Thoughts on “Together” AGM and 1st Anniversary Panel Discussion

(Neil Lock, 03 September 2022)

I went to the very first annual general meeting of Together Declaration in central London on the evening of Thursday 1st September. For those not already aware of this organization, it is a promoter of civil liberties and human rights. Its mission statement includes: “No future overreach in the name of ‘safety’.” “Uphold fundamental rights for citizens, applying unified pressure when legislation puts these at risk.” “Safeguarding open debate and free speech.” “Freedom to congregate and protest.” “Bodily autonomy must be respected without exception.” “Privacy and anonymity are a fundamental right and enormously important for citizens in daily life.” “We, the public, must always be heard and not treated with contempt or sidelined. Our voices must be heard by those in power.” See

This was my first visit to London in three years. It has changed, and not for the better. I actually felt as if I had crossed over into enemy territory. The streets were all but empty of cars, and quite a few of those that were around were Mercedes or Rolls-Royce chauffeured limos. The number of beggars and rough sleepers had gone up by an order of magnitude. Businesses which ought to be open on a Thursday evening, including my favourite London restaurant, were shuttered. Tourists were expected to keep to a one-way system when walking across Westminster Bridge. Welcome to the élites’ world, a world of “them” and “us,” where “they” order us around and have everything, and “we” are oppressed and have nothing.

Getting in to the hall was more than a bit chaotic. Early arrivals had to wait outside in a queue for quite a while, and the registration process was non-intuitive, with each desk only being able to check in people whose surnames were in a particular range in the alphabet. By the time we were in, it was already time for the AGM to start.

We had reports from Together “supremo” Alan Miller and the steering committee. The thrust of the message was, first, we have come a long way in just one year, and have achieved a certain level of profile and media attention. But second, we still have a very long way to go. The next stage is to connect with a far greater number of ordinary people. To “break out of the echo chamber,” or as Norris Windross put it, “We must become the many, not the few.”

One thing which did become clear is that Together, as an organization, has a very high level of financial discipline. When I saw the balance sheet, I was astonished by how much we have already achieved for so little money.

Two questions were put to the meeting. (1) Should we continue to campaign in the same ways as we have been doing so far? (2) Should we create a “people’s cabinet” of Together people with expertise in particular relevant areas? The meeting, all but unanimously, answered both questions with “Yes.”

There was a longish break between the members-only AGM and the panel discussion. I took a look around me. The main hall was completely filled, and about half of the upstairs area was occupied too. There must have been at least 500 people there, probably more. The demographic was younger than I expected; I was probably 25 years older than the average. There was also, if anything, an excess of women over men. (I’ve seen a similar demographic before, when I was a member of Liberty).

We were “warmed up” by comedienne Tania Edwards. I confess I didn’t find her very funny, though I did enjoy the line “How can you have a good pandemic without the BBC?” There were short presentations from several members of the Together alliance: Barrister Francis Hoar. Ryan Karter of the Workers of England trade union. Harry Miller of the Bad Law Project. Toby Young of the Free Speech Union. What came over to me was the wide range of views and political inclinations among those allied in the fight to re-claim and to secure the rights of ordinary people in the UK. This has to be a good thing.

Dr Aseem Malhotra (speaking by video) put his finger on one root cause of the problems we face: the unchecked power of big corporations and of governments. (Myself, I would add internationalist and globalist organizations, including the UN and the EU, to the list).

Then, at last, to the panel. I was one of those who had submitted, and had had accepted, a question for the panel (but we ran out of time before reaching it). I won’t ascribe responses to individual panellists, but here were the main take-homes I got from the discussion. I’ll also add my own personal thoughts on some of the matters.

  • How can #Together make sure the COVID Enquiry is not a whitewash, and ensure accountability – from economic and mental health side effects of lockdown, to Project Fear and mainstream media propaganda, and coercion over vaccines, and conflicts of interest?

Panel Thoughts: Ideally, we should get our own experts on to the Enquiry, and get them to ask the right questions. But that won’t be easy. So, second best is to make a lot of noise to our MPs – then at least they won’t be able to claim they didn’t know about the issue. One panel member thought that the government narrative over COVID is starting to come apart, and made a comparison to the Hillsborough disaster.

My thoughts: As to Hillsborough, I hope it doesn’t take that long! But making government accountable for what it does is an absolute key. Even in a supposed democracy, there seems to be a default position among politicians and high-ranking government officials that “the king can do no wrong.” This has got to change, and we should be looking to raise the profile of the accountability issue in public opinion.

