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Hopeful vigilance

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Freedom seems to be on the run all over the world. It has always been thus. The norm is for people to be subjugated by tyrants, kings, and ideologies.

It is only in Britain that there has been a concerted struggle over a thousand years to allow the people to have their God-given, natural right to be free. Happily, freedom under the rule of just law created prosperity.

Perhaps we in Britain have a particular obligation to keep on defending freedom, which so many of our ancestors died for and which was successfully exported to America and the Old Commonwealth.

Each part of Britain made an essential contribution. In Winchester, where I live, Alfred essentially resurrected civilisation in the 9th century by protecting Christian culture and codifying Common Law.

His statue in downtown Winchester shows him holding his sword not as a warrior about to go into battle, but as a spiritual inspiration in the shape of a cross. However, Alfred did use his sword when necessary to protect civilisation and his people. After defeating them in battle, he persuaded the savage invaders of the day to become Christian and to live according to Judaeo-Christian teachings. In turn he shared his kingdom with some of these former enemies. Not for him a multicultural society. He created a unicultural and stable country which endured until a few years ago.

Wherever we live in Britain we have a special responsibility to carry on the struggle for freedom and, even as doors seem to be closing all around us, to preserve this inheritance for future generations.

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