Thursday 14 December 2023

Hold The Line, Challenge The Narrative - Review

In their first foray into a staged political discussion, David Vance and Peter Mcilvenna presented Hold The Line - Challenge The Narrative, an evening of political conversation and discussion featuring Carl Benjamin and Andrew Bridgen MP.

Kensington Temple’s hall was pleasingly full for the event that was kicked off by Benjamin (he of the Lotus Eaters podcast), eloquently expressing his cynicism upon today’s political world that, in his opinion, has broadly seen all the major political parties share identical agendas to the extent that Westminster is run by a “uniparty” that will remain in power, whoever may be Prime Minister.

Benjamin’s comments were well argued - going on to suggest that the historic role of the civil service that for decades had been that of a safe hand, a steady steering of government policies, had been usurped. He went on to outline that we now have a civil service that is acting outside of government as it seeks to roll out its own policies of social change.

Proving an excellent warm up to Andrew Bridgen’s arrival on stage (the MP having been delayed by the House of Commons’ vote on the Rwanda bill) the evening took a sharper turn with Bridgen’s contribution.

Much has been made of Andrew Bridgen’s outlying stance on and research into, the harms caused by the Covid vaccines. What made Bridgen’s contribution to the evening so fascinating however was his description of the obstructions, stumbling blocks and ostracism that he was exposed to from across the political spectrum, including from those who suggested to him that “he may well be right” but that now is “not the right time” to be raising his issues. Bridgen spoke as a wise and battle-weary warrior and it was fascinating to hear his thoughts. He also lobbed in his prediction that the 2024 General Election would be held on Thursday May 2nd.

At more than two hours in length with no break – the evening seemed daunting. It is a credit to both the organisers and their guests that the evening proved to be a remarkable political discourse. One looks forward to Vance and Mcilvenna’s next event.

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