By Tom Penn
Nestled within the rolling hills of South Devon lies one of the UK’s most imaginative and progressive towns, Totnes, whose townsfolk once ran Costa Coffee out of town for daring to infiltrate a place known affectionately in the county, as Narnia.
Its vibrant high street hosts weekly markets, and a quite astonishing choice of cafés, eateries, drinking establishments, health-food stores, and quirky independent businesses; all affording one the opportunity to mingle with a tribe of disciples to the art of free-living. Nobody bats an eyelid here at a druid walking down the road, a Sadhu sipping tea on the pavement, or a troop of gothic Morris-dancers jigging to techno outside the beautiful 15th century St. Mary’s church.
The satellite hamlets orbiting the town are moneyed yes, yet also strewn with low-impact dwellings – cabins, hidden caravans, bow-top wagons and yurts – alongside organic food growing projects, woodland schools, and a thriving sense of community. I know all this because I live here.
Unfortunately however, scratch a little beneath the surface and you will find that the State’s Covid-19 fear campaign has penetrated at all levels the historic BS-fortress that is Narnia.
The New World Alliance – a local group committed to sustaining a counter-argument to the mainstream Covid-19 narrative, and with ties to The Light Paper – had scheduled for November 20 an event to be held at Totnes Civic Hall named The Awakening Conference, billed as an open-to-all opportunity to discuss the real stories behind the MSM headlines.
It was to feature guest speakers such as Gareth Icke (son of David Icke), Lawyer and former British military officer Anna De Buisseret, Patrick Henningsen from UK Column and 21st Century Wire, co-founder of the UK Medical Freedom Alliance Dr Elizabeth Evans, Dr Zac Cox from the World Doctors Alliance, and immunologist and molecular biologist Prof Dolores Cahill PhD, among many others.
However, as the direct result of a hysterical change.org petition (current counter petition here) the event was cancelled: the ‘outcry’ garnering enough local support to persuade Totnes Town Council to cowardly renege; the Totnes Times running with the sinister sub-headline ‘Conspiracy group causing distress and division in town, told freedom of speech is not freedom to lie.’ You can read more on this story at clickbait news outlet, and local Government propaganda arm DevonLive, here.
I shall leave it up to the reader to explore the quite astonishing text of the petition itself. Needless to say it is a hateful diatribe comedic in value if not so utterly ignorant, insulting and divisive, and which dealt a blow to what was intended to be a calm, civilised, and non-judgemental community get-together.
Totnes’s underbelly of fear doesn’t stop there however. Those who come here to sample the nutty and endearing delights of the town – particularly on a fine, sunny market day when the high street is fizzing with activity – but yet who choose not to wear a face covering, may be dismayed to learn that as they make their way up the high street, some establishments may refuse entry to those who do not provide proof of exemption.
This is not in line with current Government guidance, which clearly states that:
‘You are no longer legally required to wear a face covering in any setting. Therefore you do not need to rely on an exemption if you need one.’
‘If you have an age, health or disability reason for not wearing a face covering you do not need to show: any written evidence of this [or] an exemption card.’
‘Where businesses require their workers to wear face coverings there are some circumstances where people may not be able to wear a face covering. Businesses should be mindful and respectful of these.’
When read directly from gov.uk that last link simply directs one from the section for businesses straight back to the exemption section, in what is a clear emphasis of the very last sentence.
A licensed premises however, apparently has the authority to eject customers without being required to provide any justification for doing so. Yet this leaves open what appears to be a potential loophole in the mask guidance which favours those of the cloths most ardent disciples staffing such premises, who do not wish any customer to enter without one: can they simply be ejected before the topic of exemption is even broached, without needing to give reason?
If so then surely this provides cover for any number of discriminatory practices such as racism or homophobia: if one were racist, and a black customer entered one’s establishment purporting to be mask exempt, then one could simply express one’s racism by camouflaging it within the business’s strict mask policy and eject her from the premises.
Using a slightly different scenario, if one harboured a quiet hatred of obese people and discovered one walking around one’s hospital unmasked, then it appears one has the authority to simply hoof him out, as Hexham General recently missed a golden opportunity to do.
I am almost certain that if the PM walked into any shop on Totnes high street sans mask, HE would not be asked for proof of exemption, and regardless, I am fairly certain that Cornetto wrappers are not valid forms of exemption, unlike sunflower lanyards, which the public do indeed accept as clinical proof.
Devon & Cornwall Police appear not to have the faintest idea of how to interpret the guidance of their own Government. From my correspondence with them:
‘Although it is not government legislation it is the store’s discretion about what rules they have in place and who they wish to serve. There is nothing criminal about a store asking you to leave.’
You know you live in the countryside when it is Heartbeat’s PC Nick Rowan stewarding the local pandemic response.
All of this is evidence of medicalised apartheid blossoming not only at a very local level, but in a town whose reputation is built upon bucking trends and attacking norms; with DevonLive again showing a particularly keen interest of late in using Totnes to promulgate such a dangerous agenda – which comes at the cost of lives and liberty – with this quite laughably inflammatory piece on anti-maskers.
It does make me wonder what hope we have as a nation when even Narnia can develop such ideological cracks in its bulwark against propaganda, but please, don’t let it put you off a visit. We truly are a loveable, warm-hearted and characterful lot, but like all environments, there is always a small minority of troublemakers seeking to spoil it for everyone else.
The Arcturus Clinic have a drop-in safe-space for any seeking respite from the State’s relentless propaganda. It is open every Saturday between 11.00 and 14.00.
The Awakening Conference shall go ahead on the same date, November 20, at a location yet to be disclosed for obvious reasons.
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