This is a transcript of a speech Laurence Fox recorded last Friday for the Reclaim Party’s YouTube channel.
I WAS watching Margaret Thatcher on YouTube this morning – I’m a bit odd like that, I would have been less than six months old. But it struck me how much she said then resonates today.
She spoke of a Winter of Discontent, and last week, with grim echoes of those dark days of 1979, the lights almost went out in Britain.
We were only saved by the firing up of the old black gold-burning power stations – coal – on the back of which this country lurched to the forefront of the industrial revolution. And the fashionable hatred of which is forcing our great country into self-flagellating retreat.
It feels like we are retreating in many ways. This once free and liberal democracy is unrecognisable from the nation we left behind at the end of 2019, when in those few fear-driven weeks we lent the government our freedom, which we are yet to see return. Shops closed for ever, empty streets, illnesses caught too late, suicide, domestic violence, child abuse, all casualties of this government’s toing and froing.
Four times we were frightened and coerced back into hiding under the bed. While we were being told to protect the NHS, Covid, so deadly to the elderly, was being sent into our care homes. The staff who so bravely laboured on in such difficult circumstances will lose their jobs on November 11, Remembrance Day, if they wish to exercise their God-given right to bodily autonomy. Remembrance Day. We will remember.
And yet as the threat of the pandemic thankfully recedes, so does our government’s desire to return our precious liberty; instead it looks to reach its hands even further into our lives and choices and into the most sacred of all unions, the family.
The West is divided. With such profound change foisted upon us, a return to the optimism so many felt in 2019 seems a long way off. So much has changed. The pandemic was the catalyst, but the problems were festering long before. Our precious culture and the great heroes and heroines who epitomised and defined it lie judged in their graves, with no right to reply, by a lazy and affluent and idle generation whose carbon footprints already vastly outweigh our parents’ and their parents’ combined. Transfixed by their smartphones, reaping judgement on the world.
They are taught from the first day they enter school, in many cases, that Britain is a vile place and they are dogmatised into the self-flagellating, self-loathing hatred of the nation that one day they will have to thrive in. Offence archaeology, the end of history, judging those who come before by our own far superior values, the emergence of the incidence of skin pigmentation carrying far more weight than content of character: something that the civil rights movement were spat at and beaten for on that bridge in Selma now divides us even before.
And yet we are told by our leaders, from our own PM, what are future is going to look like, whether we like it or not, all part of that new scripture of Building Back Better.
Our Prime Minister is currently in New York with a US President fresh from making the Taliban the best-equipped army of its size on earth, leaving $80billion of the machinery of death – only $30billion shy of what the US has contributed in total military assistance to Israel since its inception in 1947.
Boris is talking about his next wonderful idea – Zero Carbon. I have a nagging mistrust of the concept of Zero anything. It smacks of ideology ahead of common sense, reason and rationality.
The incident of the emergency use of coal shows us just how fragile the basic maintenance of society can be, and how easily it is undermined when attacked by zealots from within.
California and other ideologically driven areas of the world have suffered similarly with brown-outs as a regular occurrence, as people cannot turn on their AC in 100 degree heat and the poor are forced to gather in Walmarts to stay cool. Ours is the other side of the coin. Where California needs to be cool, Britain needs to be warm.
So we walk into this winter cautiously, with the promises of no more lockdowns, no more school closures and no more draconian restrictions on our privileges. When did they become privileges, instead of rights? These are promises we have heard before and promises that have been broken before.
Is this all part of building back better? The real problem here is that there is no Opposition. There is no mainstream political party saying ‘these freedoms that hundreds of thousands have so selflessly fought for and died for, they’re worth something’. Our current opposition are just the government in a different coloured jump suit.
With an over-reliance on Russian gas and wind turbines that don’t work if the weather isn’t right and aren’t particularly green, those that aren’t fortunate enough to be able to buy themselves out of Boris’s green zealotry and Kermit the Froggery, these people may be faced with the choice of whether to be warm this winter or whether to be fed. And that’s before they know whether they will even be allowed to leave their homes to run their businesses and go about their daily lives.
It sometimes feels to me that the West is committing suicide. That the West has given up on itself. But I don’t believe that. I believe Britain and its people can be reminded that we are a strong nation of warm, welcoming and tolerant people and that the divisive undermining of our shared culture will do none of us any good whatsoever. For me the greatest tragedy in these past years has been the growing suppression of free thought, enquiry and expression. It is through speaking that we learn what we think and we discover together how to solve problems.
So, we have a choice. We either step out on the fabled road to building back better at huge cost to every one of us – one that will disproportionately affect the poor and those from minority groups, the very people these politicians should be looking to protect, or we stand together and we live. We use our voices freely to Say no to these restrictions, to stand up against authoritarianism.
The people must be free to speak their minds without fear, learn to trust again our institutions who seem so hell-bent on being decolonised and purified of the sins of the past.
Now is not the time for politics. It is a time to come together for a warm and hopeful winter, for the family Christmases, and the happy new years. It is not a time for another winter of discontent.
You can watch the speech here: