Sleepwalking into a police state is no joke

Most of our politicians and mainstream media clearly want us to think any concerns about the Bilderberg Group are a big joke.

But in my opinion, there are many recent developments in our society and in those that surround us which are far from being a joke, and to simply ignore the role that high-powered secret summits like the Bilderberg Group could be playing in all this would be extremely complacent.

The introduction of secret courts is one example. In this BBC radio programme, Ken Clarke, the Minister Without Portfolio and a member of the Bilderberg Steering Committee, puts forward the case for secret courts, saying that they are necessary to prevent other countries and terrorist organisations from learning our secrets, for example about the possible involvement of our secret services in torture.

The leader of the racist English Defence League was interviewed twice on the BBC yesterday. The BBC is meant to be a public interest broadcasting service.

A man who works for Scottish Water has launched a group that aims to revive Oswald Moseley’s violent Blackshirts, who terrorised Jewish people in the East End of London in the 1930s. Incitement to racial hatred and violence is a crime that can lead to imprisonment and extradition for some – this has unfortunately failed in the case of Abu Qatada, despite the government’s efforts. Yet a man who operates a website proclaiming his revival of the violent Blackshirts is allowed to operate freely and is employed by a taxpayer-funded public body.

In the radio programme “Disability, A New History”, episode 6, the presenter Peter White described the parallels between the 19th century and today as “striking” in that disabled people were having to make a case for the severity of their infirmities in order to receive welfare or be allowed leave to visit the doctor. White’s reaction shows how quickly even some people who have a disability, as White himself does, have come to see this situation as normal, when it is really an example of how sharply the political clock has been turned back to the days when disabled people were forced to either work or beg on the streets. Programmes like this effectively normalise drastic political change.

Perhaps most worryingly, Greece is to convert military camps into debtors’ prisons for people who are unable to pay their tax, even if those taxes are emergency property taxes. Imprisonment could be the penalty for those who owe 5000 Euros or more in tax, who might be incarcerated for up to 12 months.

This sets a very worrying precedent. Once the measures are in place, the penalty threshold could be reduced.

Greece’s deputy justice minister Kostas Karagounis said that the special prison for debtors would improve their detention conditions, and would be more humane as they would not be held in the same prisons as murderers, drug dealers or robbers.

In the 1930s the Nazis claimed that the concentration camps were simply work camps. “Arbeit Macht Frei” – “work brings freedom” is the famous slogan that was placed at the entrances to some of the Nazi death camps, including Auschwitz 1.

I am not trying to suggest that the Greek debtors prisons will be concentration camps, but that the Greek government may be trying to play down the true significance of these prisons. They could evolve into tax-debt-slave camps, where people who are brought down into indebtedness through excessive taxation become fodder for cheap labour programmes.

When the Nazi concentration camps were liberated at the end of the Second World War, people said “How could we have allowed this to happen?”

Let’s not be fooled again. Let’s hold our politicians to account and refuse to allow them to casually brush aside our serious concerns about where our society might be heading with a scornful smirk.

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    Our democracy in the UK is deeply flawed. Under the "first past the post" system, which is used to elect the Westminster House of Commons, the majority of UK voters are not represented in Parliament by the party they voted for.
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