Police state economy claims its first victim


8:12 pm - January 16th 2009

by Laurie Penny    


      Share on Tumblr

You remember how just before Christmas, they put into force that incredibly scary law giving baliffs the power to use ‘reasonable force’ against debtors?

You know, the law whereby it’s okay to smash down old ladies’ doors if they have unpaid parking fines but not okay to use similar force on billionaire tax-dodgers on the Isle of Man?

Well, that law has just claimed its first life.

Andy Miller, 78, a retired pub landlord and father who had recently returned from hospital after a stroke, collapsed and died from a heart attack whilst being forced to a cashpoint by baliffs ‘under duress’.

The father-of-five collapsed last week on his way to a cash machine in Accrington, while the bailiff parked and waited for the money.

The death is not being treated as suspicious.

Well, actually, I think it’s pretty damn suspicious when baliffs are allowed to pursue frail old men to the point of physical collapse, whilst billions of pounds of unclaimed tax is ignored as long as it’s the wealthy committing fraud on a massive scale. I think it’s suspicious, when the poor and sick are hounded quite literally to death whilst Brown tries to persuade us that the economic crisis is a ‘test of character’, that we need to need to show ‘wartime spirit’. There’s a war going on here, that’s clear enough now, but I’m not sure who the bad guys are meant to be anymore. I’m furious, and I’m frightened. This isn’t the freer and fairer world I was promised in 1997, when my mum told me that everything was going to be alright now that Labour were in power. This is an economic crisis forced on us by the rich, and now the poor are paying the ultimate price.

Is it me, or did it just get colder in here?

    Share on Tumblr   submit to reddit  


About the author
Laurie Penny is a regular contributor to Liberal Conspiracy. She is a journalist, blogger and feminist activist. She is Features Assistant at the Morning Star, and blogs at Penny Red and for Red Pepper magazine.
· Other posts by


Story Filed Under: Blog

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Reader comments


Shoking, quite shocking.

My biggest compaint about new Labour, both under Blair and Brown, is how they want to follow the Right wing in America. Iraq war, tassers, deregulated banks etc etc.

I am sure this sort of crap has come from some American right wing think tank.

We’re in a police state already. State sanctioned thuggery and a surveillance system the Stasi would have creamed themselves over. They’ve got schools using face recognition to ‘check up on truancy’ too: won’t be long before this is used to track everybody’s movement. You might think about leaving your mobile behind before going on a march too: it’s not dificult to identify everyone by the GPS in their phone.

Remember Orwell’s vision of a future represented by a boot kicking a face for all eternity? I always though it would be the Tories wearing that boot but New Labour are the real thugs.

Utter cunts.

(And RIP John Mortimer: thanks for the laughs & thanks for the freedom of speech that neither the generations before me and the generations which come after will enjoy)

What makes this particular case even more sickening is that this wasn’t a ‘proper’ debt even. It was a fucking parking ticket for heaven’s sake.

I am not someone who is particularly worried about the perceived creep of intrusive and nosy government into our everyday lives. I worry far more about the powers that were previously the police’s (and maybe court-appointed bailiff’s) being handed pretty much to anyone who asks for them. Including the sort of low-IQ mouth-breathing scum who work for these ‘debt recovery services’.

We have a situation in this country where someone can block your car in a car park on the pretext of your having illegally parked (which you may not have done) and, if you manage to avoid the ‘on the spot fine’ (which in law it is not) the same thugs can come around to your house (having bought your address from the DVLA) and break your door down, all without a single intervention or any permission from a court. That’s very worrying.

“We’re in a police state already. ”

No we are not. The police had nothing to do with this case as far as I understand it. How long before we get a ‘1984 was a warning not a handbook’ type comment???

In North Wales last week an 89 year old man was tassered by the police. What heinous
crime had he Committed you may ask?

None! His offence was to try to escape from an old peoples home.

And the Police, using the language of Orwell that they seem to use all the time now claimed they did it for his “own protection.” Up is down, war is peace, clear skies means polluted
skies.

People paid to enforce the law are police, whether uniformed or not, just as paramilitaries are armies. The fact that thuggery is subcontracted out does absolve the state of responsibility.

7. Habeas Corpus

This is truly shocking and what makes it even worse is the lack of mainstream media coverage events like this recieve, as for comments on whether we are living on a police state there are certainly elements of one in this country at the moment. But my biggest fear on this front is not the present but the future, regardless of the actual motives of the current goverment at the very least they lack foresight in as such that they have essentialy set up the legislature on which a police state can be created i.e ability to imprison without trial.

8. douglas clark

There has been a worrying transfer or extension of what I’d have historically seen as Police powers to all sorts of other people. This privatisation – if that’s the right word – of authority ought to be an added subject for the Convention for Modern Liberty. Which I think should be a sticky on the front page here. If any admin folk are reading, you might like to consider that.

