Old Holborn: Behind The Mask

Daniel Pryor May 22, 2013 26
Old Holborn: Behind The Mask
(Photograph by Arfur Daley)
 

The Backbencher’s Daniel Pryor interviewed Old Holborn: the controversial libertarian blogger and activist who has attracted fresh controversy after being suspended from Twitter following his remarks concerning the Hillsborough disaster.

– Sum up your political views in one sentence.

… [sic]

– How did these views develop over time? Was it through a certain experience, reading, blogging, the influence of parents and friends, or something else entirely?

I attended a very strict school and was raised by an authoritarian father. It was never going to end well. I soon learned that blind obedience leads nowhere; all those that queue up to tell you how to live your life end up in the same place as you anyway – dead. Personal freedom is the one thing we are born with: many have given their lives to ensure we inherited it and frankly, nobody is better qualified to govern my actions and deeds than myself. Quite why we are still electing politicians to do the job for us astounds me! We live in the 21st century, where I can obtain any amount of information on any subject with a few mouse clicks,  express my views directly to my audience via social media and choose what to support or condemn from the comfort of the internet. Party politicians are no longer relevant in the digital age.


Why do you blog under a pseudonym?

Attack the message, not the man. The minute your opponents discover your identity, they attack it instead of your message. Rational debate goes out the window whilst they rummage through your dustbin in the hope of undermining your argument. How many voices are silenced for fear of exposure? Whistle-blowers are hounded, ridiculed, persecuted and despised: so the truth is suppressed. There’s a reason that governments hate the “Anonymous” movement – they cannot control it. Anyone can be Old Holborn.


What has been your proudest achievement as a blogger/activist?

Just being a permanent thorn in the side of those who would legislate as to how I must live my life – the police, politicians, the press, religion. They have no special potion that grants them eternal life, and I’m happy to hold them all to account. Unjust laws, hypocrisy, vested interests and downright corruption will always be my targets; whether I’m getting people out of prison for not being able to pay their fines or causing a fluster at Westminster, I thrive on it.

Some would argue that your confrontational blogging style alienates more people than it persuades, how would you respond to that?

What others think of me is none of my business – I’m not in a beauty parade. I’ve seen many activists go mainstream and end up reviewing the papers on Sunday night television, compromising their core beliefs in the hope of establishing a paying career in the media that they once despised. If you don’t like what I write, don’t read it – it can’t be any simpler. Libertarianism is not about gathering followers or converts, it’s about being able to live your life as you see fit without interference from those who think they know better.


Are you simply being intentionally provocative, or do you genuinely despise Liverpool?

Of course not. I despise a certain mentality. Instead of addressing genuine issues, it simply becomes an outrage bus with anyone daring to question the status quo being attacked. Julie Bailey, the whistleblower at Mid Staffs NHS hospital is having to move home to escape the death threats made by people who have no interest in patient care: just a sworn allegiance to uphold the glorious NHS as a political construct instead of asking why 1200 died needlessly. I despise all “collective” thinking because the individual counts for nothing. Logic and reason are simply discarded in favour of “the common good” and mob rule descends – as recent events on Twitter have demonstrated.

Times are changing. We are all interconnected now via social media and no one voice has more authority than another, so why do we accept rules and regulations set up by 650 politicians to maintain their power over us? I foresee the end of party politics, the introduction of “red button” direct democracy and the rejection of state-imposed diktats. It might take another 50 years but people are no longer isolated silent individuals, conditioned to accept whatever their masters decided that they once were. Now, if only we could stop worshiping the man-made gods of football and celebrity…

Old Holborn’s blog can be found here. He also writes for Blottr, and with numerous account suspensions in recent weeks, his Twitter username is now being spread largely through word of mouth.

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