30 September 2009
Nu-Labour and the machinery of social control
The Daily Telegraph calls it "Barmy Britain," but it is not a matter for laughter: it is all far too loathsome for that. What is happening is that the Nu-Labour regime has been frantically inventing offences and regulations under which people can either lose their jobs or be prosecuted in the courts. Thus a dinner lady who told parents that their children were being bullied has lost her job. Two policewomen who arranged to look after each others children have been threatened with prosecution because they have not registered themselves as childminders with Ofsted, yet another Orwellian state regulatory body. Finally, a civil servant who swore at a television report has just been fined over £800 for his outburst.
What all these cases have in common is only partly the ludicrous nature of the so-called offences. However, the main factor that they share is that they all relied on an informant who scurried around like a plague ridden sewer rat and then reported matters to the authorities. Nu-Labour has been pulling these tricks for some time. For instance the smoking ban is not enforced by the police, instead it relies on the informant making a call to a council official.
There is something very alien about all this, something that revolts an English mind that has been schooled in the Common Law tradition, as it conjures up images of Continental despotism. The aim seems to be to create fear in the minds of the British people as they will never know if the person that they are speaking to is a state informant or not. Thus people will censor themselves just to be on the safe side. This is the world of Franz Kafka, and one that really existed in East Germany and Pinochet's Chile.
Those regimes fell when enough people ceased to believe in them and lost their fear of the state machinery of repression. Sadly for us, next year's General Election will bring to power a Conservative Party that has shown no signs that it wants to change any of Nu-Labour's social control legislation.