Common Fisheries Policy expert; and Barney Reynolds, a partner at Shearman & Sterling and the author of 'A Blueprint for Brexit: The Future of Global Financial Services and Markets in the UK' and many other publications.

The webinar was chaired by Alex Deane, a public affairs consultant and political commentator

 


How can we conquer cancel culture?

On Thursday 26th November 2020 we held a webinar asking how we can conquer cancel culture. The panelists were:

Andrew Allison, Head of Campaigns, The Freedom Association

Nick Buckley, CEO, Mancunian Way

Baroness Fox of Buckley, Director, Academy of Ideas

Toby Young, General Secretary of the Free Speech Union

The webinar was chaired by David Campbell Bannerman, Chairman of The Freedom Association

Click on the image below to watch it, and please consider joining us in our fight against those who wish to remove our freedom.