Anyone who is frightened of me is such a loony tune that the British voter will never let them succeed, says Jacob Rees-Mogg
Published: 06/03/2023- 21:00
Updated: 07/03/2023- 10:34
Freedom is under threat more than at any time since the Second World War.
Is this just hyperbole?
You may have heard about the “Prevent” programme.
Established to monitor people at risk of Islamist radicalisation.
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But this programme has gone astray. It was investigated recently by William Shawcross.
Prevent has been perverted by people who were embarrassed to say Islamist terrorism.
They failed to define this term in public.
In the eyes of the left-wing Establishment, “extremist” turned out to mean anyone who mocked their idea of the state.
Quickly, a programme established to protect the British public from a murderous threat became an exercise in politically correct control.
The Shawcross report found that Prevent monitored, and I quote, “a cohort of social media users it termed “Actively Patriotic and Proud” and listed a “prominent Conservative politician and former member of the Government” as being supposedly among figures “associated with far-right sympathetic audiences, and Brexit”.
That person was me.
What was it they found threatening?
My taste in double-breasted jackets?
· My distribution of extremist literature like the novels of PG Wodehouse with his dangerous characters like Gussie Fink-Nottle, Bingo Little and Oofy Prosser?
· My repeated wearing in public of cufflinks or striped shirts?
· This is both comical and sinister.
The list of potential red flags included those who enjoy the great film and the performance of Alec Guiness in ‘A Bridge on the River Kwai’, Sean Bean in the on-screen adaptation of Bernard Cornwell’s Sharpe novels, or even those who enjoy learning a bit of outdoors on a Sunday afternoon, with Ray Mears’ Bush craft seen as a step towards right-wing extremism. So beware, many of you out there, you’re a threat too, according to the blob.
Because what will now get us – you – on a list is doing what people in our country didn’t think twice about for hundreds of years: being proud of our country, upholding our traditions, in other words doing the things that keep our country alive.
It turned out anyone who doesn’t subscribe to the views of the people running Prevent were extremists, including those who gently mocked the state, e.g. Yes Minister. Except we aren’t are we?
The demands of the liberal establishment are so extreme that they have become anti-democratic. They do not trust the people to govern themselves.
A country that puts on lists people who are proud of it would leave space in public life only for those who hate it. This is what is unfolding today. But they will fail.
We are a good people, a kind people, a free people.
I may be a fusty old eccentric, but our traditions are not: parliament, free speech, sovereignty, freedom of association, patriotism, trust in each other: they are what will keep us free and prosperous.
What about the passing fads of our increasingly absurd liberal establishment – European Union, open borders, the suppression of national identity: this led to Brexit. They are already failing.
The power of “the blob” will not succeed. Brexit shows this, the exposé of prevent shows this, Nicola Sturgeon’s downfall shows this.
We are a freedom-loving country and anyone who is frightened of me and Yes Minister is such a loony tune that the British voter will never let them succeed.