The British Police State


How The United Kingdom Became A Police State

In his 10 years in power from 1997 to 2007, Tony Blair passed an astonishing 26,849 laws in total, an average of 2,663 per year or 7.5 a day. The Labour Party continued this madness under Gordon Brown who broke the record in 2008 by passing 2,823 new laws, a 6% increase on even his megalomaniac predecessor. In 2010, Labour’s last year in power before handing over the reigns to the Blairite social radical, David Cameron, there was a 54% surge in privacy cases brought against public bodies, and the Cabinet were refusing freedom of information requests at a rate of 51%. The vast number of new laws under Labour does not count the 2,100 new regulations the EU passed in 2006 alone, which apparently is average for them…

It is clear that with less personal freedom and a bigger and more invasive state comes less personal responsibility and greater lawlessness. It is also clear that as the British state has become more top-down in orientation than in its common-law past, it has levied increased coercive legislative power against the British people it supposedly serves. The state is now behaving in an openly Orwellian manner with near-explicit contempt for the public.

There was something that rang true about this article. But as always, with articles like this, no mention was made of the one law that had the greatest impact of all, at least on me. For these days “Don’t mention the smoking ban” seems to be the whispered Fawlty Towers instruction.

But when, on 1 July 2007, I was exiled to the outdoors, I ceased to pay any attention to Tony Blair and Gordon Brown and David Cameron and all the rest of the self-important, posturing politicians in parliament. Politics and TV and newspapers were things you found inside the pubs. Outside, down by the river, all these things vanished. For me, sat by the river, all the politicians and pundits on TV became nobodies, because I had simply stopped watching.

It should have been a predictable consequence. For once you have expelled large numbers of people from your society, refused them a voice, you shouldn’t be too surprised if they drift away and pay no more attention to you.

If one might imagine Wembley Stadium being full of people watching some game of football, and then imagine that one end of the the stadium (The Kop End? Does Wembley stadium have a Kop End?) is suddenly  curtained off so that nobody in it can see the game any more, or be seen or heard, then you shouldn’t be surprised if the people behind the curtain rapidly lose interest in a game they can no longer watch or influence, and gradually drift away, leave the stadium, and do something else instead. And if the curtain is then lifted, it will be found that one end of the stadium will be completely empty, and a quarter of the audience has vanished.

That’s more or less what’s happened. I’m one of those people who has left the stadium. And I left it a long time ago. I’m no longer interested in what’s happening inside it, or if anything at all is happening there.

With the smoking ban, these self-important politicians and pundits lost much of their audience. Lots of people simply stopped listening to them. And lots of people became filled with growing contempt for them all.

I think they’re all going to be swept away soon, the whole lot of them. Not just the politicians, but also all the TV and newspaper pundits. And the senior doctors in the BMA and the RCP and the antismokers in Ministry of Health. And all the experts and professors in the universities. We’re on the brink of a deluge that will see them swept away.

The article suggested that it was only Britain and America which had become police states. But it’s really no different anywhere else. Wherever you’ve got a smoking ban, you’ve got a police state. Those little No Smoking signs might as well say “Warning: Police State.” Tony Blair and Gordon Brown and David Cameron aren’t the only people who set out to construct a police state: equally unimaginative control-freak politicians everywhere in the world were doing exactly the same. It seems to be the only thing they can ever think of doing.

But the attempt to gain complete control will always result in the complete loss of control. Did anyone living in the East German police state pay any attention to any of their grey, faceless politicians? Did anyone listen to the state broadcast media, or read the state newspapers? Probably hardly anybody did. They’d all drifted away. And the East German police state collapsed when the people drifted away to neighbouring countries.

It’ll be the same with our new British/European/Global Police State. The attempt to take complete control of everything and everyone will result in complete loss of control. There’ll come a Ceausescu moment when the political elites find that nobody is listening to them any more, and all their authority has melted away. Once you stop listening to me, I stop listening to you. Once you stop listening to anybody, nobody will listen to you

About Frank Davis

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10 Responses to The British Police State

  1. Mark Jarratt, Canberra, Australia says:

    Australia qualifies as both a police and bully state (excessive illiberal counter terrorism laws). New Zealand is probably worse on the punitive tax and ban tobacco controls, higher taxes and lower incomes. 🚬

  2. RdM says:

    But the attempt to gain complete control will always result in the complete loss of control. Did anyone living in the East German police state pay any attention to any of their grey, faceless politicians?

    If you haven’t seen the film “The Lives Of Others” you might find it relevant and moving.

    Somebody has put up a copy on archive dot org, with an unfortunate addition to the name.
    Nevertheless, it’s worth watching (before you die, &etc! ;-).

    A rather turgid Wikipedia article with plenty of spoilers and a synopsis – but see the film! –

    Yes, people living in the East German police state were forced to pay attention to some of their grey, faceless politicians…

  3. Rose says:

    Well done, Herefordshire.

    Launch of the people’s Brexit revolution – ‘Deliver the EU exit Britain voted for’
    Jul 8, 2018

    “A GRASSROOTS campaign to force the Prime Minister to deliver “the Brexit that Britain voted for” will target high streets, market places and country fairs this summer as the “silent majority” finally finds its voice.”

    “Brexiteers in Herefordshire, where more than 59 per cent voted Leave, are leading the way with a postcard campaign to MPs, plus banners, T-shirts and magnets which call for the democratic will of the people to be honoured.

    Businessman Christopher Kingsley, 60, has invested hundreds of pounds in the “Herefordshire for Brexit” movement, in a bid to take on the Remainers who have been campaigning in the county ever since the June 2016 referendum result.

    “We’re not here to convert a single soul – people have already made their minds up. We just want to wake them up,” he said.

    “We are in this bizarre situation where no party seems to be able to deliver on Brexit so now it’s up to the people of Britain to make sure we get what we voted for.”

    “Neighbouring Worcestershire is preparing to launch a similar campaign and organisers hope the movement will spread around the country as the UK continues negotiations with Brussels”

  4. Lisboeta says:

    Despite the calumny heaped on the EU, there are countries on the Continent where the smoking ban is subtly and quietly fudged (and occasionally totally ignored). So why did the UK choose to enforce it rigorously?

    • Rose says:

      Deborah Arnott explains.

      Smoke and mirrors

      “The law banning smoking in public places is the culmination of one of the most successful social change campaigns in recent years.

      When Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) started campaigning for smoke-free legislation in 2003, we were told by politicians, civil servants and commentators that there was no chance. So how does a controversial social change go from being “an extreme solution” (Labour party official) to a “historic piece of legislation” (Labour minister) in under three years?

      The health bill, which bans smoking in public places, was due to complete its parliamentary passage in the Commons yesterday. It marks the culmination of one of the most successful social change lobbying campaigns of recent times. The campaign showed the importance of sound strategy, sharp tactics and a lot of luck, and holds lessons for future campaigners.

      First, frame the argument. For years, action on smoking in public places was mired in discussion about the claimed “freedom” and “rights” of smokers, and the need for “voluntary” shifts towards compromise solutions, particularly in pubs, restaurants and clubs.

      We changed the terms of the debate to health and safety at work. We argued that secondhand smoke is a killer – making a smoke-free workplace a right for everyone, and that there is no “compromise” solution that does not leave pub workers exposed to more risk than others – making attempts to find a policy short of comprehensive smoke-free legislation a failure.”

  5. Pingback: *…/lights up…* – Library of Libraries

  6. waltc says:

    End? Or get worse? In China, Big Brother is already here and, according to other articles, citizens caught flagrante in the most minor infractions, are deprived of the most basic rights:

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