Today, I did something quite out of character for my “normal” self. I spent a couple of hours in an outer suburb of Oxford, 90 or so miles from my home, stuffing leaflets through people’s doors.
Now, I confess I’m not a fan of leafletting as a way of trying to change people’s minds. A lot of people have devoted a lot of effort to doing it, and the positive effects have been, to say the least, unclear. However, this leafletting exercise was directed towards a different goal. Not to argue a case, or to change anyone’s mind, but to do what our enemies like to call “raising awareness.” To say to people: “There’s a problem here. Have you thought about it?”
The background is this. Oxfordshire County Council, aided and abetted by Oxford City Council, have put forward a plan for what they call a “15-minute city” to be implemented in Oxford. This is a United Nations project; you can find out more about it at []. The only “official” document describing the detailed proposals for Oxford, that I have been able to find on the Internet, can be downloaded from here: []. It is incomplete, to say the least.
What does this mean to people who live in Oxford and its suburbs? I will quote from the leaflet I was distributing: “You’ll need to register your vehicle (only one per person) to get permission for your quota of 100 days a year to go where you please with fines if you travel outside those days or at certain times.” And that, of course, is only the initial impact. We all know that, when despots get on their power trips, they continue tightening the screws again and again. Until something breaks. Think Hitler or Pol Pot.
To return to the day. Here is the website of the organizers: []. It links to the page for the Oxford event.
Having decided to make an Oxford week-end out of the event, I was staying only a few hundred yards from the meeting point, a park-and-ride on the west side of Oxford. As I waited in the registration queue, I talked with some people behind me – who had come all the way from Birmingham to be part of this! And I heard from locals how, after a “consultation” on the plans had produced 10 per cent for and 90 per cent against, they had been told “we’re going to do it anyway.” So much for any pretence of “democracy.”
I made friends with a man of similar age, originally from the North-East but now living in a village a few miles from Oxford. We were allocated our “pitch,” code-named NB4. This was in an area called Northfield Brook, which is south-east of Oxford, out beyond Cowley, and about the furthest from the city centre you can get and still be affected by these maniacal plans. And my visit showed me very clearly that this is a place where people depend on their cars to get around. Fertile territory for the ideas we were spreading, I hope.
We discharged our leafletting duties to the very best of our abilities. It took us about an hour and a half to deliver the 250 leaflets we had been given. But it became apparent, after a while, that we didn’t have enough leaflets to cover the whole area we had been allocated. So what? was my response. Let’s keep a record of what we haven’t managed to do, and they can send out local teams later.
We got one extremely positive response. Several people, also, came to the front door while I was fumbling to push the leaflets in, and seemed more than happy with the visit. I only got one negative response, which was more about being interrupted than about the message.
Leafletting, as I discovered today, is a somewhat dangerous sport for your hands. Particularly with those letter boxes (about two-thirds, on this sample) that have mechanisms to try to stop people pushing items through. But the only blood wound I received was to the holding hand, not the pushing-in hand; a particularly sharp edge on the bottom of a flap.
It remains to be seen how much effect this exercise will have. Stopping a juggernaut like the green agenda is not easy. It’s like stopping the Titanic in time not to hit the iceberg. But I sense that a “turn of the tide” is coming, if not already here. In Oxford, the enemies of liberty have shown, beyond all possible doubt, their contempt for democracy and for the people whom government is supposed to serve. When enough people finally wake up, that will not go unpunished.