Monday, November 02, 2009

Farewell freedom—it was nice knowing you

Those of us who like to extol the virtues of freedom and who are, simultaneously, political anoraks, have been dismayed—to put it mildly—at the wholesale destruction of our ancient freedoms. And things have only got worse...

Some months ago, whilst discussing the latest measures discouraging the sale of cigarettes, I noted that a huge number of the law passed by NuLabour had terrifying implications concerning what they did not say.
What they then do is to pass a law that allows them to go far, far further because, unlike the previous incarnation, this new clause doesn't define what the law actually is.

Each one of these clauses is, in effect, an Enabling Act in that it enables any designated minister to change the law without having to argue the case through Parliament—and thus ensuring that has no right to vote on it.
...

This is the really terrifying thing about NuLabour: they have pushed though thousands—tens, maybe hundreds, of thousands—of new laws, many of which contain these mini-Enabling Acts. And the Civil Contingencies Act is only the most egregious of these; there are others which allow ministers to remove our liberties on a whim.

Sure, they are far smaller matters, but taken together they all add up to an Executive wielding power with no brakes upon it: statutory instruments are bad enough and would, were your humble Devil in charge, be rendered illegal—these Enabling Clauses are, quite simply, the fence-posts for a totalitarian regime.

And, indeed, it is exactly this type of instrument that is being used to nod through one of the most terrifying, totalitarian laws that I have ever seen.
Draconian police powers designed to deprive crime barons of luxury lifestyles are being extended to councils, quangos and agencies to use against the public, The Times has learnt.

The right to search homes, seize cash, freeze bank accounts and confiscate property will be given to town hall officials and civilian investigators employed by organisations as diverse as Royal Mail, the Rural Payments Agency and Transport for London.

The measure, being pushed through by Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary, comes into force next week and will deploy some of the most powerful tools available to detectives against fare dodgers, families in arrears with council tax and other minor offenders.

The radical extension of the Proceeds of Crime Act, through a Statutory Instrument which is not debated by parliament, has been condemned by the chairman of the Police Federation.

And, again, your humble Devil predicted this, in a post entitled divide et impera—or "divide and rule".
And so it is that the government have been able to put through some disgusting laws, by aiming them at groups that the other groups dislike. 42 days detention without trial?—well, it'll only apply to terrorists, and they're all Muslims or at the very least darkies, eh?

The scrapping of double jeopardy, habeas corpus and trial by jury?—well, that'll only apply to the eeevil criminals (no matter that they have yet to be proven such). Oh, and the darkies, of course. And the poor.

The confiscation of your assets before you are even found guilty, or reversing the burden of proof for the confiscation of assets? Well, that'll only apply to drugdealers and the like.

And none of these people are really human, are they? Not like me.

And that's how they get us; that's how they pass those laws. And, they say that they won't use them except in the most exceptional circumstances, and only against those people who aren't really human.

Except that, by the time that the laws have passed and everyone has forgotten about them, suddenly you find that they are not quite so exclusive as you might have thought—that they might, in fact, be used against you and not just against those nasty, inhuman drug-dealers.

In the case above, the Proceeds of Crime law had been used to bankrupt some fishermen—now it is going to be used to bankrupt you.

There is very little that I can say about this disgusting move, except to echo Timmy's comment.
Bye bye liberty, it was nice knowing you.

There is only one question that can possibly be asked now...

Are there enough trees in England to hang these people from, and enough rope to do it?

21 comments:

Jiks said...

I remember reading your post about this Enabling Act business and a chill went down my spine at the time... it was clearly a charter to do anything they wanted. And so it has proved.

Seriously, is there ANY limit to what could be "enabled"? I've tried explaining this horror to various people but outside of a very few no one has been in the slightest bit interested ... sometimes I think as a country we have got the government we deserve.

(wv "nucked" - pretty close to a one word summary of our position)

JuliaM said...

"Are there enough trees in England to hang these people from, and enough rope to do it?"

