Freethinkeruk’s Weblog

UK Political weblog

Archive for the tag “france”

Mass Hysteria or Control?

Let’s put aside for a moment the actual and terrible events in France last week and take a look at what has happened since.

Thousands of people gather in demonstrations on the Saturday following and on on Sunday (11/01/15) over a million citizens march through Paris and World leaders fly in to France from all points of the compass in, as they say, a show of solidarity with France and in support of free speech and expression, including Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel where 17 Journalists were killed last summer 2014 by the Israeli Defence Force, plus four more languishing in Israeli jails.  Journalists who reported the atrocities carried out by Israel in Palestine. This Paris march is not a spontaneous demonstration of anger, of collective grief or any other emotion, it was organised by the French government and they who created this mass hysteria. Why would they do this?

They do it for the same reason that the UK in London projected the french Tricolour onto buildings and the UK Prime Minister expresses the ‘need’ for more controls, more surveillance of the Internet and to close borders that are at present open for business and inter nation interaction. Governments generally seek more and more control over their citizens and seize upon any and every opportunity to increase their grip.  The deaths of the 17 people in France is a tragedy of course but is a golden opportunity for governmental control freaks. Here in the UK we are the most watched people on Earth with CCTV cameras on nearly every corner, our emails and telephone calls are recorded, through various requirements our very existence is monitored from birth to death. Demonstrations are again controlled, filmed and participants ‘kettled’ to ensure maximum discomfort in the hope of putting people off taking part in the future. New laws are proposed to make strikes all but impossible and so forcing workers into virtual slavery.

They need the population to be afraid because the people will turn to government in hope of protection and will accept even more curtailment of their rights and their freedom. Without diminishing the horror of the terrorist killings, if looked at calmly and rationally it was no more than a couple of nasty traffic accidents and the chance of similar happening to any particular individual are miniscule almost to a vanishing point. Most people though do not react rationally but with emotion which is so easily manipulated by the powerful.

It is not the terrorists we need to fear but our own governments.

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Knife Crime in UK

Knife Crime! Government and not just this one, are frequently banging on about knife crime, the latest being anyone caught for a second time carrying a knife will be imprisoned for six months, where of course they can learn to use them more effectively.

I have been to a France a few times and there they have shops that specialise in selling knives. The following is from global knife statistics: “France has seen no equivalent of the wave of fatal stabbings in Britain, and newspaper reports on the so-called “culture du poignard” (knife culture) reigning in London and other big cities are read with universal horror.”

It follows then that knives are not the problem so there must be some other underlying cause; would it not therefore be better to research this rather than banging up more people in crime academies?

Nuclear Power – The Big Debate?

So, there we have it, Britain’s nuclear power industry handed over to France with EDF already planning to build four more reactors.

The cost of this takeover is £12.5bn to EDF but didn’t I hear a short while ago that the cost of disposing of the radioactive waste that we already have (if anywhere can be found to put it) will be £76bn and rising? Isn’t it usually the case that when one company takes over another it takes over not just the assets but also the liabilities? Who is going to pay for future waste as we have yet to see the small print, indeed, if we ever do see it. Obvious of course that it will be us, the British taxpayer.

EDF is 86% owned by the French State so what the hell is our Government doing by giving control of our energy to a albeit benign, foreign power. As a matter of passing interest freethinkeruk’s electricity is supplied by EDF with around a 25% increase in cost so far this year. In France EDF was told by their government that 2% increase was the maximum allowed. Put another way we subsidise French electricity users.

We were also promised a ‘Big Debate’ on nuclear power, full public consultation; well at least they didn’t waste money on consultation when they had already made their minds up. Nuclear power is expensive, hugely risky and releases a lot of carbon in the process of getting the uranium out of the ground. Even while planning on more reactors it is still not known where to store the waste for the next 5000 years or more or how it’s ‘safety’ can be guaranteed by generations as yet unborn. On top of all this, safe, green alternatives exist and are getting more efficient all the time and together with energy conservation these dangerous reactors are not needed.

Knife Crime in UK

Freethinkeruk has just returned from a long weekend in Brittany France. Whilst browsing around the shops for a while, as you do, I came across a sport shop where, amazingly, almost an entire window display was taken over by knives. There were pen knives, lock knives, hunting knives, scuba diving knives, all obviously extremely well made and at reasonable prices.

Here in the UK there are laws banning the sale of certain knives and calls for a total ban are even being made along with, even weirder calls for all knives to be manufactured without a point; so hard luck if you’re a fisherman or a chef or many other legitimate users of a knife. Despite all this and various campaigns death and injuries caused by the use of a knife have increased but not as much as could be believed from the tabloid press. There is however not a dramatic increase in France where, as I said, knives can still be legally purchased over the counter.

When freethinkeruk was a young teenager (many, many years ago) nearly every boy had a knife which was most likely to be of the ‘flick knife’ design. Possession gave a mild feeling of bravado, an enjoyment in the quality, skill and design of it’s manufacture as well as being useful for carving bits of wood. It was never (or hardly ever) considered for attack or even defence when threatened and when past the age of around 16 was discarded or sold on to a younger lad.  What has changed is not knife possession but the willingness to use one in the UK. So what has changed in the last half centuary? It is true that there is far more more graphic and explicit violence on television and in films, video games almost invariably involve killing someone or something and war and our military is often glorified in the news items. I’m sure that in combination all these influences must lead to a somewhat deadening of our morals and sensibilities but not turn us into killers. During this period of time though, there has been a huge widening of the divide between those who have a lot and those who by comparison, have little. State control and surveillance has never been greater and opportunities for social mobility have been decreasing to the point where it is all but impossible for those in inner city estates and similar situations to achieve their potential. The frustration and indeed inner rage resulting from this oppression will inevitably vent off in vandalism, graffiti or violence.

More restrictions will do nothing, what is required is social change on a huge scale which this government will not give and neither will any potential replacement. The only hope is for enough of us to think for ourselves to demand change. It is possible and hopefully this blog will in it’s very, very, small way will help along with other voices in the wilderness.

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