IN CASE you missed any of our ten most-read blogs of last week, here they are for you again – and well worth the read.
Daniel Miller: Who’ll grab the steering wheel from out-of-control Johnson?
Laura Perrins: The Great Reset in Downing Street
Ben Pile: Is Johnson quite mad?
The Conservative Woman: TCW poll reveals ignorance and exaggerated fear about Covid
Caroline ffsike: I complained about BBC gender madness. This is the smug reply
Andrew Montford: More Boris disasters waiting to happen
Laura Perrins: Conform with the Covid fascists – or die
Ann Bradshaw: Why ever did I vote for Carrie’s poodle?
Never have the lyrics (blasted in my local shop far too early) Do They Know it’s Christmas? been so apt. Not that the destruction of our liberty – and of much else – has been acceptable or proportionate at any other time this year (remember Easter and Remembrance Sunday were in effect cancelled too). But there is something rather symbolic about the rules being brewed up against mixing and hugging, as Laura Perrins pointed out in her article ‘Don’t let the doom-mongers cancel your Christmas‘.
Laura explains that those taken up by the Covid craze believe Christmas must be banned: ‘Christmas is the story of light coming into the world: all these doom-mongers spread is darkness.’ Well, never mind what these naysayers declare. Christmas will go on, Laura says. And quite right, too. ‘Spend time with your loved ones,’ she writes, ‘celebrate as you feel appropriate and ignore the Grinches. They peddle misery; we live in hope.’ Amen.
Kathy has chosen two articles which reveal the contradictory aspects of French political culture.
In ‘Call me racist but I say lopping off their heads is barbaric’, Jane Kelly points her finger at the stark difference between French and British on the question of free speech revealed by their respective reactions to the murder of teacher Samuel Paty. While the French stood shoulder to shoulder – from the Prime Minister to the trade unions – behind their free speech values, solidarity from Britain, where the Law Commission is trying to strengthen hate crime and hate speech laws, came there none. Not from a teaching union nor a religious body.
France has proved markedly less impressive when it comes to defending freedom from lockdown. Emily Sands-Bonin, a mother writing to us from Paris, describes how ‘accepting’ French citizens are living bound and gagged under national house arrest. She finds the contradictions of life in France in 2020 extraordinary: ‘I fill out an “attestation” to buy bread, illegal migrants roam the streets decapitating and cutting throats’. What’s happened to the French, she asks, once ‘so famed for their enthusiasm for picturesque, sometimes violent revolt?’ Do they now care only about their vacations or about retiring two years early? In fact, are they any more prepared to fight for their liberty than we are?
Margaret’s choice outside the top ten is John Ashworth’s ‘Britannia, not the EU, rules our waves’. John has been a model of tenacity in keeping the subject of fisheries at the forefront of Britain’s Brexit negotiations. To those who point out that the industry is a small part of our economy he replies that it would have been a lot bigger if Edward Heath had not given it away. The case he makes is unanswerable – we joined the EU club, and the other countries’ free access to our waters was part of the membership fee. We have now left the club so we are not liable for any membership dues. It’s as simple as that.