Freedom would be Good

In just a minute’s time, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland officially leaves its forty-seven years’ of [self-inflicted] bondage to the European Union.
(Though we don’t really leave until the current ‘transition period’ expires at the end of 2020; and – given that most of the leaving practicalities remain to be resolved in some form of ‘deal’ between our Government and the EU – we yet have sufficient scope for turmoil and treachery, as to justify some scepticism over the exact nature of the eventual Brexit.  Will the UK Brexit or ‘Brexit’?)
Today’s date, 31 January, was memorable in recent British history for a significant preservation of British liberty.
On 31 January 2006, the Blair Government was defeated in the Religious Hatred Bill by just one vote, when Tony Blair himself failed to vote.
The amendments to that Bill safeguarded cherished freedoms of speech in Britain for a further generation (we can be certain that the enemies of liberty will be back).
What few know to this day is that it was only because of the last-minute, behind-the-scenes lobbying (in the PM’s office) of the late Ian Paisley that Blair was persuaded to ‘give it a miss’.
One vote.  How fragile our liberties are.
And even when we possess freedom, what do most of us do with it?
Exercising and maintaining freedom is hard work.
But rewarding.  Free men in a free country may prosper indeed.
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