Local Authorities must play their part in defending freedom of speech and religion

Oct 28, 2020 by

by Gary Powell, Conservative Home:

The many readers of ConservativeHome involved with local authorities, as elected Members, as officers, or as employees in any other capacity, should not underestimate the potential influence we have in protecting the basic freedoms that underpin British values: freedoms that are now under serious attack and that will continue to be eroded in a most egregious way, unless a solid and sustained conservative resistance to that attack emerges soon.

Local authorities and local Conservative associations reflect a microcosm of what is happening to the Conservative family nationally, with many officials and activists clearly too scared to express in public, the conservative political opinions they actually hold. Even as much as “liking” someone else’s post on social media containing an opinion at variance with the current leftist orthodoxy is often viewed as too risky. Indeed, it really is risky, as the Labour MP, Rosie Duffield, discovered when she dared to “like” a post by Piers Morgan in which he had suggested that “people with a cervix” should actually be called “women”. The Salem rent-a-mob went into a frenzy, with demands that wicked Ms Duffield should have the Labour whip withdrawn and suffer party expulsion.

If we Conservatives allow the barnpot Left to set the political agenda and impose their own ideology as the unassailable cultural norm, then we seriously diminish the responsibilities of officials elected to local and national government. Political government involves much more than administrative practicalities. We should also be ensuring – particularly as conservatives – that we are acting robustly to protect the rights of women, the safeguarding of children, and the inviolability of individual liberty. This requires us to speak out courageously and challenge zealots and conformist opportunists who trample on the basic human rights of our citizens. If the Conservative Party no longer has the stomach for defending basic civil liberties and the rule of law, then we can be sure another party on the Right of the spectrum will eventually emerge to take on that responsibility, arriving as the adults, committed to restoring order and to offering protection from the bullies who have been kicking us around with impunity.

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