Pages tagged "Freedom"
By Andrew Allison, Chief Executive
“All tyrannies rule through fraud and force, but once the fraud is exposed they must rely exclusively on force.”
I was reminded of those words by George Orwell after reading about Justin Trudeau's response to the truckers' protests in Canada, which has truly shocked the world.
The Emergencies Act replaced the War Measures Act. The latter was last used by Justin Trudeau's father, Pierre, after multiple bombings and the kidnapping and murder of a cabinet minister. In other words, a genuine emergency. But the truckers' protests have been peaceful, no matter how hard Trudeau tries to pretend otherwise.
if anyone or any business is suspected of being involved in the protests, under the Emergencies Act, bank accounts can be frozen without a court order. Ordinary citizens who have made small donations to help the truckers face this draconian sanction. The Government can force businesses to provide services against their will. The Government can now ban protests and travel.
Last week, Trudeau described a female Jewish Conservative MP of standing with "people who wave swastikas". If he wants to start using Nazi analogies, I am sure those opposing him can come up with a few themselves about him!
What is abundantly clear is that the ongoing restrictions and mandates in Canada have nothing to do with Covid. The fraud has been exposed and around two-thirds of Canadians want restrictions to end. Instead of dealing with the root cause of the protests, Trudeau is now ruling by force. Although I have never had any time for this woke warrior, I never thought two years ago that he would become a dictator.
This will not end well, and although the next federal elections are not due until 2025, unless Trudeau decides he is going to rejoin the free world, his days as the Canadian Prime Minister must be numbered.
Delivering the fourth annual Jillian Becker Lecture on Friday 4th February 2022, Nigel Farage delivered a speech about the greatest threats to freedom today.
After successfully leading UKIP and the Brexit Party, Nigel now has his own show on GB News. A great defender of freedom, he continues to be one of the most influential political voices in the UK. The lecture was held at the Victory Services Club in London.
If you are in a position to do so, please consider becoming a member of The Freedom Association and/or making a donation to The Freedom Association to help us in our work promoting our important ten core principles of a free society which are constantly under threat. It also enables us to hold similar events, not just in London, but across the whole of the UK.
By Philip Davies MP
Our freedoms are under a sustained assault at the moment. Not a week goes by it seems without some further curtailment to our precious liberty.
Even putting COVID regulations aside, the whole “Government knows best” approach to life seems to now be an ever-present feature of all governments and we have even seen Conservative governments doing things that Labour governments had not. One example is the legislation that is going through Parliament at the moment which will lead to a ban on daytime TV and online advertising for what the Government describes as “less healthy food or drink products”.
The Government also intends to prohibit the displaying of food considered to be high in fat, salt and sugar in prominent locations in some stores - such as at checkouts or aisle ends - and stop shops offering ‘buy-one-get-one-free’ types of deals.
The “less healthy” foods they are targeting not only include items that you might think the health zealots would have their eye on but also yoghurts, sandwiches and cereals. As I always say, it is not even food that is unhealthy in its own right - it is an individual’s overall diet and exercise regime that ultimately matter.
Surely we should be free to choose what we want to eat without any interference and parents should decide what is best for their children. That certainly used to be Conservative philosophy and not this nanny state approach.
Members of The Freedom Association thankfully still believe in limited government because that is one of the ways to best protect our freedoms. Big governments want to interfere all the time and big governments have a habit of growing and growing - because of their very nature - into mega governments, getting involved with more and more aspects of our lives. To make matters worse they then make us pay for all this with higher taxes – further reducing our freedom to spend our own money as we see fit.
Yet not only is this current government health strategy one that is anti-freedom, it is anti-business and also anti-consumer as people could end up paying more for their food.
The potential economic damage that these plans will cause to the food and drink sector is estimated by some to be in excess of £3 billion. After many businesses have been forced to shut or trade at limited capacity for months on end since March 2020, these plans add insult to injury for business owners.
Inevitably the group of consumers that could be hit hardest by the new measures will be those on low incomes - who spend a greater proportion of their incomes on food and drink than average - as an assessment made by the Government itself has accepted.
The Government is also issuing various diktats which restrict individual freedom with either little or no evidence that such policies even work.
