Delingpole: Bonfire Night Is Cancelled. Where Is Guy Fawkes When We Need Him?

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Remember, remember, the fifth of November,

The Gunpowder treason and plot

I know of no reason

The Gunpowder treason

Should ever be forgot!

Today is Bonfire Night, and as every British native knows, this is the night where we traditionally celebrate the fact that on this day in 1605 Guy (Guido) Fawkes and his fellow conspirators failed in their attempt to blow up Parliament.

Most of us (Fawkes’s fellow Catholics are an exception) were brought up to think that Fawkes was a baddie (which is why we burn him in effigy on bonfires every year) and that his plot was an undesirable one. This year, however, we may have cause to reconsider our position.

One reason why we might all be feeling more sympathetic to Fawkes is that for the first time in the life of anyone born since the War, Bonfire Night has been effectively cancelled by the government. During the First and Second World Wars, Bonfire Night was cancelled for the understandable reason that the fires might illuminate the paths of German bombers. Today it has been cancelled for the rather less understandable reason that the government has chosen to cancel pretty much any activity that doesn’t involve sitting at home watching government propaganda adverts about how if you don’t wear a mask you’ll kill granny.

People often complain, rightly, about the stupendous economic and social costs of the second lockdown that Boris Johnson’s increasingly totalitarian regime imposed this week. They talk about the cruel, unnecessary, avoidable deaths from cancer diagnosed too late or from suicide; they talk about the costs to the Exchequer so astronomical that it will inevitably lead to massive confiscatory taxes — or worse, to a Great Reset involving a Universal Basic Income in which our property rights and freedoms are stolen from us by the kind of remote technocratic elite which makes people like Dominic Cummings big in their trousers; they talk about the jobs needlessly lost and the once-thriving businesses wantonly destroyed.

But it’s the cumulative loss we’ve suffered this year of all the little pleasures, spitefully and unnecessarily snatched away from us by the government, which may turn out to be even more dangerous to our well-being.

One of these is being able to take exercise in a gym.

Who would ever have predicted that at the beginning of the year? That a government — a Conservative government, supposedly, not one run by some deranged Marxist like Jeremy Corbyn — would decide to ban us, for our own health and safety, from working out in a gym?

Or that the police — so useless at doing things like preventing underage girls being “groomed” and raped on an epic scale by organised gangs of Muslim men over a period of decades or stopping kids stabbing one another to death in the streets — should be so brutally determined to enforce this ban?

Here’s some footage from this morning which purportedly shows the boys in black, going in mob-handed, to close down a gym and fine the owner £1,000 and anyone using the gym £200:

This is not normal. And it’s not right.

Nor, on a more topical note, is the way the government is banning us for engaging in one of the best-loved traditions in our seasonal calendar: Bonfire Night.

Anyone with children knows what an important annual ritual Bonfire Night is. Sometimes you go to one organised by your children’s school, sometimes by your local authority, sometimes just a small family event with friends: it’s a trade-off between intimacy and spectacle. Obviously, at bigger events you get more drama because they can afford more spectacular fireworks; but family/friends events are probably more fun because you don’t have Safety Nazi marshals telling you can’t go close to the bonfire and you can’t light sparklers…

But this year, obviously, you can do neither. Bonfire Night is cancelled — along with pretty much everything else — on orders of the most draconian administration since Oliver Cromwell and the most incompetent since the reign of King Stephen.

Britain has a long, proud history of people’s rebellions against autocracy: the Peasant’s Revolt; the Pilgrimage of Grace; Magna Carta; the Civil War; the Peterloo Massacre. More often than not the people came off badly and were crushed, but little by little over the years they won more freedoms than they lost — and they established the tradition that Britons never never never shall be the slaves of arbitrary authority. Our American cousins — most of the Founding Fathers being descended from British settlers — did even better.

Now look at the mess we’re in.

I’m not proposing, obviously, that anyone tries to blow up Parliament, as a) they’d only get caught, and b) who would want to damage those magnificent Gothic revival buildings by Charles Barry and August Pugin?

But I do think the time has come to resist this totalitarian nonsense before it gets any further out of hand.

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