It’s time to stop letting despots weaponise our Western freedoms - by Nick Timothy for the Telegraph

Years of complacency have left the West dangerously exposed argues Nick Timothy in today's Telegraph 28.02.22 - and no more so than here in Britain.

On energy, money-laundering, cyber-security and defence there is hardly an area of public life that has not left us vulnerable to take-over or exploitation:

"Wittingly or not, our politicians, officials, lawyers, accountants, PR professionals and even estate agents have facilitated these activities. Our very strengths – freedom of speech, property rights, the rule of law – have been exploited. And thanks to the revenues raised, we have turned a blind eye."

And it's not just Russia:

"China has bought its way into our critical national infrastructure and our universities. Its companies occupy our telecommunications network and provide CCTV inside ministerial offices. Its media mouthpieces churn out lies in freely available newspapers and social media accounts.

Islamists are the same. Foreign governments that fund organisations like the Muslim Brotherhood finance media outlets employing British journalists. Hate preachers and extremist organisations play identity politics, manipulate the press regulator and hire the most expensive lawyers to shut down scrutiny. As ever, self-loathing useful idiots and frightened politicians often do the extremists’ work for them."

The message is clear:

"It is vital that we stop our enemies using our free societies against us. Our intelligence services, overwhelmed by threats, need more resources. We need stronger energy security, which we can achieve with more nuclear power and greater exploitation of our own gas fields. We need tougher laws on the foreign ownership of British assets and companies. We need to put an end to dirty money being laundered in London, and we need to kick China out of our universities and infrastructure.

Most immediately we must act against Russian interests. We should delist Russian companies from Western exchanges and stop trading their debts and bonds. We should force companies to stop servicing Russian companies. And if our laws are being used to frustrate action against Russian oligarchs in London, Parliament should pass an act, notwithstanding those laws, freezing the assets of named oligarchs and their families, and expelling them from the country.

We need to strengthen our military capabilities. Our defence policies and budgets assume future wars will be elective and against weaker states and terrorists. But we must be prepared for peer-to-peer warfare. Russia and China have hypersonic missile technologies superior to our defences and US offensive capabilities. Our strategy is based on aircraft carriers that could be destroyed in moments.

We need to compete for global influence, resist the corruption of international institutions, and build new groupings to promote cooperation between allies. We must keep strategic industrial and technological capabilities away from China, and stop giving away for free what should be used for leverage. We need to get Sweden and Finland into Nato and deploy more troops in Eastern Europe."

The full article can be read here with a link to the original beneath it:

Article for the Telegraph by Nick Timothy -It’s time to stop letting despots weaponise our
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