Freethinkeruk’s Weblog

UK Political weblog

Archive for the category “police state”

Police Brutality Rules OK

A police officer at the G20 summit who, without any provocation at all, violently pushes over a newspaper seller, Ian Tomlinson, who was simply walking home and who then died just minutes later is not to face any charges at all. See report.

Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer said “After a thorough and careful review of the evidence, the CPS has decided that there is no realistic prospects of a conviction against the police officer in question for any offence arising from the matter investigated and that no charges should be brought against him.”

Although there is still some medical dispute over what actually was the cause of death of Mr Tomlinson would any reasonable person believe that it was just chance that he died a few minutes after being shoved to the ground. Even if we assume that he would have died at that moment anyway, there is still grounds surely for a charge of assault. This decision gives the green light to police that they can do what the hell they like and get away with it.

Advertisements

UK Citizen Surveillance Goes European

I have written many times about the ever increasing amount of surveillance and I won’t labour the point now but secret information has been revealed showing that EU wide co-operation in anti terrorism surveillance is being used in the UK to target lawful protesters who are exercising their legal rights and are being dubbed ‘Domestic Terrorists’. See report.

Police State Gets Closer

Almost a year ago I wrote about the ever-increasing surveillance that is making the likelihood of a police state possible if and when the conditions are right. It gives me no pleasure to point out that this scenario comes even closer with the report out today in The Times.

Yes, Liberty will fight this in the courts, maybe even the European Court of Human Rights and will probably but not definitely win but will this change anything? The ECHR found against the Government on storage of DNA taken from innocent citizens which to a large extend government ignored or found a way around the ruling.  We are fast approaching the time when either we surrender the freedom that our forefathers fought for or we must rise up and demand our rights and the Poll Tax riots spring to mind for definite change forced upon those who usurp the power that we loan them. Unfortunately state surveillance does not, yet, hit the people in the purse or the wallet and so I fear the worst.

Fatherland

Whilst ‘enjoying’ a wet holiday I wandered into a secondhand bookshop and picked up a novel entitled ‘Fatherland’ by Robert Harris and published in 1992. Apparently it was a best seller and I’m not at all surprised as it was fast moving and totally gripping.

DSCS0002I’m not going to give a review but it’s based on the idea of Germany having won the last war and paints a vivid picture of life in a State where surveillance and control is all but total. As the story unfolded, the realisation crept up on me of how easy it would be for this very condition to be imposed now, in our own country.

I recommend getting hold of a copy, not only for a good read but also to be aware of the dangers facing us. The price of freedom is not just vigilance but being prepared to take action before it’s too late.

Police Brutality….but where?

Now here’s an interesting picture:-

Who's police?

Who's police?

Well, as it happens they are Iranian police beating up a demonstrator in Tehran but doesn’t the picture look very familiar? Yes, it could be the police at the London G7 demo a few weeks ago. Welcome to our world Iranians.

What Now for New Labour?

It’s anyone’s guess at the moment whether Gordon Brown will be able to survive the current political crisis although I suspect that he may hang on until the bitter end next year and the end will indeed be bitter.

When New Labour with Tony Blair were elected in 1997 the electorate would have given power to anyone rather than the Tory’s and at that point a golden opportunity was lost. With a huge majority Blair, with Brown as Chancellor, could have transformed the UK into a far better nation. Together they wasted the first two years by sticking with the economic plans put in place by the previous administration and then proceeded to expand the ‘free market economy’ and embraced and encouraged the money grubbing, me first culture of  profit before people. They increased the gap between the rich and the poor by deviously cutting the taxes of the wealthy and increasing the taxes on the less well off. They believed their own spin that the City of London could go on creating money from thin air and that house prices would increase exponentially for ever. They took us into an illegal war costing billions of Pounds and tens of thousands of lives and into another futile and expensive escapade in Afghanistan from which we have yet to be extradited. They have progressively introduced draconian state control of our citizens by way of surveillance, police powers and data linkage. Yes, they have done some good things and improvements to the NHS and Education spring to mind but even they are tarnished by the Public/Private Finance Initiative which will result in a huge outpouring of money into the private sector over many, many, years.

