Pettibone, Sellner Etc. Tip Of Iceberg—Britain’s Police State Operates Mostly Out Of Sight
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Britain, of course, cannot join in America’s March for Our Lives festivities because most handguns were banned, by a “Conservative” government, after the 1996 Dunblane school massacre. Curiously, this has not stopped continuing massacres, albeit by Muslims using bombs, swords and motor vehicles. Nor has it stopped Britain’s astonishing degeneration into an open police state, obsessively concerned with seeking out and punishing political dissent among its traditional population. Some recent excesses have received international publicity. But even more serious is the fact that, like an iceberg, most British repression is out of sight. The pair had wanted to make speeches at Speaker's Corner in London's Hyde Park and to interview Tommy Robinson, the former leader of the English Defence League. They were refused entry by UK officials on suspicion of “inciting hatred and tension between local communities.”
  • Again in March 2018, Mark Meechan, a warehouse worker, was found guilty by a Scottish court of posting a video on YouTube which was judged grossly offensive because it was “anti-Semitic and racist in nature” and was aggravated by religious prejudice.
Meechan had trained his girlfriend’s dog to respond to statements such as “gas the Jews” and “Sieg Heil” by raising its paw. His claim that he had only made a joke to annoy his girlfriend was rejected.  He could get six months in jail for this, and will be sentenced on April 23. [U.K. YouTuber convicted of hate crime for teaching dog ‘Nazi salutes’, By Jessica Chasmar, Washington Times,  March 21, 2018]
  • In September 2017, the “Conservative” Government of Theresa May used the terrorism laws to ban two organisations, Scottish Dawn and NS131. They were accused of being reincarnations of National Action, which had been banned earlier. Amber Rudd, the Home (= Interior) Secretary, explained her actions as follows:

National Action is a vile racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic group which glorifies violence and stirs up hatred while promoting their poisonous ideology and I will not allow them to masquerade under different names.

By extending the proscription of National Action, we are halting the spread of a poisonous ideology and stopping its membership from growing - protecting those who could be at risk of radicalisation.

[BREAKING NEWS: Government BANS far-right groups Scottish Dawn and NS131 under terrorism laws as they are revealed to be aliases of neo-Nazi group National Action, Daily Mail, September 17, 2017]

  • In March 2018, The leaders of Britain First, Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen, were sent to prison for aggravated harassment. To be clear, what they did was to go about Canterbury threatening any Moslem they thought had sat on a particular jury. What they did would have been a crime before the country became a police state—breach of the peace, threatening behaviour, common assault, and so forth. Even so, it is unlikely any leftist would have been punished for harassing members of Britain First. They were punished for being dissidents. The acts they committed were merely evidence of their real crime.[Britain First leaders jailed over anti-Muslim hate crimes, by Kevin Rawlinson, Guardian, March 7, 2018]
Of course, some rights to freedom of speech are carefully upheld by the authorities. In 2016, the British Government admitted Syed Muzaffar Shah Qadri, a Moslem cleric from Pakistan, whose calls for religious violence are so inflammatory that he is banned from preaching in his own country. The Government also admits preachers who demand the execution of Christians accused of blasphemy against Islam, and it grants asylum to leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, who repeatedly incite violence against the Egyptian Coptic Christians. [Britain bans persecuted Archbishops but welcomes persecutors, Protestant Truth Society, December 9, 2016]

But this is just the headline news. The authorities do not like to be seen in acts of what everyone recognizes as persecution of opinion. They really do want to be seen as the rulers of a textbook liberal democracy. And so their main attack is more subtle. Organizations need to be shut down and people sent now and again to prison. But Britain’s emerging police state prefers to operate through administrative measures in secret—hence my iceberg analogy.