That is certainly the case here as there is not much evidence that they will actually achieve anything – except add another nail in the coffin of freedom. By the Government’s own admission what they are proposing is not likely to make much of a difference. For example, the evidence note behind the banning of daytime advertising on the so-called “less healthy” foods says that the effect would be to reduce the calorie intake of children by 2.09 calories a day. Yes – just over 2 calories a day – the equivalent of about half a carrot a week!
The Government has said that they are concerned about children who are already obese having 500 calories a day more than they should so how on earth is 2 calories less going to make any difference? I really do despair at this justification for taking away people’s right to choose for themselves without interference.
As is often the case, there can also be unintended consequences of this kind of action. One example here is that without the money generated from advertising revenue, it will be more difficult for businesses to invest in reformulating to create healthier products. This would obviously be counter-productive to the Government’s intended strategy.
Also, all products which have the misfortune to be labelled “less healthy” will be subject to the same restrictions despite the fact that clearly some products labelled that way will naturally be better for you than others.
Another issue is mission creep. The more we give in to the health zealots, and allow the heavy-handed arm of government more control over our lives, the more freedoms they will seek to take away from us. They will not stop – just as they have never stopped in the past. The more you give, the more they want. The army inside government is also self-fulfilling – the more people there are tasked with public health the more proposals you will have to change the law to give us even less control over our lives because they obviously know best.
I, for one, am more than fed up with all these bossy, interfering, anti-freedom policies and their unintended consequences.
As Margaret Thatcher said, we want limited government “in which the State is servant not master, custodian not collaborator, umpire not player”.
I obviously believe that freedom is worth fighting for wherever it is being eroded and I will do my best in Parliament to oppose these measures whenever they rear their ugly head.
The Freedom Association is needed as much now as ever to, amongst other things, counter the anti-freedom march of the health zealots and to make the case for individual liberty and consumer choice.
Philip Davies is the Conservative MP for Shipley. He serves on the Management Committee and Council of The Freedom Association.
By Andrew Allison, Chief Executive
This week was supposed to be ‘Law and Order’ week for the Government. It started on Monday morning with Boris Johnson dressed in a police uniform on an early morning raid with Merseyside Police. Just four days later, his future as Prime Minister hangs in the balance after the worst week of his premiership so far.
There is a stench emanating from Downing Street. It’s not just the ‘do as I say, not as I do’ approach to Covid restrictions. That is bad enough, and has already claimed one scalp. What the British people cannot stand is hypocrisy. We were told to forsake a normal Christmas last year, but it appears it was business as usual in Downing Street. But let’s park that to one side, as egregious as it is.
The Government was praised by me and millions of others for having the courage to (eventually) ditch Covid restrictions during the summer. He was criticised by those addicted to lockdowns, but he held his nerve. Yes, Covid spread more rapidly throughout England, but we didn’t witness a spike in hospitalisations and deaths. Covid infected young people who barely noticed that they were infected. The vaccination programme has been a huge success and the vast majority of those who are most vulnerable to the worst that Covid has to offer have received a booster jab. I received mine last Sunday.
The Omicron variant appears to be mild. No-one in the world who has been infected with this new variant has died. The World Health Organisation has told us not to panic. The evidence from South Africa tells us not to panic. Even Joe Biden has said that we shouldn’t panic. But during a press conference on Wednesday that is exactly what Boris Johnson did, unless he announced more restrictions to our freedoms as a ruse to deflect other negative headlines: the so-called ‘dead cat’ strategy.
It is estimated that the restrictions he announced will cost the economy £4 billion a month. Businesses in the hospitality sector are already reporting cancellations in what should be the busiest time of the year for them. There is no support for them now - they just have to take it on the chin. During the traditionally lean months of January and February, these businesses may close.
Evidence from Scotland, for example, highlights that Covid passes do not reduce the spread of the virus. We know that even if you are fully vaccinated you can still catch Covid and can still pass it on to others. A vaccine protects the person who receives it. I didn’t get vaccinated in some selfless act to protect others. I got vaccinated to protect me. Covid passes are illiberal - I will not share my personal medical information with anyone unless they are treating me for a medical condition. Even though I am fully vaccinated, I will not enter any venue which demands to see proof. We are not a ‘papers please’ country. England shouldn’t and mustn’t move in that direction.
