It’s sometimes hard to work out if we’re a pre-fascists state or whether we’ve reached it already.
We’re bound by complex legislation designed for fighting terrorism which is also used against citizens. This was for all to view in relation to the arrest at Heathrow airport of the partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald. Incidentally whistle-blowers in the UK can expect scant protection in law, so a similar Snowden like leak from GCHQ would necessitate a similar flight from the authorities by those resposnibile.
Meanwhile our government seeks to claim further power from us. The Lobbying Bill currently doing the Parliamentary rounds could have a chilling effect on political debate in the UK, particularly during election seasons when organisations making political points could simply be silenced. There will be less demonstrations and even charities may have to stop many of their current functions.
They recently announced that they would also like to reduce the options campaign groups have to use Judicial Review, on the grounds that the tactic is used by left wing activists. In other words they actively name us in getting in their way.
When you consider that they continue to attack trade unions, reduce rights at work, extend ‘total policing’ of demonstrations, cut red tape for fracking companies but extend it for those investing in wind power, increase poverty whilst giving the mega rich tax cuts, introduce schemes like the bedroom tax and attack health and safety rules (not an exhaustive list) you can see what the agenda is.
We are facing an astonishing attack on our rights, a bold attack on our communities and diminishing options for fighting back. When we lose the right to personal privacy online, our rights to protest generally and when we face constant risk of arrest if we organise to challenge the status quo it will be too late. You have options for now. Feel free to go home after work, eat some chips and snuggle down for the night if you like but you will come to regret it. Get involved, get active and get organised for political and economic change.
- Miranda lawyers seek judicial review (bbc.co.uk)
- David Miranda: NUJ supports judicial review (theguardian.com)
- Judicial Review is not part of a vast left wing conspiracy (ukhumanrightsblog.com)
- Glenn Greenwald’s Partner Was Detained at Heathrow Airport for Nine Hours (alternet.org)