It’s here:

http://www.liberalconspiracy.org/2009/01/13/join-us-at-the-covention-on-modern-liberty/#comments

I think I first became aware of this through Naomi Kleins’ No Logo, after which it was self evident .

It is clearly not being meaningfully addressed by anyone at a political level in the UK.

Douglas, I think that “privatisation of authority” is a very apt phrase. And a very very disturbing phenomenon.

. Well reported in the Telegraph chaps and inevitable and of course .The Conservative party have given an unequivocal commitment to scrap ID cards

Think about it

11. Alisdair Cameron

@ Halloway (4). You’re right in that technically it’s not a Police state (though when the police get damn near all they ask for and when ACPO is a lobby whose demands are seldom refused, we are coming uncomfortably close…),and this situation didn’t involve the police, but we have entered a dark period indeed: New Labour have ‘legitimised’ the use of force, surveillance, and intrusive powers upon the whole citizenry (excepting the ‘great and the good’,naturellement) by a whole host of agencies: councils, bailiffs,security guards sundry contractors etc.
There’s been a real sea-change in the position of the already lowly individual (without connections or influence) and they/we are viewed as objects to be herded/controlled/coerced. The default stance from those above seems to be that those below are always up to no good, innocence cannot be presumed, and ever closer tabs and controls need to to be applied to the masses.
douglas clark is right on the money with his post @8

You (and your fellow travellers) voted Labour, Laurie. It’s your fault – and that of your fellow ‘liberals’ (i.e. socialists).

So what are you going to do to reverse the destruction of our freedoms?

Or will you simply vote for them again?

‘Vote for Labour with empty heads. Vote them out with empty wallets – and now with empty lives too…’

#7

Exactly. Distinctive lack of media coverage. While the whole country knows that Cristiano Ronaldo crashed his Ferrari into a wall…

It’s disgraceful. And, sorry about the swipe, but this shitty Labour government will carry on until you get ENOUGH delusional people ready to vote for it because, I don’t know, Miliband “IMPLIES” that the “War on Terror” was a semantic mistake. Or that Gordon Brown “doesn’t deny” that there is a problem with tax avoidance, or that at least they don’t “go on about Europe like William Hague”.

The Labour government, apart from SPORADIC semantic slips, has done NOTHING for the ordinary people. Now, what is the need to allow bailiffs and predatory loan sharks (who’d wilfully got millions of people into a financial mess) to knock doors down and use “reasonable force”???

Did they think it through? How many 999 calls are going to take place when people hear their front door being kicked in or their window smashed? There’s already been an OAP dying while being forced to walk to a cashpoint. That’s in, like 2 weeks. WHat the fuck is this shitty government thinking.

Stop voting Labour. Show them the door. You don’t want the Tories in? Fine, vote for someone else, but I repeat, stop deluding yourself that Miliband frowns his brow when Bush speaks or that Harriet Harman twiches her left eye at the CBI conference or similar pap.

14. Habeas Corpus

My problem with the getting the labour goverment out and keeping tories out is not with my own vote but with that of the people, now this is only conjecture on my part but people seem to have convinced themselves we are inafct living in a two party state, and that a vote for another party such as the lib dems would be a wasted vote. This mentality is in my opinion dangerous for the state of ‘democracy’ in our country. I do not see how a vote for something you believe in and a goverment you would geniunely support can be considered wasted whilst merely voting for whichever out of the big two you happen to see as being less bad or even worse whichever party the mainstream media is backing is considered to be a good idea( shamefully this probably does happen although i sincerely hope im misguided on my last point)

Also, how on earth do you define “reasonable force”? How many thousands of cases are going to end up in court on the basis of that being misinterpreted. Which is very easy, given that you can’t really interpret it.

Can the bailiffs clip you round the ears? Can they smash a window? Can they punch you? Can they push you? Is a karate kick alright? A kung fu center punch?
What exactly is this crap?

It makes me sick that enough MPs voted to allow a similar law in. Previously bailiffs would have to go through the courts beforehand. Now, if i understand correctly, no more.

You (and your fellow travellers) voted Labour, Laurie. It’s your fault – and that of your fellow ‘liberals’ (i.e. socialists).

Another pretend libertarian claiming that liberal = socialist.

In that case, Conservative is the same as fascist.