Another issue relevant to government actions over COVID is the culture of over-precaution and “safety at any cost,” which has grown in government over the last 20 years or so. This culture favours, and tends to increase the level of, government overreach.

  • Are we going to see any justice for all the people working in the care sector who were pushed out of their employment and discriminated against and are still suffering the financial and emotional outcome of this?

Panel Thoughts: Basically, no. But we should try to help the victims of injustice by promoting their personal stories, and helping them fight for compensation.

  • Given the devastating impact the steep rise in energy costs will have on businesses and households what is the best form of action we can adopt to successfully protest and ensure they are pushed back?

Panel Thoughts: Not much in the short term. Except to seek to persuade government that they need to invest for economic growth, and to cut green taxes. We need proper medium- and long-term plans for energy policy.

My thoughts: For me, Together has focused too much on “cost of lockdowns” as a cause of the energy problems. The cost (direct and indirect) of lockdowns has, of course, had a big negative effect both on government finances, and financially and psychologically on all the individuals who have been impacted. But in my view, it is not, in itself, a cause of the energy problems.

The main cause of these problems is idiotic energy policies, that have been driven for decades by nonsensical green pipe-dreams. These have left the UK (and the rest of Europe, too) open to gas supply disruption. But they also threaten the viability of the electricity grid. The problem is not just cost, but reliability of supply too. We shall see what happens this coming winter. It could be very nasty.

All that said, there are at least two common themes between harsh lockdown policies and the green agenda (“nett zero” and all the rest). One, both have been driven by bad “science,” peddled by activists in SAGE or the CCC that do not have the interests of ordinary people at heart. Two, both have been philosophically rooted in the culture of over-precaution and “safety at any cost.”

  • How can we make sure that nuanced debate is brought back into science?

Panel Thoughts: We have to get back to doing science as it should be done. We need to listen to the people who know and deal with the facts, rather than politicized “experts.” We must be relentless in promoting free speech and debate, even for those with whom we do not agree. We need more independent assessment to spot poor science.

My thoughts: I agree with everything the panel said. Also, helping to publicize misuses of science for political purposes is something we should do as much as we possibly can.

  • Will the UK government agree to a totally open and public debate on their connections with the WEF, the WHO, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and other un-elected institutions that they are very much connected with?

Panel Thoughts: They have “links,” and money talks. There is a similar problem within the UK, with links between big corporations, academics and financial regulators. We need far more transparency.

My thoughts: Lack of transparency and the lack of open and public debate are both big issues. I think this is another aspect of the same problem as lack of accountability. It all comes down to dishonesty by government towards the people they are supposed to serve.

  • How can we have just one “Together” freedom party to all get behind at the next election?

Panel Thoughts: The politicians have failed us. The political system is broken. We can voice anger to our local MPs, and we might try to get MPs and candidates to sign up to a suitable set of principles.

My thoughts: I agree that politics is broken. I go so far as to think that the problems cannot be solved within the current system. Personally, I see a new political party as being exactly the wrong thing to do. Reform UK has already tried that, and it seems to be going nowhere. I’ll be leaving it when my membership expires next month. We need to start thinking more radically. Together is a promising start towards that.

I think it is also worth listing the remaining questions which were accepted, but didn’t get put to the panel due to lack of time. These mostly reflect issues a little away from Together’s current focus, but which are foreseen to become problems in the quite near future.

  • (My own question). Under what circumstances do the panel think that it is OK to subordinate the rights and well-being of humans to the interests of “the planet,” or of other species on it?
  • It feels like all the pro-freedom groups need a more coherent ACTION strategy, i.e., what can we collectively DO, proactively rather than reactively? We can “raise awareness” ad infinitum, but it feels like we talk while the globalists do.
  • For much of the population to feel at ease we need 100% transparency with the possibility of an attempt to bring in compulsory “Digital ID.” Will the UK government guarantee they will not try and enforce a Digital ID within the foreseeable future?
  • I would like to know from each of the panel members if they can name one scenario where the use of an emergency act by government to suspend an individual’s rights is warranted.
  • We keep hearing rumours that the NHS has been sold off to the US and done so without any mention of it to the UK public. Are we all in for a nasty surprise and massive changes? And if so, this is totally unacceptable.
  • How effective do you think #together is in the present political climate?
  • I’m concerned about the WEF and Global governance making our national government a local council. Our own government are offering money to farmers to sell their land, kill livestock, cutting trees to build windfarms. Your thoughts?

At the end, there was movement towards the pub. But as it was already 9:45pm, I had a train to catch, and the pub chosen was in the opposite direction to my station, I regretfully had to forego that pleasure.