Boris Johnson has suggested that we have a national conversation about mandatory vaccinations. I will happily start one: the answer is no. The idea of forcibly injecting someone against their will fills me with revulsion. In the words of GP Dr Renee Hoenderkamp, "I'm 100% against mandatory vaccines. It goes against every medical ethic that I've ever been trained to." It is something which we have never done, and frankly, it plays into the anti-vaxxers hands.
According to ONS data, in the week beginning 15 November 2021, the percentage of adults that would have tested positive for antibodies is estimated to be 95.3% in England; 93.9% in Wales; 91.6% in Northern Ireland; and 95.0% in Scotland. We were told earlier this year that the roadmap to freedom was irreversible. Instead, the Government has performed an emergency stop and has engaged reverse gear. If now is not the time to learn to live with Covid, the time will never come.
Boris Johnson doesn’t have many allies in Parliament. His relationship with Conservative MPs is contractual: as long as he is electorally popular, they will continue to support him. In a recent opinion poll, more than half of the electorate thinks that Boris should resign as Prime Minister. He is rapidly (for a number of reasons) losing support from his backbenchers. In recent weeks he has marched them up to the top of the hill only to change his mind and make them look like fools. It is becoming increasingly clear that the only way he will get his Covid pass policy through the House of Commons next week will be because of opposition votes. This is unsustainable.
Two years ago, Boris Johnson appeared to be a man with libertarian instincts. Where has that Boris gone? The Number Ten operation is chaotic; he is not showing leadership; he is not across the detail; he is alienating the public and members of his party; he is pushing unpopular green and nanny state policies; he is presiding over a fiscally incontinent government; he is not behaving like a Conservative. Unless Boris takes a firm grip and changes his ways, he will not be Prime Minister for very long.
Responding to the Prime Minister’s statement this evening, Andrew Allison, Head of Campaigns for The Freedom Association, said:
“Although the Prime Minister’s announcement was expected, it was still disappointing. Covid hospitalisations are increasing, but the numbers remain low. There is an increase in those requiring mechanical ventilation, but again those numbers are still low. The number of people dying with or of Covid is a tiny fraction of what it was a few months ago. If the NHS cannot cope with these relatively small numbers, serious questions need to be asked.
“The Prime Minister has said that at some stage we are going to have to live with the virus. I agree. The virus is going to be with us forever. I agree with that, too. But the Prime Minister also said that new variants could result in the Government keeping restrictions in place after 19th July. That is not learning to live with the virus.
“The Government needs to trust the good sense of the people. We are not stupid. Those who are vulnerable have already been double-jabbed. Those who want to socially distance and continue to wear face coverings are free to do so. But those of us who want life to return to normal should be allowed to get on with it. The vaccination programme has been a huge success. If now is not the time for life to return to normal, I fear that the time will never come.
“Our freedoms must be restored.”
Andrew Allison, Head of Campaigns, was interviewed by former MEP, Bill Etheridge, on his Open Dialogus show. They discussed the state of freedom in the UK, amongst many other issues including the future of the Monarchy and constitutional reform.
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The assaults on our basic freedoms have to stop. We didn’t take back control from Brussels to hand it over ministers who can arbitrarily dictate how we lead our lives
By Andrew Allison, Head of Campaigns
To a certain extent the Government has had no option but to make it up as it goes along. None of us have experience of a virus like Covid-19. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. But the Government’s latest assaults on our liberties and freedoms must be challenged.
We are no longer a Parliamentary Democracy. That stopped months ago. But we were told that it wouldn’t be for long. All we had to do was stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. We did that in the tens of millions. Roads were deserted. All but essential shops were closed. Pubs, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, and bowling alleys were closed. We could only leave our homes to buy essential goods. We could exercise for an hour a day, but at least the weather was getting better, although for those of us with gardens, lockdown was far more tolerable than for those who live in blocks of flats.Read more
Prime Minister Theresa May signalled her desire for continued security cooperation with the EU in her Florence Speech. She has subsequently built on that desire in numerous speeches, including in Munich and at the Mansion House in London. But the UK government's willingness to coordinate with the EU should not be blind. Its response to a recent petition signed by over 14,000 people raises questions about whether the Government is willing to sacrifice our freedom in order to follow the EU's agenda.Read more
With a year to go until March 29th 2019, we still have the likes of Tony Blair trying to stop Brexit and reverse the decision of the British people. In letting these people dominate debate, we are missing opportunities to debate how we will make the UK better after we leave the EU, argues Rory Broomfield.Read more