I am attending the Freedom Association's conference on this subject at the Emmanuel Centre in Westminster today. I am here in the hope of recovering some optimism on this subject. As I wait for proceedings to begin I frankly despair.
It’s not a good sign that TFA had to conceal the location of the event until the last moment. Nor is the fact that, at 66 years old, I’m one of the younger people in the audience. It looks like a nostalgia-fest for what we’ve lost, rather than a rally to fight the good fight.
The usual suspects are here. David Campbell-Bannerman, TFA chair. Mark Littlewood, outgoing Director-General of the IEA. Baroness Fox of my home town in Wales, Director of the Academy of Ideas. Nigel Farage. Dr David Starkey. I’ve heard them all speak before. Their hearts are good, no doubt, but they (and I, in my tiny way) are the very people who — I fear — lost this battle before we even knew we were fighting it.
Hope springs eternal of course. I have never more desperately wanted to be wrong. Let’s hope I can report something to lift the spirits of the would-be free. Watch this cyberspace.