Smoky Mountains Sunrise

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The UK: Last Call for Democracy

From The Brussels Journal

Sometimes I marvel at the assumption of the British public, that no matter how bad things get, the country will somehow never turn into a tin pot dictatorship. Perhaps this belief is part of the residue of the British Empire. It seems impossible that a country that once ruled half the world, could itself hit bottom. But if history repeats itself, it also tells us to expect the unexpected. Cuba was synonymous with the casino until the Revolution, and Germany with the cabaret as Nazism was marching to power. Today, Britain leads the world in multiculturalism and political correctness, yet has more CCTV cameras than any other country in the world. And a government that shouts about human rights is determinedly undermining the most basic of freedoms.

In the last few years alone, anti-terror laws have been routinely invoked by local councils, to enable them to spy on residents, for such trivial reasons as checking if rubbish bags (US: trash bags) have been put out on the wrong day. Compulsory ID cards linked to a central database, and containing fifty categories of personal information, including biometrics, will be introduced in 2010. As unveiled in the Queen’s speech, police will also soon be able to criminalize anyone who has ever been abroad, but does not produce identification on request.

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