The Labour Party has become the party of the middle class white collar state employee; a group who live in a paper reality. All state employees believe they are good people working for the good of the nation. Consequently, they if they are to do more good they need more power. Brown talks about his moral purpose. Consequently, anyone who opposes Brown he believes to be immoral. Brown has long left contact with reality. For Brown , reality is whatever is on a piece of paper. If we wish to reduce the power of the State, then we need to reduce the size of it. If there is one thing likely to increase the intrusive nature of the State is the over manning of civil servants causing them to look for work to justify their employment. How can one increase the number of civil servants employed and the role of the State without increasing the intrusive nature of the State ? The problem with the Labour Party is their lack of appreciation of British History. What made Britain different to the rest of Europe , was that it was considered reasonable to have rules to check or limit central authority. This idea may have only existed in theory but it inspired people to make it a reality. Brown , who has never been elected to leadership of the Labour Party or by the country seems to believe he is guided by some moral compass which is never wrong. The more powers a government aquires , the more mistakes it can make. As power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely; the dangerous quality is for a politician to believe is that their moral compass makes it impossible for them to make a mistake. A belief in one’s infallibility is indicative that one has become corrupted by power.

The government timed the privatisation of the police perfectly: with more and more people out of work and amassing debt the state needs a police force unencumbered by public oversight.

It’s not only debters who have to worry: Liverpool’s L1 shopping precinct isn’t the only one in the UK where PUBLIC STREETS are now policed by a PRIVATE POLICE FORCE.

The correct term for Labour is ‘Corporatist’: a malevanent partnership of authoritarian state opression and free market economics.

It’s a more successful variation on what Pinochet attempted.

Charlie (17): Many of the duties formerly the province of the Jobcentre have been hived off to the private sector; staffing levels at JC+ have been cut drastically. Jobcentre staff have a target of 4 minutes to deal with each ‘customer’ (the term itself demonstrating how far corporate culture has invaded the state sector) and do not have targets for finding people jobs; instead they have targets for getting people off benefits, which is something else entirely.

Many of the powers the government have introduced (ID cards, the National Database, etc) are designed to dehumanise people and desenticise government employees across a whole range of state services, as INDIVIDUATION (the bureaucratic process whereby people are regarded as numbers, not free men (for some reason that phrase makes me sad this week)) replaces the treatment of people as INDIVIDUALS.

In addition, most vacancies are for agency work: the state is therefore providing free advertisement for private firms who are then paid a fee for ‘finding’ jobs.

The state and private companies blur into one.

12: No, I didn’t. The reason being, first time round I was ten, second time round I was fifteen, and last time I was drunk and apolitical, and if I hadn’t been I’d have voted Evan Harris, and still would.

Someone’s granddad died this week. Let’s not pretend this is the fault of ordinary voters.

Another reason why citizens need the right to be armed, especially in their own homes. It is the only way to prevent this low-level state licensed thuggery from taking place.

The process by which this has become law (or at least been accepted as law) seems a little tortuous. Can anyone specify which pieces of legislation (primary and secondary) have been used? It seems a bit odd that it would get through Parliament without a bit of fuss under ordinary circumstances.

23. Shatterface

If citizens have guns then bailifs will too: we’d just have a series of mini-Waco’s.

What we need is the restoration of common law (and common sense) and a clear demarcation between the powers of government (where a monopoly on some degree of force may by necessary) and those of private busines.

Those who wield power must always be democratically accountable: the alternative is to hand the streets over to Blackwater and their kind.

“If citizens have guns then bailifs will too: we’d just have a series of mini-Waco’s.”

Not necessarily. Remember, Waco occurences are fairly rare in the US and take place in political circumstances where gun rights themselves are being highly contested. If we assume both sides to be reasonably rational (and bailiffs are not your standard desperate criminals), then both sides being actually or potentially armed would be more likely to reduce the chance of conflict, because the costs of engaging would become too high (i.e. a reasonable chance of dying, or killing the ‘offender’ and not being able to easily and legally acquire their property, especially if its in a bank account). In practice, they just wouldn’t push it as hard as they can now with near impunity.

Of course, common law would be preferable, but perhaps common law rights need to be enforceable by citizens against the state in order not to be abrogated as they seem to be increasingly.

Brennan, Chief Thickie, &c. Don’t presume a voting record if you don’t know it. Correct me if I’m wrong, Laurie, but I don’t believe Ms. Penny /has/ voted Labour. Furthermore, as her “fellow traveller” nor have I. However, I still won’t vote for the party of Section 28, Old Etonian oligarchy, Back To Basics, or any number of brutal police actions against the population. New Labour aren’t “our lot” any more than the Tories should be “your lot”. They’ve both been at the very least complicit in any number of atrocities, and this insane assumption that everyone on the left, or who vilifies the Tories, is a New Labour apologist shill is unhelpful and baffling.
Here’s a question: Honestly, are you /proud/ of the Tories? Are you really proud of Cameron? The thug Johnson? I’m not going to claim I’m a right-wing free-market capitalist, but there are ways of being a right-wing free-market capitalist that are less corrupt and shit, surely? Who do you think represents you, personally, in the political arena of representative democracy?

