In the news recently, Nigel Farage claimed that his bank account had been closed because of his campaigning for Brexit. He accused the bank of ‘blatant corporate prejudice’ and ‘serious political persecution’
(https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2023/06/29/nigel-farage-says-may-have-to-leave-uk-bank-closes-accounts/). Coutts, the bank in question, has now claimed that Mr Farage’s account was actually closed because the amount in his account fell below their required financial threshold that customers borrow or invest at least £1 million pounds with themselves, or hold £3m in savings (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-66097039). Mr Farage, however, seems unimpressed by this justification, saying in response that he’s never held that much money, so why is it such a problem now?
Perhaps he has a point, because similar complaints of unjustified closure have been made, amongst others, by Richard Tice, the leader of Reform UK, and Toby Young, founder and director of the Free Speech Union. Recently too, Church of England vicar Richard Fothergill has revealed that his account with the Yorkshire Building Society was also summarily closed, following his complaint to the Bank over their promotion of transgender ideology during Pride month (https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/1786541/bank-closes-vicars-account-after-farage-warning-spt).
Hu…um, a case for Sherlock Holmes, perhaps!
When I last checked, banks were financial institutions providing services for the public to manage their money, licensed, as such, to receive deposits and make loans. But in recent months this remit seems to have been extended to include policing the political and/or moral views of would-be customers. Which is disturbing, because it would seem to indicate an emerging pattern of discrimination. If so, what exactly is going on here, and why are banks acting like this?
A recent report in The Daily Telegraph is perhaps helpful. It reveals that the majority of High Street banks are members of the highly controversial Diversity Champions programme run by the political campaigning group Stonewall (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2023/07/03/most-high-street-banks-signed-up-stonewall-diversity/). The stated aim of this programme is to “give employers the confidence and tools they need to meet the needs of today’s diverse workforce and empower LGBTQ+ employees to thrive” (https://www.stonewall.org.uk/build-workplace-works-lgbtq-people). Which, on the face of it, sounds pretty innocuous, but on its website, Stonewall boasts that it is campaigning globally to create transformative change (emphasis added), i.e., it isn’t just working to support LGBTQ+ individuals in the workplace, but is actively seeking to alter the social climate.
As part of its programme, the normalisation and promotion of LGBTQ+ life-style choices and behaviour are strongly encouraged, including provision of gender-neutral spaces and the eradication of gendered language. It goes without saying that any deviation is frowned upon and must be suppressed. “Join the Diversity Champions Programme today”, Stonewall urges of its website, “and transform your workplace culture into one that can attract, retain and nurture the top LGBTQ+ employees.” As further encouragement, Stonewall also posts an annual index that rates organisations and employers on their standards of “inclusivity” and “diversity”.
Most of the major banks in the UK are enrolled in this programme, and several are included in the list of Stonewall’s 100 top employers for 2023 (https://www.stonewall.org.uk/top-100-employers/full-list). The inescapable, albeit unpalatable, truth would therefore seem to be that activists have captured the nation’s financial institutions and, through them, are attempting to bring in what they call “transformative change”. In such a climate, troublesome customers might well be seen as fair game!
However dressed up, this is attempted social engineering by the back door – a covert attempt to impose totalitarian control by restricting access to resources. It must stop. What we are seeing is not an exercise of liberty, giving banks the right to choose which customers to accept. Rather it is the attempt of a new religion to assert dominance – a religion that will not allow dissent.
That the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, is now calling for an investigation into the country’s financial institutions is to be welcomed, but the problems extend far beyond our banking system and the unwarranted closure of accounts. We are seeing the same problems in education, in government, in the NHS … throughout society, in fact. Activists are demanding we not just sign up, but submit, to the new Weltanschauung, with those who disagree being branded bigots and liars – pariahs, who must be excluded from society.
This is in fact the polar opposite of “inclusivity” and “diversity”, with the words being hijacked and twisted by activists for the promotion of their own ends. It is a deliberate attempt to take, by subterfuge, the moral high ground, conferring a cloak of virtue over activity focused on embedding their version of morality – excluding anyone who may be different.
What’s happened to Nigel Farage, Richard Tice, Toby Young, and Rev Robert Fothergill could happen to any one of us, at any time, and must be resisted. And the promotion of this ideology throughout society, with its especially targeted ensnarement of the young, must equally be stopped.
As first step, please write to your MP today, calling for the Charity Commission to investigate Stonewall, as a political organisation unqualified for charitable status. Call also for an investigation into all banks, organisations, and businesses signed up to the Diversity Champions programme, asking that they be compelled to put in place measures that will genuinely uphold equality and diversity for all.
Call for the protection of freedom of belief and of speech, and for democracy to be upheld.