A few days ago, as I was gambolling happily through the digitised dunes of internet life (there's a brilliant song about that, by the way), I stumbled upon quite the rabbit hole, which I have been tremulously tumbling down ever since... 'tremulous' because it's bloody cold in these old Yorkshire stone houses, and, like the rest of the country, I can't afford to put my heating on - which leads us nicely to the nature of my tremulous descent...
The hot button (terrible pun entirely intended - sorry) issue for the nation at the moment is the ever-spiralling energy bills, and how on Earth the country - already gripped by a cost of living crisis - is going to manage not to freeze to death, once average bills hit over £700 a month (as they are forecasted to do for big families come January; "only" £500+ for the rest of us).
Needless to say, millions of households simply cannot afford this hike, of which mine is one, so we've already made the decision to just continue paying what we always have - £90 a month - but by standing order, rather than direct debit. This already has us in debt with the energy companies, but we quite simply cannot afford any more, so there isn't an alternative option - or is there..?
A glossy and high-profile new movement has suddenly exploded into the consciousness of the general truth community, called 'Don't Pay UK'. You've probably heard of it - as I said, it's very high-profile. The premise of this movement is that we should lobby the government to force energy companies to reduce bills to reasonable levels, and if they don't, and go ahead with another hike on October 1st, we should all stop paying.
Sounds good, right?
Well, in my humble opinion, having dug a bit deeper into this increasingly shady looking movement, no.
I am an inured investigative citizen reporter* (*classy way of saying suspicious and nosy), and the minute I saw this new movement - its slick website, coordinated high-profile campaign, and sudden enormous social media following - my spidey senses started tingling (or maybe it was just that tremulous shiver again because of my bloody cold house - it's August and I need to go and put on another jumper...).
First of all: Don't Pay claims there is no money behind the movement and it is 100% powered by unpaid voluntary labour. Having myself worked extensively for grass-roots movements exclusively staffed by unpaid volunteers, I can tell you right now that there is no way that is true.
When something is actually run by unpaid volunteers, it is very evident in the way it is presented and the amount of time it takes to build up a decent following. Building up visibility and traction online when you are an anti-establishment cause with no money is punishingly hard - believe me! I've been at it for years and am still on less than 3,000 followers on Twitter - whereas "Don't Pay UK" comes out of nowhere in June and already has - as of midday August 1st - nearly 55,000 Twitter followers - despite not following a SINGLE account themselves! This is top celebrity behaviour, not "amateur grass-roots activists", who always need to follow plenty of other accounts in the initial stages to build up exposure and connections.
I've been specific with the time and date regarding their Twitter, because they seem to be gaining on average 10-15,000 new followers a day. Let's be clear: this level of traction simply does not happen for authentic, very new, anti-establishment grass-roots causes staffed by unpaid amateurs with no money. It just doesn't. So, we can safely conclude that these people are professionals, that they have (serious) money behind them, and that they've misled and deceived us by claiming otherwise. If I'm wrong, I'd love them to sue me for defamation and take me to court - not least because THEN WE WOULD ACTUALLY KNOW WHO THEY ARE.
Sorry to shout, but this is the most suspicious and shady thing of all. Despite being a hugely high-profile movement with inordinate levels of exposure over social and mainstream media alike, there is not a SINGLE name or face publicly associated with this movement. Go ahead and check it out. No names on the website, social media accounts, their WHOIS lookup - nothing.
In case there was any doubt, I write under my real full name and face (you can see me on the 'about' page, a photo taken during the first lockdown when I was enjoying an illicit social gathering with a friend - and a friend's cat), because I believe in what I'm saying and am not prepared to undermine the credibility of my message by being a faceless, nameless coward. If you haven't the intestinal fortitude to put your name to such a high-profile, high-stakes movement as Don't Pay - one that's trying to galvanise millions of people into seriously subversive action - then you have no business spearheading that movement. Tell us who you are or step aside for people who genuinely have the courage of their convictions and will reveal their identities. Yes, that's risky (I'm taking a big risk by writing this article and will undoubtedly take some heat for it), but if you can't stand the heat (pun again intended...). Nobody said activism, especially high-profile activism involving millions of people, was a safe or comfortable thing to engage in. It isn't and it requires bravery and strength, and the integrity to say who you are. So, Don't Pay - step out of the shadows or step down.
This is profoundly important because, if there are no names behind a movement, there's no transparency regarding background, motives, and so on. And if there's no transparency, there's no accountability. The shady, faceless 'Don't Pay' is telling you to do something that could have all sorts of serious and undesirable consequences - and if (and when?) it all goes wrong, they will be able to effortlessly disappear into the ether without having to bear any consequences.
As an organisation that is dealing with very significant amounts of money via selling hundreds of thousands of leaflets and taking four-figure sums in donations, supporters should be able to see how this money is being dealt with - is Don't Pay a sole trader? A limited company? A charity? There is absolutely no information on this whatsoever, and this should have serious alarm bells ringing.
Compare Don't Pay to a genuine grass-roots, volunteer-led movement like Freedom Alliance (using them as a reference as they were founded by personal friends of mine here in West Yorkshire), whose names and faces are there for all to see on their About page, and who are registered as a company that you can look up on Companies House. They are genuinely staffed by unpaid volunteers (simply because they have no wealthy backers and so cannot afford to pay staff, in common with many grass-roots movements, especially in the early stages), and that reflects in the fact they have been tirelessly campaigning for nearly two years and still have a tiny fraction of the followers Don't Pay have achieved in a single month. Real grass-roots movements, without serious money or establishment backing, never get instant, enormous exposure and mainstream coverage of the sort Don't Pay has enjoyed. This ONLY happens for mainstream-backed - and very well-funded - movements.
