Laurence Fox: Tattoos and Free Speech

 

An actor who can think. A figure so marvelously cool, so ineffably with-it, so supremely and ineffably hip, that he has tattoos, rides motorbikes, and rolls his own cigarettes–but who’s entirely on our side. In an interview we recorded just a couple of days ago, the British actor Laurence Fox explains why he has given up his career in drama to found his own political party, run for mayor of London, and dedicate himself to the great cause of freedom of speech. Warm and witty. Thoroughly engaging. And utterly determined.

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  1. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    On Saturday, Fox and our own James Delingpole attended “The March for Freedom” in London. Yesterday two members of the Metropolitan Police showed up at Fox’s doorstep to tell him that they had received a complaint, with “no evidence per se,” that he had broken the rules of the COVID lockdown.

    ”Apparently he’s saying that,” the officer told him, “the rules were relaxed on the 8th of March for door-to-door canvassing but you’ve been apparently meeting big groups in London and running your campaign that way.”

    They didn’t say who “he” was. Was it Sadiq Khan? Are we now at the point in the history of the west where police are sent to the homes of those that disagree with the powers that be so to “remind” them that they are being watched? 

     

    • #1
  2. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    I enjoyed listening to Laurence Fox enormously. Thank you.

    What he describes as “excommunication” I’ve been thinking is becoming like a shunning. It’s really awful. Terrifying.

    I also understand completely his objection to the lockdown–the absence of debate about it. I certainly understand some type of emergency short-term action that local and state governments sometimes take to meet an emergency. But what has happened over the past year in both the United Kingdom and the United States has been prolonged measures that were not discussed freely and then voted on. I think there should have been free and open debate and then referendums.

    And, yes, the lockdowns are closely related to the freedom of speech issues. It was a psychological war where the pro-lockdown side silenced the anti- or modified-lockdown side by insulting and intimidating them–they broke all the wonderful rules of Ricochet . :-) If only our code of conduct could be made a national idea, particularly the no-personal-remarks one. :-)

    The only thing he said that took me aback a bit was that the United Kingdom was getting so many bad ideas from the United States. I would have said the bad ideas were going the other way. That is, until he told the story about Black Lives Matter movement. I guess the bad ideas are going in both directions. :-) [Please see comment 8 that I added this morning.]

    At any rate, I wish him luck. What he has to say needs to be said. I wish him well.

    • #2
  3. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    MarciN (View Comment):

    The only thing he said took me aback a bit was that the United Kingdom was getting so many bad ideas from the United States. I would have said the bad ideas were going the other way. That is, until he told the story about Black Lives Matter movement. I guess the bad ideas are going in both directions. :-) 

     

    I believe we lead the world in intersectionality and critical race theory.

    • #3
  4. Dotorimuk Coolidge
    Dotorimuk
    @Dotorimuk

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):

    The only thing he said took me aback a bit was that the United Kingdom was getting so many bad ideas from the United States. I would have said the bad ideas were going the other way. That is, until he told the story about Black Lives Matter movement. I guess the bad ideas are going in both directions. :-)

     

    I believe we lead the world in intersectionality and critical race theory.

    I’ve noticed than unlike the predictability of shows in the US, UK TV  programming occasionally has minority and Muslim villains and virtuous, upstanding men of the cloth. And the rich guy isn’t always the baddie, either.

    In some ways, I think we are farther down the path.

    • #4
  5. Richard Easton Member
    Richard Easton
    @RichardEaston

    Dotorimuk (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):

    The only thing he said took me aback a bit was that the United Kingdom was getting so many bad ideas from the United States. I would have said the bad ideas were going the other way. That is, until he told the story about Black Lives Matter movement. I guess the bad ideas are going in both directions. :-)

     

    I believe we lead the world in intersectionality and critical race theory.

    I’ve noticed than unlike the predictability of shows in the US, UK TV programming occasionally has minority and Muslim villains and virtuous, upstanding men of the cloth. And the rich guy isn’t always the baddie, either.

    In some ways, I think we are farther down the path.

    I watched a BBC show from circa 2004 where the baddies were clearly Islamic terrorists. But they couldn’t have that be the case so they made it a pro life group.