Potted summary:

  • We have one hell of a lot of work to do to push back against the enemies of our human rights and freedoms. But as the Dutch say, “een goed begin is het halve werk.”
  • The list of issues we need to fight on in the immediate future is becoming clearer. For free speech and public, open debate. For government transparency and accountability. Against over-precaution. For justice for those harmed by government policies. For economic, energy and food policies for the good of ordinary people. Against corruption of science.
  • There will be further issues to follow up. Against green extremism, hype and false accusations. Against lies and spin in the mainstream media. Against all kinds of dishonesty in government. Against digital IDs and currencies. Against the globalist agenda, that makes a mockery of any pretence of “democracy.” There will be more.

And what is our best way forward? There are those who push for protest NOW! That, I think, is not the right way forward. Only when we understand well enough the issues on which we need to fight, and have some idea about our strategy and tactics to win on those issues, will we be able to bring Together enough good people to win back our rights and freedoms.


  1. You see Neil, on reflection, this group sounds to me like an unholy alliance of anti-vaxers, Brexiteers and Climate Change deniers. That’s nothing to do with freedom and individual rights.
    When a pandemic comes along it is the government’s responsibility to protect the public. That might well mean curtailing freedoms for a while. To me, there might be an argument about the degree and length of time but as long as the curtailing is as short as possible, is returned to full rights and is not too draconian it’s alright with me.
    I have a great deal of criticism to lay at Johnson for the incompetence of his actions and utter waste of billions of our money (going to his cronies). Still, I have absolutely no problems with lockdowns, mask-wearing and vaccinations. I think those who refused to wear masks or be vaccinated were fools. The science leads the debate not ignorant Trumpists.
    Brexit was a stupid, racist piece of garbage that has cost this country hundreds of billions, severely damaged its economy and reduced our standing in the world. The work of stupid self-serving vandals like the lying Johnson, Gove, Cummings and that selfish, greedy billionaire Aaron Banks. They’ve wrecked the joint. I go for cooperation and partnership above isolation and competition. Putting in layers of red-tape, tariffs, delays and extra costs makes absolutely no sense. We’ve made enemies of friends. It has made it hard to work, study and travel for absolutely no gain. We’ve lost so many rights. This greedy bunch of Tories have seized back power so that they can reduce our rights and freedoms. It’sw Orwellian. On a personal level I resent the extra costs and difficulties, the shortages and arrogance. It infuriates me that Brexiteers like Rees-Mogg made millions out of Brexit.
    The Climate change deniers have their heads in the sand while the world around them burns. Once again science leads the debate and is irrefutable. The oil industry put up their stupid denials just like the tobacco industry did with lung cancer.
    I think you have bought into an unholy alliance of vested interests. This is allied to populist politics and a number of people, like the loathsome Farage, are making a fortune out of it at the expense of us all.
    The future looks very bleak.
    This isn’t about individual freedom at all! It’s about putting money in the pockets of a tiny minority. I think people like Rees-Mogg and many other leading Brexiteers made millions out of Brexit and the climate deniers are doing it to maximise their profits.

    • There was no pandemic. It was all a lie. You were conned.

      You refer to ‘climate change’ and I see you even give it capital letters at one point. This must be important. Could you explain why it’s no longer called global warming, or indeed global cooling? Could you also explain what a ‘climate change denier’ is? My geography is a bit rusty, but I’ve always understood that the general climate in a given region or continent can change over lengthy time spans and it’s always been that way. I don’t remember ever denying it.

      To be clear, I don’t personally agree with the way in which Man exploits the environment and would ideally see a gradual but fundamental shift towards ecological harmony between Man and Nature. But I have always been sceptical of the ‘global warming’ narrative, re-named climate change. Apart from that, don’t ‘climate change believers’ make money too?

      Regarding Brexit, I don’t see how the fact that many who favour Brexit stand to benefit from Brexit invalidates Brexit. If anything, shouldn’t that lend support to Brexit, since we want people to benefit from it? Otherwise, it’s a bad policy, is it not? You focus on people you perceive as rich or wealthy and powerful or influential, presumably because you would like a cheer from the gallery, but if a labourer, factory worker, fisherman or farmer benefits from Brexit (not saying they do on the whole, just positing that they may), is it wrong for the labourer, factory worker, fisherman and farmer to lend their support accordingly? I don’t exclude the importance of reason and principle, but don’t all public decisions come down to tangible benefits for self-interested people? That’s just normal, isn’t it?

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