So what now for Gordon Brown and New Labour? The next election is lost so with nothing to lose why not make some real change in the time that is left. The MP’s expenses must of course be sorted out and pushing through some form of PR in time for the General Election would be mostly popular and have the advantage of limiting Labour’s losses. Abandon the ridiculous and unpopular ID Card Scheme along with Trident replacement and huge aircraft carriers, thus saving tens of billions of pounds. Recognise that killing Afghan tribesmen and devastating villages is an unwinnable war and in any case will do nothing to protect us from terrorist attacks here and in fact will make such attacks more likely. Some of the cash saved could be used to increase pensions towards the poverty line (£165) per week as pensioners are more likely to spend it and so help in the recovery of  industry and employment.

All of this could be done prior to the General Election and may go some way to ensuring a wiser Labour re-election in maybe five years rather than our nation suffering once again under a Tory government for ten or fifteen or more years.

Police State Nearly in Place

It had to happen because if they can they will; thousands of cameras linked to computers are very soon to be logging our car registration plates as we drive to our destinations.

Along with records of our telephone calls and emails being kept, the highest number of CCTV cameras on the planet watching our every move, personal information on multiple electronic storage systems, ID cards on the way and a Government that is increasingly bypassing Parliament by using ‘Orders in Council’ and other non democratic powers derived from the Crown, our civil liberties are in grave peril. Add to this millions of DNA samples, of even innocent citizens, are kept, so far, even in defiance of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Article 8 – ‘the right to respect for private and family life, home and correspondence’ – should provide protection in our private sphere, and can extend into our working lives and encompass matters relating to our identity, independence and autonomy. The Government has done little to inform the British public of this Convention which they signed in 1998 and when found to be inconvenient will find ways around it. The Tory’s want to get rid of it altogether.

The old argument that ‘if you’ve done nothing wrong, you’ve got nothing to worry about’ is regularly trotted out by those who seek to control but it’s just not true. Freedom that is granted conditionally is not freedom, freedom to keep your phone calls and email letters private, to go where you wish without it been recorded is a fundamental right and surely is simply natural justice. My DNA is a part of me, indeed in a sense, it is me and yes it should be used responsibly if I am suspected of a crime but no part of me should be kept, in case I commit an offence.

Worse still the conditions are almost complete when it is possible for a future malignant government to take total control, refusing to allow the democratic processes continuance and so leaving a return to true freedom all but impossible. Yes, this is a worse case scenario but it has happened in even recent history; Nazi Germany, Mussolini’s Italy and Saddam Husein’s Iraq spring easily to mind. We must therefore consider it possible that it could happen here and make every effort that we can to reverse the intrusion of the State into our everyday lives before it is too late.

Police Violence – nothing new

We are all, I’m sure, shocked by the police violence at the G20 demonstrations. We saw Ian Tomlinson walking home from work with his hands in his pockets and being struck from behind with a baton and then violently pushed to the ground by a balaclava wearing police officer. He subsequently died, believed at first to be from a heart attack and now from internal bleeding. The actual cause of his death is yet to be determined with accuracy but there can only be a little doubt that the police action at least contributed to his demise.

Of course there is outrage but this is nothing new; what is new is the almost universal possession of camera/phone/video recorders. In his younger days freethinkeruk witnessed many acts of police violence whilst he was engaged in non violent peace demonstrations. A close friend, one of the original Greenham Common Women, was part of a ‘sit-in’ in Parliament over the introduction of Cruise Missiles. Refusing to leave (of course) each of her legs was gripped by a policeman and she was dragged down a long flight of stone steps on her back and dropped outside. She was over 70 years of age, almost her entire body was bruised and she could barely walk for over two weeks.

Nothing new, nothing done about it but with modern technology by way of small video cameras gathering evidence, perhaps something will be done. I won’t hold my breath though and I would advise you not to hold yours.

Post Navigation