Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.

Bruges Group Blog

Spearheading the intellectual battle against the EU. And for new thinking in international affairs.

The Struggle for Liberty

3 minutes reading time (512 words)
houses-of-parliament-4444870_1920 Royal Republic

As we approach the Coronation we can expect much malign and ill-informed comment from people who do not understand our political system.

One reason for their ignorance will be the deplatforming of speakers who could put them right, such as the redoubtable David Starkey, shunned by the woke for their misrepresentation of an impatient and infelicitously phrased remark made in 2020. We have not yet become so totalitarian as to condemn to the gulag or the gallows anyone who says the wrong thing, but perhaps it is only a matter of time.

As Starkey points out in a recent video (c. 4:50 in), we are not an absolute monarchy but a royal republic. It took us centuries to get to this arrangement; and yet a generation after World War Two our country was effectually given away to a foreign power, by a Conservative government of all things. Then in 2016, another nominally Conservative administration (headed by someone who led the unParliamentary applause for Blair in the Commons Debating Chamber) thought it could cement us into the European Union once and for all, with a plebiscite intended to silence permanently a supposed tiny minority of dissidents slandered as 'fruitcakes' 'loonies' and 'closet racists' !

It is interesting (to put it mildly) to see those who voted for Brexit characterised as 'right wing' when some of the sturdiest defenders of our national sovereignty and Parliament come from the Left: think of Tony Benn, Dennis Skinner and George Galloway. Nor are those named easily lumped together as socialists in party political terms, or as having in common religious faith or the lack of it; nor indeed is the Labour Party itself always recognisably socialist or representative of the interests of the British labouring classes; perhaps we have the fey Blair and the 'intensely relaxed' Mandelson to thank for that. As to what Starmer believes or will do if he enters Number Ten, who knows?

Our problem is that whoever pulls the levers of government tends to regard it as their personal train set, to play about with it for fun and even wreck it out of devilment - or Godment: after years of bloody civil strife at the head of a Parliamentary army, what did Cromwell do but end by abolishing Parliament itself and instituting a reign more autocratic and oppressive than that of Charles I. Still, what would one expect of someone who imagined he had received a divine revelation of the kind that sometimes comes to depressives and failures?

An old friend, a deeply read history teacher, told me that his subject could be defined as 'one damn thing after another.' We have enough to do with curbing our self- and mutually-destructive impulses without government adding to our challenges and restricting our responses; and not just government but powerful commercial interests.

I hope to develop the theme of freedom in future pieces. What I would say at this stage is that Brexit, still incomplete, is only the first step in the unending battle between individuals and the Protean forces that try to ensnare them.

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Director : Robert Oulds
Tel: 020 7287 4414
Chairman: Barry Legg
The Bruges Group
246 Linen Hall, 162-168 Regent Street
London W1B 5TB
United Kingdom
Founder President :
The Rt Hon. the Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven LG, OM, FRS 
Vice-President : The Rt Hon. the Lord Lamont of Lerwick,
Chairman: Barry Legg
Director : Robert Oulds MA, FRSA
Washington D.C. Representative : John O'Sullivan CBE
Founder Chairman : Lord Harris of High Cross
Head of Media: Jack Soames