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    Setting Brushfires of Freedom by Don Jans

    Oxford residents will soon be prisoners of their own neighborhoods

    By Andrea Widburg, American Thinker

    The world is shrinking—you will live, work, get entertainment, etc. in a 15 minute radius. How would this work in California?

    This is one of those stories that you’re certain is from the Babylon Bee, and that is stunning in its implications when it turns out to be the truth. In this case, the truth is that, in accordance with UN and WEF climate recommendations, the city of Oxford (home to the famed university) approved plans mandating that citizens may not drive more than 15 minutes distance from their homes without permission. It’s called the “15 Minute City” and is intended to reduce auto emissions. Mostly, though, it will reduce liberty, which is what climate change madness has always been about.

    In many ways, the 15 Minute City (which the WEF and UN approvingly tout) is an old, unexceptional idea: Even in big cities, people like vibrant neighborhoods that allow them to travel very short distances (walking, riding a bike, or driving) to fulfill their daily needs (food, clothing, haircuts, etc.). Indeed, there are lots of people who pick homes based on their proximity to amenities. They don’t want to spend their lives in their cars or on public transportation chasing from one thing to another. And that’s fine. Making choices based on lifestyle preferences is a perfectly sound, market-based way to go through life.

    But the marketplace is not what globalists want. They want control. Certainly, that’s the case in and around Oxford, England. Word is trickling into America that both the leftist Oxfordshire County Council and the Oxford City Council have plans. Big plans.

    Spiked got wind of the planned changes in October. The ostensible push behind the plan is to end traffic problems, which certainly makes sense, but the plan will be implemented with the chain and jackboot:

    … Oxfordshire County Council, which is run by Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party, wants to divide the city of Oxford into six ‘15 minute’ districts. In these districts, it is said, most household essentials will be accessible by a quarter-of-an-hour walk or bike ride, and so residents will have no need for a car.

    On the surface, these 15-minute neigbourhoods might sound pleasant and convenient. But there is a coercive edge. The council plans to cut car use and traffic congestion by placing strict rules on car journeys. Under the new proposals, if any of Oxford’s 150,000 residents drives outside of their designated district more than 100 days a year, he or she could be fined £70.


    Run by a Labour administration, Oxford City Council takes a similar line.

    Since Spiked wrote the above, the Oxford City Council went from theory to fact by a council vote on November 29 to implement trial traffic filters as of January 2024 that will require residents to get permission to leave their neighborhoods, all in the name of saving the planet:

    Oxfordshire County Council yesterday approved plans to lock residents into one of six zones to ‘save the planet’ from global warming.  The latest stage in the ’15 minute city’ agenda is to place electronic gates on key roads in and out of the city, confining residents to their own neighborhoods.

    Under the new scheme if residents want to leave their zone they will need permission from the Council who gets to decide who is worthy of freedom and who isn’t.  Under the new scheme residents will be allowed to leave their zone a maximum of 100 days per year, but in order to even gain this every resident will have to register their car details with the council who will then track their movements via smart cameras round the city.

    In 1992, Rush Limbaugh appeared on ABC’s Nightline to engage in a debate with Al Gore regarding Gore’s charge, in his then-new book Earth in the Balance, that the earth was facing imminent climate death. After Gore blathered on “a global ecological crisis that is more serious than anything human civilization has ever faced,” Rush cut to the heart of the matter:

    The environmental movement as fueled by the militants who lead it, I think, is the new home of socialism. I think it is. They’ve adopted a constituency here which can’t speak — that is trees and rocks and so forth — and can’t reject the so-called help and concern that the advocates are giving it, and gives them a stage from which to constantly launch attacks at capitalism.

    Rush was right, of course. Socialism is totalitarianism, which exists under many names (theocracy, military junta, fascism, communism) but, no matter the name, the goal is always the same: Completely control a population for the benefit of a small, well-defined group of elites. In Oxford, England, with its new plan to trap people near their homes and spy on them wherever they go, we’re seeing the latest phase in the socialist crackdown that Rush identified 30 years ago.

    The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of Citizens Journal


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