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One More Step Along The Road To A Police State?

BBC reports that

The UK is planning an updated anti-terror strategy aimed at tackling the immediate threat of terrorism and the longer-term causes of extremism.

The Home Office says the proposal would give the UK the most comprehensive counter-terror strategy in the world.

A paper will reflect intelligence opinion that the biggest threat to the UK comes from al-Qaeda-linked groups.

Gordon Brown says tens of thousands of Britons such as retailers had now been trained to deal with a terror incident.

I wonder what this new, updated strategy will involve?

Immediate imposition of the Deep Packet Inspection technology to intercept and monitor everyone’s internet activity?  After all, this “government” is determined to know everything about everyone and because it can’t control the internet it will use the argument that terrorists use the internet to justify it.

Immediate imprisonment without trial for people taking photographs in public areas?  It is now illegal to take photos of police so this is just a logical extension of what is now in place.  Not The Nine O’Clock News ran a sketch where Griff Rhys Jones played a policeman who arrested someone on the charge of “possession of curly black hair and thick lips”.  Now police could be arresting people for having camera phones in their hand.  Sending text messages could become illegal if the government can’t get its Interception Modernisation Programme in place…

“I’m sorry sir, you are under arrest for using a camera phone in a public place.”
“I’m answering a phone call!”
“On a camera phone sir, that is in direct breach of the Camera Phone Usage Act 2009.”

You think I’m joking?  Consider that “government” politicians are considering making seeing images they deem inappropriate a criminal offence.  Not possession, just sight.

Immediate imposition of a “government” approved curriculum and “government” approval of all examinations.  Ed Balls wants the latter anyway.

It can’t be too long before a phrase similar to “Enemy of the state” comes into “governmental” usage.  Where did I last hear that?  I’ll tell you: in the rather good film Conspiracy where Kenneth Branagh plays Reinhard Heydrich.  He is talking to Dr Wilhelm Stuckart (who co-wrote the Nuremberg Laws in Nazi Germany) when he says:

“There are no shortages of meat hooks on which to hang enemies of the state”

Is that where this country is heading?  This will be Gordongrad.

I’ll bet Jack Straw, the “Justice” Secretary will be a vocal defender of these new provisions, whatever they may be.  I still haven’t had a response from Mr Straw to my comments on his Blackburn Labour blog, which I also posted here.

There will be those who will say “You must trust the government on this.”  To that I ask “Why?  This “government” has stolen civil liberties from us, taken this country into a war on questionable evidence and implemented a surveillance society which would give Heydrich, Stalin and Honecker perpetual wet dreams.  Why should I trust Gordon Brown and Jacqui Smith on anything?”

This “intelligence opinion” interests me.  Who are these “intelligence” people?  “Military intelligence” is an oxymoron to me.  Are they people who will say whatever their “government” masters tell them to?

Is anyone reading this a UK based retailer who has been “trained” on how to respond in the event of a terror incident?  What did this entail?  I’m curious, as during the cold war there were propaganda films about Civil Defence Volunteers who were there to act as backup in the event of a nuclear strike in this country.  If you’ve listened to The Quatermass Memoirs you will have heard something of them.

Let me quote President Obama in his inauguration speech:

We reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals… we will not give them up for expedience’s sake.

In other words… (aka Jamie’s translation)

Those who imposed restrictions on their people in response to terrorist atrocities have failed.  They have capitulated meekly and spinelessly to the terrorists.  By changing the way you live you give the terrorists what they want.  Has Britain forgotten the Spirit of the Blitz?  Evidently so.  A free society which changes the way it lives because of terrorists is no longer a free society.

If you haven’t seen Peter Watkins’ film The War Game, I urge you to do so.  It’s scary even now, 44 years after its creation. Why is it scary?  One major reason is because the measures the government suggest you take for “protection” seem pretty unlikely to protect you.  The Protect And Survive films from the 1970s seem to be little more than propaganda.

So how can we believe the assessment of these “intelligence” people as accurate?

For “the most comprehensive counter-terror strategy in the world” might we be looking at “the most comprehensive police state in the world”?

Yes, this is strong stuff and possibly an overreaction.  But time will tell.

Published ingovernmentPolicingPoliticsprivacysurveillance state


  1. Sue

    We shall see.. I can’ wait :)

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