For example, if you belong to any profession in the U.K., there are rules to prevent you from speaking your mind on certain issues. The rules are most obvious where teaching is concerned. For example,

Nowadays in England, if you want to work with children or young people, or with anyone else deemed “vulnerable” by the authorities, you need to be checked by something called the Disclosure and Barring Service. This is a government body, set up in 2012 by Theresa May when she was Home Secretary, with access to various police and other databases. It can check for criminal records – but also for records of arrest and any other dealings with the police. Police officers are also permitted to add information that they regard as relevant—even if no further action was taken against an applicant.

One smudge on a DBS certificate, and you can kiss goodbye to a teaching career, or to any other job that involves contact with “vulnerable” people.

Then there is the Government’s Prevent strategy, which applies to the whole state machinery. Its purpose is to identify and root out anyone defined as a “political extremist.” Anyone identified as such is effectively banned from working with children and young people, and probably in the state sector as a whole.

Of course, this was allegedly aimed at Muslim terrorists, but it is in fact used (and was probably always intended to be used) against British nationalists. In one notorious case, foster children were removed from a home in Rotherham (yes, that Rotherham) because the foster parents were members of UKIP, the impeccably middle-class anti-European Union party.  [EXCLUSIVE: Parents who had children removed over UKIP links to get new family,   By Caroline Wheeler, Express, August 31, 2014]

To put this “extremism” in perspective, remember that Brexit actually won when the British finally got to vote on the European Union in the 2016 referendum

Another feature of the Prevent strategy: anyone working with children and young people must himself become a spy. Any student who speaks or behaves out of turn must be reported. He then goes on a register, and faces trouble in his career.  Again, support for UKIP can get you reported.

Typically, in 2015, the Safeguarding Children Board of the London Borough of Camden published Keeping Children and Young People Safe from Radicalisation and Extremism: Advice for Parents and Carers. Its aim was to “help parents and carers recognise when their children may be at risk from radicalisation.”

How to spot “radicalisation”? The signs include “showing a mistrust of mainstream media reports and belief in conspiracy theories”, “appearing angry about government policies, especially foreign policy”, and “secretive behaviour and switching screens when you come near.”

Needless to say, most readers would fall into this category

In fact, in the matter of laws against looking at websites, the Home Secretary recently suggested that anyone found to be “repeatedly” viewing “extremist” content should be sent to prison for up to fifteen years. [Tightening of law around viewing terrorist material is response to increasing frequency of UK attacks,  by  Alan Travis, Guardian, Oct 2, 2017]

This was denounced as a ridiculous proposal. And any law to this effect might possibly be struck down as an infringement of civil liberties—if it got into the higher courts and if litigants had the money and time to defend themselves.

But the suggestion’s real purpose, again, was probably to scare people from looking at dissident literature. In Britain, all Internet traffic is monitored and logged. The suggestion was another reminder of the awful powers that can be used out of sight to break a career.

If you work in any capacity, for any organization, with children or young people, or in any job in the state sector—or if you have children and are worried they might be taken away from you by the social workers—you just have to be careful what you say.

The law says you are at perfect liberty to look at any political website that takes your fancy. We have human rights laws that do not normally let the Police kick your door in. You can join any organization that has not been banned. You can worship as you please. You are a free citizen in a free country. There are laws that say this, and often judges to agree, should any case get into the higher courts.

But you keep your mouth shut if you have untoward opinions. You might say something in front of an informer.

Best of all not to have any untoward opinions. Safety lies in not challenging the established order. Advancement lies in supporting it.

In the U.S. this used to be denounced as a “chilling effect”—at least until your Political Class decided to repress the Alt Right.

The relative paucity of legal action taken against “extremists”—there are about half a dozen a year— is evidence not of the strategy’s failure but of its success. That convictions in the lower courts are sometimes struck down on appeal is also no sign of failure. The Main Stream Media’s coverage simply confirm to everyone else the dangers of speaking out.

Nearly all the work of censorship is out of sight, in a mass of administrative measures that are grinding the British into political sheep.  And this is the real British police state.

Fortunately, you Americans have your First Amendment.

And guns.

Alan Bickley [Email him] writes from the UK.

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