The Ranting Kraut

19.3.2006 – 27.9.2010

More cynicism required: confronting labour’s creeping totalitarianism

Posted by rantingkraut on August 19, 2009

In discussing Labour’s decade of totalitarian legislation, Adam LeBor draws the following comparison in The Times:

The phrase Big Brother has entered common parlance. But Orwell’s book was published in 1949 as communist regimes in Eastern Europe cemented their control through “salami tactics”. These were invented by Matyas Rakosi, Hungary’s communist leader from 1948-56. He sliced away freedoms sliver by sliver, until he established one of the most feared dictatorships in Eastern Europe.

(…)

In my more cynical moments I imagine Labour ministers following a similar methodology. They would never say openly: “We intend to criminalise public protest; to grant sweeping blanket powers of arrest to the police and change the very foundation of law, making citizens prove their innocence, rather than have the police and judiciary prove their guilt while demonstrating.”” (source)

Actually, labour has been even more blunt than LeBor imagines in his most cynical moments. Here is a quote from Blair’s respect speech:

ASBOs came into being where general behaviour not specific individual offences was criminalised.
This has, bluntly reversed the burden of proof.
Now, as I shall say later, we want to take these powers further. Today I focus on anti-social behaviour. Shortly we will do the same on serious and organised crime.
But the principle is the same. To get on top of 21st century crime, we need to accept that what works in practice is a measure of summary power with right of appeal, alongside the traditional court process.
” (Source)

I am hard pressed to imagine a more blatant statement of contempt for due process and individual liberty. If only more journalists were “cynical” enough to bring such clarity to a wider audience.

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