Well, we'll have to be quick, won't we?

Vicola said...

Jesus H Christ on a two stroke moped, what the fuck is wrong with them? Seriously, it's terrifying. And what's even scarier is that the great British public just sit back like a collection of tame monkeys and let them do it, instead of engaging in the kind of wholesale protest and rioting that would have the power hungry lunatics running for the hills.

Anonymous said...

Well, there's nothing we can do about it for another seven month so, I guess we just lay back and enjoy it

Anonymous said...

What is so hateful about NuLabour is that only 22% of the electorate voted for them in 2005 but thanks to our utterly undemocratic voting system they got 55% of Commons seats. So they could pass any law they damn well liked irrespective of the voters' wishes. Then the unelected prime minister could appoint any other unelected pest such as PM to a position of great power in the Lords. Didn't Hitler grab total power pre-war through an Enabling Act having been elected legitimately? The next step is to declare a state of emergency on some pretext and 'suspend' elections altogether. Watch out.

Baz said...

I got a knot in my stomach as I read the Times story.

I'm now wondering what the Gov is going to do to prevent its removal next Spring. Deem us all too incompetent to vote, I expect.

Devil's Kitchen said...

Baz,

They could easily invoke the Civil Contingencies Act (so broad are its terms that the current floods in Scotland would allow for that) as I described here.

DK

Anonymous said...

"They could easily invoke the Civil Contingencies Act"

Only if they want to dance the hemp fandango. The people of Britain may have no great love of democracy but they do care enough about their only chance to "chuck the bastards out" to cause violence on a scale not seen seen the civil war if that chance is taken away.

Falco

ENGLISHMAN said...

Rather than enough trees,are there enough guts in England to prevent this tyranny?

Loubeeloo said...

"The next step is to declare a state of emergency on some pretext and 'suspend' elections altogether."... so like an 'international pandemic' of H1N1 maybe???

Roger Thornhill said...

Anyone who thinks Cameron will undo all this is kidding themselves almost as much as he is trying to kid us.

the a&e charge nurse said...

Can we rebrand the 'war on terrorism' as the 'war on law abiding citizens'?

It seems to work like this;
Step 1 - create climate of fear.
Step 2 - introduce so much legislation that it takes 400 years to read it.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/article667442.ece
Step 3 - use said legislation to push little people around.
Nice?

manfromthefuture said...

all your base are belong to us!

Anonymous said...

May I refer you to Old Holborn 28 October by Guthrum on Operation Rize.

I was so ashamed I'm not ashamed to say I cried.

The Heresiarch said...

Reflecting upon David Wilshire's remarks today, about how "Branding a whole group of people [in his case MPs] as undesirables led to Hitler’s gas chambers." And thinking, might not be such a bad idea.

Anonymous said...

Do not be downhearted. Even if, and when, the bastards win, extinguish liberty for the forseeable future, and bring in the full Endarkenment, we can still have barbecues.

We can come up behind them in the night, with cheesewire, and cut off their heads. (You have to be fast. Or so an "SAS man" in the Falklands is "reputed to have said later.")

Then we will have meat that, "it is said" (by "some"), tastes like pork. I would not care, however, to make sausages from their intestines, knowing the shit they have dumped on the rest of humanity.

OrganisedPauper said...

Minority groups indeed. The current proposals that may affect home educators will enable council officials access to the home without a warrant or any seriouse concerns. They will also enable interviewing of children alone without parents present. These are powers that neither the police or social workers have and for good reason.

They propose an annual licensing arrangement to home education and compulsory registration with the local authority and to make it a criminal offence not to register.

Of course no-one gets where it's heading because they think.. home educators...they're not like us are they? They must all be child abusers right or hippies or religious weirdos right? They're not normal not sending their kids to school so they must be dodgy. It won't affect me.

But we're no different from anyone else. We're every bit as diverse as the UK population. We ARE like you. The only difference is we choose a different type of education for our children.

