This week, the Bow Group was a co-sponsor of a major conference on National Conservatism, convened in Rome to honour the contribution to the free world of Pope John Paul II, President Reagan, and Baroness Thatcher.
Whilst conservatism — a philosophy present for all of human history — has unaccountably become controversial, the world’s oldest conservative think tank co-sponsoring a conservative conference in the eternal city seems to rank as predictable as the sun rising.
Not for the woke left, however, who deemed it an outrage that conservatives would attend a conservative conference. The conference was, baselessly, painted as “far-right” and “anti-Semitic” by BuzzFeed UK political correspondent Alex Wickham due to the presence of European leaders like Hungary’s Viktor Orbán and Italy’s Matteo Salvini.
None of the accusations were backed up by any evidence or facts (which are no longer in fashion in the media), but in our censorious age they still led to the censure of attendee Daniel Kawczynski, a Conservative MP, by the Conservative Party.
Boris Caves to Cancel Culture Mob, Punishes Tory MP For Going to… Conservatism Conference https://t.co/qSmggIHMK3
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 7, 2020
All things that were once accepted as obvious — the existence of men and women, the value of liberty, mathematics, science — are now seemingly not only questionable, but outright controversial.
There is often great truth in simplicity, but it is not a good sign that our society is drifting to a position where even the basic truths and concepts of simple children’s fables are no longer understood or acknowledged.
Perhaps this is because those stories taught to children for millennia have now been replaced by those that contain an acceptable quota of drag queens, owlkin, and those that “identify” as trans-racial on Wednesdays.
When I was a child, however, we read the great fable of the “Boy Who Cried Wolf”.
A village’s shepherd boy was tasked with guarding a herd of sheep. It was a boring task, and eventually, he became so bored he decided to entertain himself by tricking his fellow villagers. He began bellowing, “There’s a wolf, a wolf is eating the sheep!”
Pitchforks in hand the villagers streamed into the fields to fend off the predator. But no wolf was there, and the boy found his prank and the villagers’ dismay hugely entertaining.
For the next few months whenever he was bored he would play the same prank, and the villagers became ever more angry.
One day, of course, a wolf did come, and the boy’s cries went unheard by a desensitized village as it devoured both him and the sheep.
Robinson: MP Daniel Kawczynski’s Trial by Media is a Witch Hunt Against Conservatives https://t.co/vBWbzphtkl
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 6, 2020
Aesop’s fable is over 2,000 years old, but its truth is eternal. If every person not up to speed with the latest woke pronouncements from the coffee shop bloggerati is denounced a racist, a fascist, a NAZI — terms that once carried potent meaning and warning — they become diluted to the point of irrelevance.
The Bow Group have been accused of most of the empty woke epithets of isms, phobes, and ists, but never antisemitism. Perhaps this is because we have proudly worked with the Israelis and defend their right to exist against any force in Britain or the wider world, despite much criticism and attacks from the left and the very real anti-Israel forces that are ever on the march.
But those attending the Rome conference have now had the accusation of antisemitism made against them. Even the suggestion the Bow Group would tolerate being in proximity to actual antisemites without challenging their views is both untrue and deeply offensive.
Unlike “transphobe”, or whatever the latest label is hot off the keyboard of West Coast academics, antisemitism actually means something. Anyone with even a basic understanding of history would conclude that if you are an antisemite, you will and endorse the eradication of the Jewish people.
This is where antisemitism has led us in the past, and those who are of that mindset must wish or acquiesce to return to those darkest days of humanity.
It begs the question: why would a large collection of devout Christians and Orthodox Jews gather together to praise the Judaean-Christian foundations of the Western world (which, ironically enough, many leftist critics of the event wish to tear down and remake in their own image) alongside people so viciously opposed to those beliefs as to make the event unviable?
Could it be that the National Conservatism conference was not antisemitic at all?
This week’s Rome National Conservatism Conference was an important meeting of national conservatives from all over the world.
Sadly, it’s been sullied by disgusting attacks from UK liberals against Tory MP Daniel Kawczynski for participating.
A thread: Please read and share.
— Yoram Hazony (@yhazony) February 7, 2020
Last year I met with the conference’s organiser, Yoram Hazony, in Washington. He spoke powerfully on nationhood and the sacred nature of his nation — Israel.
It was his speech that convinced me to join him in promoting the ideas of faith, nationhood, and conservatism, that gave us all we have today, at his National Conservatism conferences.
Yoram, to be clear, is an Orthodox Jew who strives to follow the word of God as laid down in the Torah and Tanakh. These Jewish sacred texts are the foundation stones of Western civilisation and, alongside the Christian New Testament, a major influence in my life and the Bow Group’s work.
The media are asking us to abandon all logic and peer into a parallel universe, where soon you won’t just be asked to believe Israeli Orthodox Jews are organising antisemitic conferences to talk about the greatness of their faith, but also that Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is antisemitic, Israel itself is antisemitic, even the Torah is antisemitic.
When you abandon logic, reason, and evidence, all arguments and accusations are possible.
These are the ravings of minds so ensconced in clown world, or seeking to make a profit from lies, anything can be argued and its veracity is measured by weight of retweets rather than evidence.
What they are really saying is not that you are an antisemite, or sexist, or racist, but that you aren’t sufficiently signed up to the progressive agenda. An agenda which opposes all faiths; a tyranny, but a tyranny of nothingness.
The same people falsely pointing the figure of antisemitism today will be declaring the Torah homophobic tomorrow, in their quest to promote evangelical atheism.
Harris-Quinney: Scruton Was Hounded by Woke Mob and Fake Conservatives in His Final Months https://t.co/2Da0vihRIf
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 15, 2020
It is this utter hypocrisy and dishonesty that is bringing the reign of the woke mainstream media to an end. I am delighted that it was Sir Roger Scruton that broke their spell in Britain, at least for a time, but I am incensed it may have shortened his life.
Sir Roger spoke at the last National Conservatism conference we hosted in London, of course, and it should be no surprise that the same people that baselessly went after him are now going after his friends.
The millennial generation, of which I am one, is a stark reminder that history is quickly forgotten, and as Ronald Reagan, the man at the focus of our Rome conference, once said: “freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.”
I’m confident in saying Britain will never allow antisemitism to take hold on our shores, and indeed we will always fight against it on any shores.
But if it ever does take hold, it will be because any ability to warn against it will have been diluted down by the woke mob pointing to the people who are actually battling hardest against antisemitism, and for Israel’s existence, and crying wolf.
Delingpole: Boris’s Conservatives Bow Down to BuzzFeed and the Guardian https://t.co/0ce155TenJ
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 7, 2020
Ben Harris-Quinney is Chairman of the Bow Group.