National British Day: The Advance of Fascism
But this is more than idiocy. It is another resonant echo from the songsheet of instinctive Fascists. Those very people who would recoil in their distress at being described as having the instincts of the thug. For they are so reasonable whilst giving permission to the smiling and unsmiling thugs who in turn execute their policies and their warfare, who now define what our responsibilities must be in order for us to be granted the permission to exercise our rights. Ms Orr manages to complete her entire article without using the term “fascist”. Perhaps she is being cautious.
The clues to the underlying mindset of this government have been evident for some time. I recall my telling my MP in 1998 that it seemed to me that there had been some kind of coup. His expression at that time was somewhat quizzical. I recall that back in 2001, in the backwash of a major charitable regeneration endeavour and involvement in other community ventures, I was becoming increasingly frustrated by what I then perceived as the kidnap of Community and Charitable efforts by the Government to transform them into agents of policy (and Policing). At that time, in informal conversation at my home with the then Director Development of the Borough, I observed that we were seeing the development of "soft fascism". "That's an interesting perception" she said. At the time, it might have been interpreted as my growing cynicism. Perhaps I even hoped that was the case. That trend to fascism is now becoming more overt.
We have a culture of fear.
We have a growing emphasis on the health of the body.
We have the elevation of the corporate and the centralised above the rights and liberties of the individual (Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini)
We have a National Curriculum for "Citizenship" (itself a misnomer since we are constitutional "subjects") and have diminished the range of education in history, in the range of literature and of broad context. (At the school where my partner works, the Head went through the library and instructed that ALL books over ten years old should be discarded).
We have illegal military intervention overseas.
We have the tolerance of the use of British Airports by Extraordinary Rendition flights managed by the US Govenment to ferry political prisoners to client states where the limitations on using psychological and physical torture which are extant within the US and Europe do not apply.
We have vast and increasing monitoring of the people as they go about their daily business. Where no-one is watching the watchers (Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?).
We have forms of "thought-crime" (harassment, distress, alarm and offensive T-shirts).
We have the means of imprisonment without trial.
We have the largest prison population in the European Community.
Protest has been disempowered and direct action (such as tree-hugging to disrupt road or runway construction) redefined as terrorism.
We have leaders who adhere to strange forms of religious faith and there is undue influence by certain groups of the "christian" right.
We have the demonisation of "immigrants" and, despite the surface appearance of efforts to the contrary, the demonisation of the Islamic peoples, whether or not born in the UK.
And the government, the media and the zeitgeist are focused on image rather than reason, which conceals the true nature of what is going on while dissenters or whistle- blowers are marginalised.
Meanwhile, in the area where I live, we had a BNP vote of over 20% in May.
We live in very dangerous times. One of the problems I now find is that in raising tangential issues, people don't know, won't understand or don't want to consider the implications of what you are talking about and will at times respond aggressively. For is this not Britain, a land of tolerance for the eccentric, a land of refuge for the displaced, a land where decent people muck in and muddle through, a land where you can express yourself without fear?
All myth now, I'm afraid.