In some ways it pains me to write this because recent weeks have resulted in a huge transformation in my thinking that still leaves me feeling somewhat uncomfortable.
All my life I have advocated nothing but lawful, peaceful protest. Growing up I had faith in the structures that have long been positioned as offering stability, reassurance and comfort to the people. Slowly the scales have gradually fallen from my eyes and the reality has come into sharp relief. Peaceful protest is noble, decent, responsible, conformist and utterly futile. The fact is it is treated with contempt by the political class as while it gives people the illusion of involvement in the political process, the politicians can ignore the wishes of the people and press ahead with their own agenda.
Consider the demonstration before the Iraq war. Consider the Countryside Alliance marches. Hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated their opposition to government plans and what difference did it make? Secure behind their multiple layers of security, shielded from the people from which they supposedly hail and to whom they are supposedly accountable, the political class has absolved itself of its representative responsibilities and assumed the mantle of all controlling master of the populace.
We are in a different era now where historic events have come full circle. Having moved away from brutal suppression by the militia of dissenters and protesters in centuries past, politics became representative. In the 20th century qualities such as honour and decency were more prevalent and a peaceful protest made representatives take notice and often work to address the wishes of the people. It was a democratic age. Imperfect, yes. But there was a sense of service and responsibility which extinguished the appetite for violent protest.
But increasingly the conduct of the political class has changed swiftly to one of dishonorable self interest and personal enrichment. Despite the evidence of their own eyes, people are finding it difficult to accept that the compact between them and their representatives has been shattered. There is still a sense of disbelief at the change that has taken place and a reluctance to acknowledge the new reality that we no longer have representatives but a self selecting elite that does not care about the things that matter to us. We have moved into a post democratic era.
Where we previously had a choice between competing and rival ideologies and outlooks, we now suffer the charade of elections where the only difference between those standing for office is their faces and the colour of their rosette. Consensus politics and the so called centre ground deny us any genuine alternative at the ballot box. As such nothing changes.
The Parliamentary battles we see hyped in the media between politicians are the product of partisan party politics. The main three parties are all on the same page when it comes to the major issues. Whether it is EU membership, climate change, taxation and public spending, defence, or any number of issues, the only disagreements are matters of nuance rather than substance. The wishes of the people are simply ignored until it is time to publish a tissue of lies masquerading as manifestos before the electoral charade every 4-5 years. Once the election is over, it is business as usual and the disconnect from the public is re-established. Yet millions keep kidding themselves ‘the public’ can influence what the politicians do. They kid themselves that peaceful protests will produce results despite plenty of evidence to the contrary.
The student disorder of recent weeks has brought this subject to the fore. Regretably these protests were not about matters of real substance, such as our democracy, our liberty and our sovereignty. They were about a misplaced sense of entitlement and a wish to continue indulging their choices at the expense of taxpayers. The behaviour was therefore unjustified. The students positioned their protest ‘against the rich’ and the ‘establishment’. They spectacularly missed the point that they should be protesting in a targeted manner against the political class and the ruling elite. Their protest did not warrant or justify the violence we witnessed.
However I can now envisage violence being justified as a means to an end – not in order to demand money from the government, but rather demanding the restoration of democracy and representative governance. Not violence to attack the police, law and order. But rather to remove those in the ruling class who abuse the law for their own ends and subvert our country, handing it over to foreign control from underneath us without mandate or permission.
The rules of the game have changed. By making it impossible for us to remove the political clones from power through democratic elections and select a genuine alternative the political class has left the population with no option but to engage in civil disobedience and possibly direct action in order to ensure the our wishes are respected and the country is run in our interests.
Where the future of our democracy, sovereignty and liberty is threatened and peaceful protest continues to have no effect, direct action will be justified to protect and safeguard those perspectives before they are taken from us by the political class and the supranational bodies that are actively taking control of us without our consent. It is the political class that has brought us to this point and we should not feel ashamed of taking direct action where it is necessary to defend our hard won freedom, a freedom secured through the blood and sacrifice of hundreds of thousands if not millions of our countrymen over many years who forever deserve our gratitude and respect.