They aren't just coming to police and inspect our parenting and license and register us. We're the first wave. Who do you think is next once the power to access the home and interview children alone is passed as legislation? Who's going to have to register then? Who has to have an annual licence to parent passed by the council then?

Anonymous said...

That's also the implication of abortion rights laws, too, when you really think about it; if an innocent child's life is expendable, life is no longer sacred, and it's a matter of time until we discover the circumstances under which our own lives are forfeit.

They once used to wonder how the most civilized nation in Europe succumbed to nazism. It's terrifying and surreal to see madness closing in on you.

jono said...

Various kites already flying about using the Civil Contingencies Act:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/nov/01/winter-crisis-gas-supplies

Yup; as easy as that and nobody is going to bat an eyelid.

jono

Fausty said...

Many of these laws emanate directly from the EU and some were even proposed by Labour.

The chances are that these laws were little more than copy and paste jobs - from EU diktats to UK bills.

Anonymous said...

The wolves have carried out their subtle plan and now the sheep only see them as indistinct shadows moving around and among them while they graze and are mesmerized by their daily doses of strictlyxfactordancingidol.

And we, the shepherds, whose crooks and catapults were stolen in the night by those same wolves, sit helpless on the hillside and watch as the wolves build fences around the flock. The flock, who through lack or education and socially engineered apathy, did not hear our call to run, graze on in blissful ignorance.

We know the day will come when the wolves will implement their final solution. All across the pastures, the wolf packs will complete their fences and then, the feeding frenzy will begin. Too late the flock will see that they have been herded and imprisoned and that now they are at the mercy of the wolves - but there will be no mercy.

Some of us shepherds will be unable to take it. They will rise and challenge the wolves, will try to tear down the fences, but by then the wolves will be too strong and they will perish while the flock bleats for assistance.

Other shepherds will admit defeat and will turn their backs. They will find a corner of the pasture to hide in and wait for the time when the sheep have been bled dry and the wolves will seek the shepherd’s blood.

And some of us will sit and weep as we watch the flock die one by one.

The only hope will be for a few sheep to hear our pleas and evolve into shepherds. They will speak the tongue of the sheep and be able to motivate them into concerted effort to break down the fences and disperse their numbers and spread the power of their new-found knowledge to the other flocks in the pasture and drive the wolves back into the hills.

Alas, I fear that we are now too close to the endgame. The anti-terrorism laws were not implemented to defeat an external threat; they are there to monitor the internal threat posed by the sort of people who frequent sites like these. I expect that the IP and MAC address of everyone who has commented here has been run through some database and profiles built up on whether we constitute a threat and deserve any ‘special’ attention.

The things that held us together as a society: national identity; social cohesion through neighbourhood; social discussion in communal meeting place like pubs and clubs; and social support and cooperation facilitated by such things as neighbourhood childcare or sharing of social burdens have all been banned, either through disruption of local community by non-integrating immigration, the destruction of local pubs via the anti-smoking and anti-alcohol lobbies, and the media hyping of paedophilia to the point to which you don’t trust yourself around your own children.

There is now no such thing as community or society. The UK (and many other of the western nations) is a collection of individuals who chant the mantra that their rights outweigh those of society and that to step over the bodies of your competitors is the only way to progress. They believe the spin that our youth are fantastically educated and are all doing so well with their 7 A grade exam passes because very few adults actually engage with their children any more. We are forced to treat children like little adults and the children expect to be treated so – except that they don’t have the life skills or experience to act in an adult way. But parents cant ‘educate’ them using traditional ‘reward or punishment’ methods – punishment is banned. So many parents defer the rest of their parenting to the state and we end up with feral thugs who believe that reality is the movies and re-enact those movies on our street corners. This drives the less self-confident members of community (usually the more academic among us) to retreat behind their front doors – thereby destroying the fabric of society further.

Sadly I do think that the tipping point has been passed and the balance has tipped into their favour.