Unsurprisingly, I am not the only one in the truth movement harbouring deep suspicions about Don't Pay, and the Manchester-based Unity News Network put out this Tweet yesterday, advising caution and that they would be discussing the issue on their show. I tuned in, and the basic thrust of the discussion was - do you really understand what the consequences are if you just stop paying? If millions of us do? Will these consequences really be in our favour?
The first thing I would question about this movement is, what are the motives for encouraging people to pay nothing whatsoever, rather than just doing what I (and many others) are doing, and paying what you can? Apart from potentially undesirable consequences for me if I just stop paying (possible pre-payment meter getting fitted, possible SMART meter, possible CCJ), I don't think it's ethical - the energy companies are currently charging far too much (hence why I don't pay it), but they are, nevertheless, providing a valuable service, and valuable services should be paid for. Otherwise, isn't it just stealing? Exploiting other people's labour and giving nothing in return? Because it's not the fat-cat shareholders who will really suffer if we all just stop paying, it's the ordinary, working people who carry out the day-to-day operations on the frontline. Dave in the call-centre, Cath the regional manager, Bill the meter-reader, and all the thousands of other normal working people who are employed by these companies and therefore rely on them for paying their own bills and putting food on the table.
If we all simply stop paying and multiple energy companies collapse, what happens to their employees? The fat-cats at the top, with all their multifarious income streams and investments, aren't going to feel any real pinch - it's the ordinary workers who will suffer.
All those people will then be out of work and forced to throw themselves on the mercy of the state to survive, whilst, meanwhile, the companies themselves will go into administration, but the country still needs energy, so then what will happen? The obvious corollary of this seems to be that the energy companies will have to be nationalised - the state will have to run them.
When you realise that collapsing private companies and replacing them with state-controlled operations will be the consequence of mass non-payment of bills, it becomes unsurprising that - according to a trusted source I have been corresponding extensively with about the shady machinations of Don't Pay - "from what I've found out, they're a Socialist Worker splinter group. Their media blitz was pulled together by the Resolution Foundation, a Blairite think-tank. Their communications are via a Washington NGO, set up by John Kerry staffers and working with BLM, various XR factions, and anti-gun lobbyists called actionnetwork.org.
"The activists who did the leafletting on June 18th were all attached to SWP and handing out literature from both. I questioned one of their leafleters who showed up at the July Unite for Freedom Rally in London. It ended with me getting a lecture from her about how socialism is the only solution, etc. That's when my antenna started twitching.
"They're passing on their membership database to these guys discussed here: https://www.influencewatch.org/non-profit/action-network/
All their mailouts go via this crowd. This is the think tank behind their mid-July media blitz. https://resolutionfoundation.org
This is them on June 18th - sharing a stall with the SWP: https://socialistworker.co.uk/features/fill-the-streets-with-rage-at-the-tories-at-tuc-demonstration/."
So, there you have it. The whole operation smells very much like a slick Soros psy-op, meticulously coordinated and bankrolled at the highest levels.
I want to reiterate once again just how painstakingly tough it is for real activists to get significant momentum and visibility on even social media - never mind the mainstream media - and if activists ever do get close to this, what happens? They just get banned.
Why would the Big Tech platforms repeatedly ban someone like me, who barely has 2,500 followers on Twitter and less than 1,000 on Instagram, but give carte blanche to Don't Pay who have so much more visibility, if Don't Pay was a real threat?
If Don't Pay were a genuinely anti-establishment cause, then the usual suspects - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram - would simply ban them. Censored and silenced, they would have no further power. However, these platforms have not done this, and they won't, because Don't Pay aren't anti-establishment at all. They're pied pipers, leading the trusting, bewitched masses to exactly where the ruling classes want them to be. Forcing the collapse of private business so the state has to swoop in and take full control. That same ultra-malevolent and irredeemably corrupt state currently in the process of enacting national genocide. The state shouldn't be allowed to run a bath, never mind massive companies that we all depend on for our fundamental needs for heat, light, and power - because guess what happens if you are a state dissident in that situation?
What happens on social media now if you engage in "wrong thought"?
What happened to Canadians when they made "wrong transactions" to support the truckers?
Social media bans are a training ground to get us used to a social credit system, where the state can enact similar freezes on our bank accounts and utilities. If the state runs the energy companies, and you do something that displeases the state, what do you think is going to happen?
I'm not going to tell anyone what to do, and if you can't afford to pay your energy bills, then certainly, don't pay them (especially if you or your family are going hungry to pay them). But I would advise extreme caution with the Don't Pay movement, and strenuously encourage always doing your due diligence before getting involved with any new movement - especially one that is instantly high-profile, gets exposure in the mainstream press, and doesn't have a single verifiable name behind it.
It really is the case - even, and perhaps especially, within the freedom movement itself - that eternal vigilance is the price of freedom. To be clear: when an overtly establishment group, like the NHS, WHO, or government, does something, we're instantly suspicious of it. But when a new movement comes along, presenting itself as anti-establishment and appearing to say all the "right things", this can disarm us and therefore make us more vulnerable to being duped and misled. It goes without saying that the establishment is relentlessly trying to infiltrate any genuine dissident movements, since, as is well known, the best way for the establishment to control the opposition is to lead it themselves.
So please be careful who you trust. The Don't Pay movement is gathering significant intel on millions of people, using this information in ways that may very well not be in our interests, and guiding us towards dramatic action with potentially profound consequences that may make an already bad situation, very much worse.
As with all other significant decisions, before deciding what you will do in this situation, make sure you've explored all possible consequences and that you're going into it with your eyes wide open. Do the one thing all malicious and malevolent operators depend on you not doing: thinking critically and thinking for yourself.