    • #5
  6. Baker Member
    Baker
    @Baker

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):

    The only thing he said took me aback a bit was that the United Kingdom was getting so many bad ideas from the United States. I would have said the bad ideas were going the other way. That is, until he told the story about Black Lives Matter movement. I guess the bad ideas are going in both directions. :-)

    I believe we lead the world in intersectionality and critical race theory.

    Ha. We are killing it in that sector. 
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/emmanuel-macron-and-the-woke-11613604823

     

    • #6
  7. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Excellent interview, thanks for calling this to our attention. I was encouraged to find a Telegraph interview from last fall that was quite fair, not a BBC / CNN style harangue. This all started with Laurence Fox recording an original protest song “The Distance.” That got him an appearance on BBCs Question Time where he dared push back on a woman of color‘s smear of “racism.” That unleashed the wokist mob and attempted cancelation of his career. Oh, yes, the heart of the smear was his daring to push back on an assertion that Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, was the victim of raaacism. He dared insist “We are the most lovely, tolerant country in Europe.”

    Poking a little further, the Telegraph now has a permanent cancel culture section on its website. The Reclaim Party has a functioning website, including the complete results of the freedom of expression poll of 2,119 UK adults aged 18+ online from 5-7 February 2021. Searching for that information unearthed results of two US polls, a Harvard CAPS / Harris Poll of the general public, finding a majority of Americans say they believe cancel culture is a threat to their freedom, and a Zogby Poll of 500 business leaders that found “Most business leaders think certain progressive ideas about society and the ”cancel culture” are a threat to the country and are unnecessary.”

    The full results of the Harvard-Harris Poll are available: [ Topline Full Release | Cross Tabs ].

    • #7
  8. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    MarciN (View Comment):
    The only thing he said that took me aback a bit was that the United Kingdom was getting so many bad ideas from the United States. I would have said the bad ideas were going the other way. That is, until he told the story about Black Lives Matter movement. I guess the bad ideas are going in both directions. :-)

    I deeply regret writing this statement last night. In my head I was laughing, and I did not realize until I saw how people picked up on it how it came across.

    No one has more respect than I have for our cousins across the pond. There are times when I rummage around in European history when I think nearly every good philosophy that has influenced the world actually came out of Great Britain. :-)

    There have been a lot of trends that I think started in Great Britain that eventually showed up here that were not great. One example is the intellectuals’ fawning over Islam in their intense boredom with Christianity. That’s because before there was the Internet, there was the global network of international universities such as Oxford and Harvard. It was a social network, and unfortunately the people in this group influenced each other greatly. But that is not the fault of Great Britain.

    I’m sorry I didn’t choose my words more carefully.

    • #8
  9. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    An outstanding interview and an outstanding guest. Thank you.

    • #9
  10. Marjorie Reynolds Coolidge
    Marjorie Reynolds
    @MarjorieReynolds

    Richard Easton (View Comment):

    I watched a BBC show from circa 2004 where the baddies were clearly Islamic terrorists. But they couldn’t have that be the case so they made it a pro life group.

    Oh yes we’re always an easy target.
    And if all the cancel culture stuff went away tomorrow I have a feeling that most of the moderate liberals who are lamenting the loss of free speech now would go back to calling us names once they felt secure again. 

    • #10
  11. Blue Yeti Admin
    Blue Yeti
    @BlueYeti

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):
    Excellent interview, thanks for calling this to our attention. I was encouraged to find a Telegraph interview from last fall that was quite fair, not a BBC / CNN style harangue. This all started with Laurence Fox recording an original protest song “The Distance.” That got him an appearance on BBCs Question Time, where he dared push back on a woman of color‘s smear of “racism.” That unleashed the wokist mob and attempted cancelation of his career. Oh, yes, the heart of the smear was his daring to push back on an assertion that Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, was the victim of raaacism. He dared insist “We are the most lovely, tolerant country in Europe.”

