Thursday, May 14, 2015

Wherever It Lurks


V for Vendetta, an intense film dealing with violence, vengeance, government malfeasance and public acquiescence, appears prescient in regards to the UK proposing some rather interesting laws designed to fight terrorism wherever it lurks.

Cameron will tell the NSC: “For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens: as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone. It’s often meant we have stood neutral between different values. And that’s helped foster a narrative of extremism and grievance.

“This government will conclusively turn the page on this failed approach. As the party of one nation, we will govern as one nation and bring our country together. That means actively promoting certain values.

“Freedom of speech. Freedom of worship. Democracy. The rule of law. Equal rights regardless of race, gender or sexuality.

“We must say to our citizens: this is what defines us as a society.”

The home secretary, Theresa May, will say: “The twisted narrative of extremism cannot be ignored or wished away. This government will challenge those who seek to spread hatred and intolerance by forming a new partnership of every person and organisation in this country that wants to defeat the extremists.”

Said laws will do the following:

They would include a ban on broadcasting and a requirement to submit to the police in advance any proposed publication on the web and social media or in print. The bill will also contain plans for banning orders for extremist organisations which seek to undermine democracy or use hate speech in public places, but it will fall short of banning on the grounds of provoking hatred.

It will also contain new powers to close premises including mosques where extremists seek to influence others. The powers of the Charity Commission to root out charities that misappropriate funds towards extremism and terrorism will also be strengthened.

In essence, advocating any ideas or working for any political outcomes regarded by British politicians as “extremist” will not only be a crime, but can be physically banned in advance.

It gets better.

A separate bill will be introduced later in the parliament to revive and extend the so-called snoopers charter, which would include the retention of records of phone calls, emails and other data.

The watchword here is "promoting certain values", the question here is, whose?

In conclusion:

 “Cruelty and injustice…intolerance and oppression.  And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have sensors and systems of surveillance, coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission.  How did this happen?  Who’s to blame?  Well certainly there are those who are more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable.  But again, truth be told…if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror." - V

And this:

“You don’t have to be a man to fight for freedom. All you have to do is to be an intelligent human being.” — Malcolm X

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