Is Britain a police state?

I ran across a fascinating post at The Big Picture about the surveillance society in Britain. Apparently Britain is well on its way to becoming a police state. Could the same thing happen here in the US? It’s inevitable if the politicians get their way. Power is their drug and there’s never enough of it.

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “Is Britain a police state?

  1. squawkboxnoise

    Yep it can happen here. In fact the American people will demand it.

    Stay with me on this. If we have another 911 all of America will call for tighter restrictions etc.

    That will simply cause it to happen faster.

    On the slow side of the progress to a police state, there is a movement to make social change legal issues making citizens as citizen cops etc. Everything from enforcing “no-smoking zones” to government control of what grease is cooked with in fast food stores. The list goes on.

    Combine this with the recent proposal in law that no employer can “legally” hire an illegal alien and property owners can no longer rent to illegal aliens. What this has done is set up citizens going about doing their daily work as cops. If they “even” hire or rent to an illegal alien by an honest mistake, they become criminals themselves.

    I am not being an alarmist here nor a conspiracy theorist. Just look around and tell me what you see.

  2. J

    squawk – The whole citizen/corporate cop thing can’t be denied. Smoking is a great example. People are all freaked out about it even though there is no credible scientific evidence indicating secondhand smoke is any more dangerous than being exposed to someone else’s farting.

    There is also no doubt that the state has played on our fears about terrorism to tighten their control over society. It’s easy to believe that eroding civil liberties won’t threaten good citizens. By the time they do, or we realize they do, it’s passed the point of no return.

  3. Well we can only hope that folks like us keeping screaming about this crap and make people more aware. Although, most people avoid the bigger picture and burrow into their own personal lives that they don’t notice these things until their relatives are being hauled away in manacles.

    WC

  4. Of course it can happen in the US. Terror has been cited as a reason for a lot of questionable policies, and more surveillance could be the next step. Because it will ameliorate “security.”

    It’s not happening only in the US. Canada’s security certificates are putting prisoners into “Guantanamo North” without evidence presented against them. The Minister in charge of the certificates has said that “the security of Canadians” is what matters and that they will stay. (Interesting thing about them though is that they’ve been around since 1978, pre 9/11.)

    But with all these policies, how much security is being implemented? Britain did stop a terror plot this summer, we are led to believe. Yet with its millions of cameras it has not been able to track the poisoning of Litvinenko. Wouldn’t there be a camera in England that would record something?

    I’m probably ranting, because I’m tired. But it’s also because there’s something I can comment on here, because I do read this pretty regularly, J, but I always feel like there’s nothing for me to comment about… So now I post a whole chapter.

    Cheers,
    Dmitri

  5. J

    writerchick – Exactly.

  6. J

    Dmitri – Interesting points and I appreciate the feedback. I really like comments and commenting. In fact, I enjoy commenting on other blogs much more than trying to post on this one. Nevertheless, when I don’t have anything to say, I strive not to say it. Doesn’t mean I agree or disagree. Just means I have nothing to add (to the dialogue). So I understand where you are coming from. Peace.

  7. Niko Karvounis

    Hi all, author of The Big Picture post in question here…things in the UK are very disturbing. I’m an American studying Law & Criminal Justice over here, and I’ve really been struck with how frightened Britain is of its own shadow.

    It’s worth noting that America has a distinguished tradition of keeping the state at bay and enshrining individual rights–neither of which Britain has to any comparable extent. That would make a surveillance society in America even more tragic, in my book–it wouldn’t be ‘sleepwalking’ into 1984, it would be neglecting some of our most fundamental principles.

    We should definitely look at what’s happening to Britain with one eye toward our own condition. Many of the factors that have precipitated the move to Big Brotherism here–recasting crime control as preventive intervention, marketizing security, subordinating public justice to private aims, and more–are prevalent in the U.S. context as well.

    It’s really disconcerting that conditions heretofore the realm of dystopic science fiction are becoming reality.

    Oh, and go to http://www.bigpicture.wordpress.com

    I could use the traffic. 🙂

  8. “there is no credible scientific evidence indicating secondhand smoke is any more dangerous than being exposed to someone else’s farting”

    And how would you go about proving such a thing?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Castle

  9. J

    Niko – Thanks for the information.

    The British are heavily invested in the idea that the state will take care of them, protect them, etc., so it’s not surprising to me that they are afraid. Dependence is fertile ground for fear to take root. Additionally it would seem they need some of the very people they are afraid of to prop up their socialist system.

    The world is a crazy place.

  10. J

    Wizard – It would be impossible to prove, scientifically, if it’s not true. “Proving it” anecdotally is another matter entirely. I for one feel policy based on anecdotal evidence is bad policy.

  11. It will happen in the US if you don’t stop it happening there. You just have to watch the video of a student being tasered by the police for not having a library card to realise that. There is one fundamental difference though. You guys have the constitution to give you a framework for opposing this sort of crap. The constitution isn’t a guarantee that it won’t happen, but it does give you a way of organising against it that everyone can understand and everyone approves of.

  12. Also… Britain as a socialist society? I think that deserves a lol. Britain has the highest inequality in income and wealth in Europe, and the lowest minimum wage.