    Poking a little further, the Telegraph now has a permanent cancel culture section on its website. The Reclaim Party has a functioning website, including the complete results of the freedom of expression poll of 2,119 UK adults aged 18+ online from 5-7 February 2021. Searching for that information unearthed results of two US polls, a Harvard CAPS / Harris Poll of the general public, finding a majority of Americans say they believe cancel culture is a threat to their freedom, and a Zogby Poll of 500 business leaders that found “Most business leaders think certain progressive ideas about society and the ”cancel culture” are a threat to the country and are unnecessary.”

    The full results of the Harvard-Harris Poll are available: [ Topline Full Release | Cross Tabs ].

    I had a couple of clips from the Question Time appearance in an earlier version of this show, but I had to remove them because YouTube dinged them for a copyright violation. Which is an incorrect interpretation of fair use laws. The law allows use of clips for purposes of reporting news. But I didn’t have the time to get into a protracted argument with them on it. Which is their strategy.

    • #11
  12. Rōnin Coolidge
    Rōnin
    @Ronin

    EJHill (View Comment):

    On Saturday, Fox and our own James Delingpole attended “The March for Freedom” in London. Yesterday two members of the Metropolitan Police showed up at Fox’s doorstep to tell him that they had received a complaint, with “no evidence per se,” that he had broken the rules of the COVID lockdown.

    ”Apparently he’s saying that,” the officer told him, “the rules were relaxed on the 8th of March for door-to-door canvassing but you’ve been apparently meeting big groups in London and running your campaign that way.”

    They didn’t say who “he” was. Was it Sadiq Khan? Are we now at the point in the history of the west where police are sent to the homes of those that disagree with the powers that be so to “remind” them that they are being watched?

     

    Short answer: Yes, why yes we are.

    • #12
  13. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    “Reclaim” is a simple word with broad and obvious appeal. It also has deep resonance that makes it troublesome to modern sensibilities.

    In the States, when we talk about reclaiming abraded rights, we have documents to which we can refer. This sheet of vellum, signed on this date, by these people. These philippics and broadsides, written by these men. This court decision, handed down on this day. We have receipts, as they say.

    The UK is much, much older, and the idea of “reclaiming” makes the faddish moderns wonder how far back that idea goes. I suspect they suspect it means a pre-multicultural Britain, and perhaps they’re not wrong.

    In my beloved village of Walbers in Suffolk, there’s a church. Most of it is ruins. The tower dates from the 1400s. Services are still held in the reconstructed portions, weekly. The walls of the old church frame a graveyard with ancient weathered stones. A man comes by from time to time to carve out the encroaching  grass so the names and dates aren’t lost to the ravenous earth.

    It’s one spot in a tiny hamlet, hardly unique; the country abounds with them. It’s the baseline subterranean wavelength thrum of the island’s heritage, and you hear it everywhere. It precedes the Cool Britannia of Tony Blair. It is part of a jumbled record of endless sectarian fractious conflict, but from the perspective of the moderns it is an inert thing notable only for occupying the thick solid block of history that preceded the necessary imperatives of Today.

    Is it permitted to reclaim this history as an important part of the UK national and cultural identity, or must the identity begin with the precepts of multiculturalism?

    Silly question, you say; why not both? Well, in the newly awakened era, the past is nothing but a catalogue of sins, and the present is a struggle to vanquish the inheritors of the sins’ largesse. Colonialism and imperialism would arise from the mortar and timber of these churches; the pulpit voices would issue justifications; the villains who came home from the sea to die at home would be laid under the stones in the nave. It is permissible to discuss these places, as long as the proper context is established, and conversation confined to the single-file lane that leads from Marx’s grave to the necessary utopia.

    “Reclaim,” to modern ears, is blasphemy.

    • #13
  14. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    James Lileks (View Comment):
    in the newly awakened era, the past is nothing but a catalogue of sins

    a perfect description of their thinking

    • #14
  15. GeezerBob Coolidge
    GeezerBob
    @GeezerBob

    Dear Laurence~

    Sign me up…

    • #15
  16. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    I am Nigel Farage, and I approve this message! Cheers!

    • #16
  17. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo
    @BossMongo

    Outstanding interview.  Thank you.

    We need–on both sides of the Atlantic–to have more men sac up and stand, as they did in olden times, against tyranny and dissolution.  

    • #17