Maybe I should emmigrate to... China?
December 1, 2003 2:14 AM   Subscribe

The State of Britain today. Mass surveillance of it's citizenry. ID cards. Making criminals of teenagers who snog (!) And a bill to rival the USA Patriot Act removing property & human rights at a minister's whim. With men being imprisoned in UK jails for over almost 2 years, without charge or trial (ala Guantanamo) it looks like the partnership between Bush and Blair is a little more than simple expediency.
posted by Blue Stone (26 comments total)
posted by quonsar at 2:43 AM on December 1, 2003

England is the land of modern fascism. Blair makes bush look like the chairman of the ACLU. Asscroft would never dream of a national ID card, or of taking away our guns.

I mean, we are talking about a country that has just gotten rid of the ban on double jeopardy after a thousand years or so, and tried to do away with jury trials for "complex" fraud cases.

This is a country Madonna left because the traffic cams were ''invading her privacy". I donno, maybe after a few thousand years people start to really trust the government. I'm glad people here at least keep some semblance of fear.

Oy, all this vodka is making me sick.
posted by delmoi at 3:05 AM on December 1, 2003

Life imitates art.
posted by homunculus at 3:19 AM on December 1, 2003

Welcome to the rise of modern fascism. Remember to tell your grandkids you saw it happening.
posted by MrLint at 3:28 AM on December 1, 2003

Ah you bunch of whiny liberal leftist commies!

England and The United States of America (god bless the USA!) know what is best. To question anything is tantamount to terrorism! You weaken the strength of all that is great about the U.K. and the U.S.!

Why can't you just accept the status quo? Nothing could possibly go wrong, after all, it's the government that we're trusting here.

Right? Right? Anyone....

(Christ, time to put down the crack pipe.)
posted by damnitkage at 3:39 AM on December 1, 2003

The British are the most freedom-loving, privacy-respecting and, when push comes to shove, downright riotous people I've ever met. Their individualistic, compassionate and essentially common sense anf fairness-centred culture utterly protects them from any type of fascism. In the medium and long term, they'll stand for none of these repressive measures, mark my words, if their consequences affect their daily lifes, beyond making life more difficult for criminals and terrorists - that is, if they do have a noticeable effect on the crime rate.

(Yikes, I had no idea I was so fond of the Brits!)

The problem with Britain, imo, has more to do with increasingly nannyish and do-gooder tendencies plus, I must say, an excessive admiration on the part of the political elite for the American system of government. But all this will pass. The Brits are expert survivors. God bless'em.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 3:42 AM on December 1, 2003

The state of Britain today? Far from perfect, but better than anywhere else.

Much the same as it's always been...
posted by derbs at 3:50 AM on December 1, 2003

never trust any nation over 300.

*pockets damnitkage's crack pipe*
posted by quonsar at 4:02 AM on December 1, 2003

*suddenly startled*

Huh? Fascists? Did I miss the big parade? Damn!!

I was looking forward to seeing the ethnics rounded up, the trade unions banned or co-opted, the Parliament dissolved, the Judiciary cowed, the youth indoctrinated and militarised, the spastics sterlised, the homosexuals pilloried & the furriners branded.

Instead, we see Asian MPs, the TUC in revolt, Parliament dissenting, judges attacking government allies, the youth ballin' or apathetic, rights for the Disabled, legal gay unions mooted by the Queen, and easy access in & out of the country for the frogs, the krauts and the spics.

Are we talking about the UK, or some other, fantasy country?

*Lays back on sofa, hides everyones acid...*
posted by dash_slot- at 4:14 AM on December 1, 2003

<Gives dash_slot a hug and a cake, whilst stealing his kidney>
posted by Blue Stone at 4:21 AM on December 1, 2003

spastics aren't already sterile?
oh. shit.

*smacks forehead*
posted by quonsar at 4:24 AM on December 1, 2003

and the link is to the Guerilla News Network?? Could they have any less credibility? Bunch of unemployed fucking crusties. Can't they at least make themselves useful and organise a riot in Trafalgar square or something?
posted by derbs at 4:29 AM on December 1, 2003

is the term 'crusties' in any way a reference to undergarments?
posted by quonsar at 4:33 AM on December 1, 2003

It is likely that we will see an increase in the number of BNP (British National Party) local MPs at the next election. The Labour party has done a good job of fanning the flames of ignorance in regards to the 'immigrant problem', to the extent that BNP ('send 'em back') policy is seen as the only descernably different approach from the Labour/Conservative position.
They have also lost the 'party of the common man' image, so as to become the 'party of the third way', so the 'ordinary man in the street' is looking for someone to represent them. The BNP is the only party which promotes the rights of the white underclass as a matter of course.
A recent poll showed that 65% of those polled thought that the Uk was 'full', and there should be no further immigration. Such is the depth of ignorance of this issue, as I mentioned above. The 'immigration problem', AFAIK is that there are not enough people immigrating into the UK, we need 25,000 skilled young people (18-30yo) immigrating per year to make up the workforce.
Political discourse has been moved to the right in the UK, not so much as the US, but a considerable way since the 70s. This swing will probably right itself soon, I am hoping it will not take a right wing government to shock people back to their senses.
posted by asok at 4:48 AM on December 1, 2003

Asian MPs, the TUC in revolt, Parliament dissenting

Yeah dash, but they're our asians, they better not be any of those asylum seeker asians.
The TUC is only revolting because their power has been so weakened and Labour hasn't restored it, and parliamanetary dissent extends only to Foundation hospitals being approved by only a bit (but enough) and some danger to tuition fees.
And is an apathetic youth desirable now then?

