In the run up to the 2nd Cake and Liberty Saturday, I’d been posting a bit on Twitter, replying to like minds and trying to spread the word about this lovely thing we’re doing. I was prepared for pushback, and some attacks duly appeared. Of course it stings: my motives, intelligence and intentions were twisted and mocked, but then I remembered that I’m not in this for my ego but for my conscience, and also Twitter does have a useful block button. I applied it liberally, and actually enjoyed doing it: goodbye, bile-filled anonymous keyboard warriors with your tens of followers!
In the course of this we did get some nice comments, however, and a number of people have joined the Facebook group as a result, so I think I should be grateful to the trolls for raising our profile.
As I doom-scrolled, I saw a tweet mention that Charles Walker MP, one of the few MPs who has consistently argued for proportionality in our response to Covid and who has mounted a spirited and articulate defence of our civil liberties, was making headlines for his intention to walk around London carrying a pint of milk as a protest following the vote in Westminster to extend the Coronavirus Emergency Powers by another six months (and possibly 12).
When serendipity beckons it pays to follow, so I emailed him immediately that night to tell him about Cake and Liberty, as did, I subsequently learned, another Cake & Libertarian (thank you Susan!). The following day I was finishing lunch when my phone rang: it was Charles Walker saying how much he loves what we are doing, how fundamental the right to peaceful protest is, and how he wholeheartedly supports our activities. He also mentioned that with hindsight, he wishes he had chosen cake rather than milk. He rounded off the call saying that he’d mentioned Cake and Liberty to a journalist and presenter of Channel 4 News, and she might be interested in speaking to me about it for her Friday Drive programme on Times Radio later that afternoon.
And that’s how I wound up being interviewed about Cake and Liberty by the redoubtable Cathy Newman.
Link is here:
So our message IS getting out there – and cake is proving a surprisingly effective delivery mechanism for good-natured sedition. We are speaking up, and making a stand in a way that doesn’t involve torching police cars or shooting fireworks at horses, and I think our message is all the more powerful for it.
Everyone involved in this is amazing, and I am so proud to stand beside you.