Delingpole: Spartan? Spineless, Authoritarian Bully, More Like…

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 21: Conservative MP and Deputy Chairman of the European Research Group (ERG) Mark Francois arrives at 10 Downing Street on October 21, 2019 in London, England. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is pressing Parliament for a "straight up-and-down vote" on his Brexit deal, after he was forced …
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Backbench MP Mark Francois has paid moving tribute in parliament to his late friend Sir David Amess. Nothing wrong with that. What is very wrong is the bit that comes after: Francois has used it as an excuse to urge the government to usher in a nasty piece of authoritarian legislation he cutely wants to call David’s Law.

Pint-sized Francois told Nigel Farage on GB News:

‘We now want David’s Law so that it will be illegal in future for people to go online under a cloak of anonymity and call people everything under the sun.’

Oh we do, do we? But what exactly does this have to do with the appalling circumstances around the death of Sir David Amess, allegedly at the hand of an Islamic extremist?

Francois has said in parliament that Amess was ‘appalled by what he called the vile misogynistic abuse which female MPs had to endure online and he told me very recently that he wanted something done about it. So let’s put, if I may be so presumptuous, David’s Law on to the statute book.’

Yes, it is presumptuous, you angry little man. Worse, it is an egregious case of shroud-waving: using the high emotion surrounding someone’s death as a way to whip up support for measures which, on mature reflection, may do more harm than good and have more in common with government in China than Britain.

Sure anonymous online trolls are annoying. I’ve suffered plenty of vicious, personal attacks from them myself and have often wished that their real names and faces could be revealed.

But against that, we live in an increasingly authoritarian, censorious age where free speech is more and more constrained, especially for those critical of the globalist, eco-fascist agenda being pursued, inter alia, by the Boris Johnson regime.

Of course it would be nicer for ministers in Boris Johnson’s cabinet if they were able to get on with the business of crushing the economy, killing jobs, destroying freedoms,  and carpeting everywhere with bat-chomping, bird-slicing eco-crucifixes without the indignity of being called nasty names by horrid critics on social media.

Of course it would be good for Francois’s own career if, having marked himself as a member of the awkward squad in his days as a Brexit ‘Spartan’, he could suddenly prove himself to be a loyalist lickspittle who neatly seized the opportunity presented by his friend’s death to help the government on its mission to become more totalitarian.

But what’s good for Westminster is by no means necessarily good for the democratic freedoms of the people they supposedly represent.

Not so long ago, Francois used to pose as one of those doughty backbench MPs who understood this. An ardent and vocal Brexiteer, he gave the impression of being someone who fully grasped the traditions of liberty and sovereignty which made Britain so great. What has been fascinating and depressing, in the last eighteen months, has been watching all these supposed free spirits like the irascible Francois fall meekly into line with the government’s authoritarian agenda.

Surely, if any of these MPs had an ounce of spunk in them they would be resisting to their dying breath — just like the real Spartans at Thermopylae — all the illiberal, fascistic and unBritish measures that the Johnson regime is currently foisting on the nation.

Instead, most of them seem perfectly happy to go along with the ruination of their country, so long as they can keep their meaningless, ineffectual jobs and their generous, ring-fenced state pensions.

Note, for example, the renewal of the Coronavirus Act (some of the most sweeping authoritarian legislation in British history) was nodded through without a vote.

Never mind Islamist terrorists. It looks like the far bigger threat to Britain’s democratic freedoms are bloviating MPs like Mark Francois.

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