“freedom is not for the faint-hearted”

I tweeted this last night:

I was referring to this recent post of mine, where I suggested we focus our efforts on battling in favour of an all-encompassing Bill of Rights (in order to re-embed in our failing liberal society the ways of thinking and doing we are losing), instead of pursuing piecemeal rearguard actions against foolish lawmaking.

I woke up to the following reply this morning:

The account which tweeted this reply currently reminds us: “FREEDOM IS NOT FOR THE FAINT-HEARTED”.

I’m not sure I’m faint of heart, though the accusation could be fairly levelled.  I’m just not sure that we’re being clever enough with regard to those who know the ins and outs of British governance and business.

Meaning, that is to say, those who would repress through entirely legal – though morally unacceptable – measures.

I feel they press buttons, every so often.  To test the temperature of our resoluteness.  Instead of sitting down at a table to talk things through, thrash things out, negotiate a way out of the roadblocks, they toss a thought grenade every so often into the maelstrom of public debate – just to keep us on our toes, keep us fearful, keep us nervy and out of sorts.

This isn’t freedom.  This isn’t what democracy should mean.  I know the price of the same is eternal vigilance – but vigilance is one thing; stress deliberately applied to breaking-point quite another.

Democracy shouldn’t be easy, but neither should it be life-threatening: neither physically nor mentally speaking.

So.  Yes.  I suppose I would agree.  Freedom isn’t for the faint-hearted at all.  But playing a perpetual game of snakes and ladders at the feet of lapdogs of kings and queens isn’t really my perfect idea of working with and alongside a grown-up concept of democratic representation.

Much more important than fighting ridiculous 23-page “amendments” like the latest attempt at the #snooperscharter – even as the latter continues to be important, I guess, for those who do not tire of such piecemeal actions – is to kickstart a coordinated campaign to implement that culture I mention in my piece on constructing a wider Bill of Rights.

Only when the people we elect to govern us understand they are there to serve us, as civil servants in the finest tradition of public duty, will we ever shrug off this grandstanding of democracy.

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