Plu what asok says.

And don't even get me started on the Daily Mail.
posted by biffa at 4:55 AM on December 1, 2003

I say we modify Godwin's law to include mentions of the Daily Mail.
posted by derbs at 5:23 AM on December 1, 2003

"And is an apathetic youth desirable now then?"

To be quite honest, I think an apathetic youth is more desirable than the current neo-left movement sweeping through this country's youth, which involves spouting anti-american racism, burning american flags in Trafalgar Square, and where any knowledge whatsoever of politics and history aren't seen as pre-requisites
posted by derbs at 5:35 AM on December 1, 2003

I am hoping it will not take a right wing government to shock people back to their senses.

We already have one.

I think an apathetic youth is more desirable than the current neo-left movement sweeping through this country's youth

Please. As if the protesters were part of any 'movement'. They were a very mixed bunch with a set of very real grievances - their government had lied to them in order to support a foreign government in an expensive and illegal war. Have you been reading the Daily Mail again?
posted by Summer at 5:43 AM on December 1, 2003

current neo-left movement sweeping through this country's youth, which involves spouting anti-american racism, burning american flags in Trafalgar Square, and where any knowledge whatsoever of politics and history aren't seen as pre-requisites

no fair! you guys always get the good stuff first.
posted by quonsar at 5:45 AM on December 1, 2003

I didn't say there weren't any people in that march who were legit. But you're trying to tell me that the idiots burning american flags were doing it because they really cared about the plight of the Iraqi people? I'll stick my neck out and say they don't give a shit about the Iraqi people. It was rent-a-mob on a fun day out in London, looking for a bit of a ruck. If you're legit, you don't burn fucking flags. You do something constructive.

Much like the poll tax rioters really cared about the poor people who couldn't afford to pay their bill.

oh, and +10 bonus points for the original use of the Daily Mail jibe
posted by derbs at 6:21 AM on December 1, 2003

*wakes up in ice-filled bath, scarred but with crumbs on chin*

Well, all I'm saying is: i wore out my 'Britain is a fascist state' chant when Maggie first ascended to the throne. It didn't happen then, and it ain't happening now. Sure, Blair is a tory in a labour suit, and is hated by both sides for that very deceit. He won't get to normalise fascism, and nor will the next ~real~ tory PM. Remember: there's a difference between tories and fascists, boys-who-cry-wolf.

However, if any sort of conflict - up to and including a war - gets under way, expect to lose some rights (remember internment for foreign nationals in WWII? The coming analogy may be internment for Muslims that espouse violence, forcible sharia law in the UK, and the stripping of civil rights for jews, women and gays. And for those that forcibly oppose them).

And the lesson to be drawn from mass protest? 1989 - 100,000 mostly non-violent protesters against the poll tax: law scrapped. 2003 - 1,000,000 peaceful anti-invasion protesters: Iraq attacked.

Derail: If I was North Korean, I'd be majoring in Nuclear Physics, with Smuggling 101 as an optional./derail
posted by dash_slot- at 6:44 AM on December 1, 2003

It was rent-a-mob on a fun day out in London, looking for a bit of a ruck.

Funny how they didn't manage to have a ruck then. You'd think between that number of them that they could have started something.

You're right of course derbs, the people who really care about injustice in UK government policy are the ones that make snarky comments on line - that's really doing something about it. What's the point in trying to make your voice heard after all, when you've been effectively disenfranchised by our political system? Well done on helping to make the UK a finer place to live, derbs.
posted by biffa at 6:49 AM on December 1, 2003

Read the book "Final Blackout" by L. ron Hubbard and tell me that this doesn't sound like the UK(hell the US too)Today. disclaimer...I am not a scientologist and I think hubbard was a total fraud,but a decent sci-fi writer and this book I consider a masterpiece
posted by hoopyfrood at 7:19 AM on December 1, 2003

Fascism anyone?
posted by spazzm at 7:32 AM on December 1, 2003

Summer - 'We already have one.'

A fair comment, which I would agree with in many ways, I would say though that a 'real' right wing government would enact legistlation that would be even more extreme, and contravene further basic human rights than our present pseudo-Centrist sounder.

' If you're legit, you don't burn fucking flags.'

I knew the flag burning bit would be well represented on the news. Are you willing to entertain the idea that the flag burners were not representive of the entire 100-200,000 protestors?
They could well be the kind of people who burn flags at the drop of a hat, it is a striking image sure to get coverage in the press. It does very little for any attempt at negotiation, but then some people like it like that.
derbs, you seem to know alot about the motivation for protest, have you been involved with many protest marches? I have only been on a few and can only speak from my experience and that of my friends, however my experience seems to be the opposite to yours.
During the peace march in February 2003 out of the 1 - 2million attendees how many rallied to the cause of storming the US embassy?

The only times I have heard about violence at these peaceful marches it has been police provoked, police violence, agitators from outside the group protesting and very occasionally from extremists who do share some common ground with the protestors but feel that when a war is declared against you, you declare a war back (there is a historical precedent for that behaviour).
posted by asok at 8:15 AM on December 1, 2003

spazzm: that article makes a very persuasive case for the emegence of fascism in the US. So far, about 4 or those indicators are absent in the uk - whereas about all of them apply on the other side of the pond.

Food for thought, maybe?
posted by dash_slot- at 3:07 PM on December 1, 2003

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