26. douglas clark

Just to say, I haven’t voted at a General Election for either the Conservatives or Labour for over forty years so it seems particularily unhelpful for Laurie Penny’s piece to be seen as party political. Could folk not at least attempt to decide, without reference to their political script, whether this is a disgrace, or not? I think it is.

I agree with both the author of this piece and with folk like Shatterface, Claude, Habeus Corpus and Alisdair Cameron that this is a very worrying development.

I think it is something that a Liberal Conspiracy ought to be very concerned about. This is an ill thought out rebalancing of the rights of the individual -v- the rights of corporate entities. It suggests to me that government is more influenced by corporate lobbyists than it ever is by civil rights lobbyists.

I wonder why Liberty doesn’t have this news item on the front page of their site? I’d have thought it was an issue that might galvanise some support.

What puzzles me is why they brought in such a nasty law, the consequences of which were entirely predictable (and predicted).

Perhaps the intent it to harrass refusniks when ID cards come in?

This isn’t the freer and fairer world I was promised in 1997, when my mum told me that everything was going to be alright now that Labour were in power.

When Labour won in ’97, I waas moderately pleased. I knew like all governments they would probably do things I didn’t like, but I thought “at least they won’t be as bad as the Tories”.

And I was right: they weren’t as bad as the Tories. They were worse.

My political desires are really quite modest. All I want is for the country not to be run by complete shits. Is that really too much to ask for?

29. the a&e charge nurse

Cabalamat – I do not think politicians are complete shits, at least not to begin with.

I suspect they are decent people in the main who compromise themselves in order to climb the greasy pole.

Somewhere along the way they first suffer a loss of integrity then later on become detached from everyday realities.

Inner political circles do not trust each other, their minions and certainly not the views of ordinary people.

Since the age of spin I find virtually impossible to trust any of the utterances from the apparachiks

What’s the point of this hand-wringing? You lefties don’t support gun ownership, which makes it easier for people to protect their homes from state-sponsored thugs. You advocate high taxes, which is a way of invading somebody’s liberty anyway.

There is NO coincidence here – New Labour is a left-wing party. I cannot state this in the strongest terms. Labour politicians, like all lefties, really think they know what’s best for people. ID cards, CCTV, high taxes, the welfare state – it’s all perfectly consistent and connected. Don’t pretend you care about liberty when you just want more state control over people’s lives.

31. Shatterface

In many ways the UK and China are converging : their economic liberalism has not been matched with political liberalisation while our liberal economy is increasingly supported by authoritarian government; the same is true of the Muslim world.

There’s no ‘clash of civilization’ here, just convergence.

I’m not suggesting that the Corporatist State represents the ‘end of history’ but it’s going to be bloody difficult to change.

This is an economic crisis forced on us by the rich

May we have a detailed economic analysis of how this is the case, please? I thought it was a crisis created by multiple factors including aggressive lending to the poor, low interest rates set by central banks, asset price inflation, cheap labour coming onto the global marketplace in China leading to artificially low consumer inflation and a fundamental failure to price risk properly into the system.

But then it’s easier to just blame ‘the rich’ isn’t it? Ahh socialist hatred… it really never gets old!

Cicero,
who do you think carried out aggressive (euphemism) lending to the poor? My dog? The banks in the UK were handing out loans and credit cards to people ON THE DOLE for fucks sake! Let alone those without a permanent contract, a good income, or assets…!

Of course you may have a point if you say that successive government in charge (Labour in particular, but the Tories in the 80s and 90s were no different) encouraged such culture and did FA to stop it.

Also who took on board (WILFULLY) cheap labour in order to maximise profits and minimise the effects of the minimum wage? Are you aware of how the government (doesn’t) enforce the minimum wage? The minimum wage task force in this country is a joke. There’s about 50 people for the whole of Britain. In most case there are legal loopholes (such as for waiting staff where your below-minimum wage pay is made up for by tips).

Who allowed and then carried out humongous property speculation?

I mean, you can call it socialist hatred if you like (I’m not a socialist, for the record), but who exactly is in charge of the economy, Pete Doherty?

Withiel, Laurie

My apologies about my assumption. Although many with your views did vote for New Labour.

But the point I was making was that the emergence of a police state is pretty inevitable if you give more and more power to the state to provide ‘welfare’ – something that Laurie, at least, seems to be in favour of (given her previous articles).

And, for the record, I’m not particularly fond of the Tories (I’m a member of the Libertarian Party) – although citing Section 28 does seem a little old (and was a product of idiot left-wing councils forcing propaganda on little children in the likes of Brent)… I don’t know many on the right who would support Section 28 these days – certainly not me or anyone in my party, and I doubt very few Tories.

Boris is better than Ken though. And surely anyone would be better than the shower currently in power in central Government? If that means voting Tory, then so be it.

Oh, and Sally – fascists are left-wing, not right-wing. They believe in more state control, not less – something that the right definitely don’t believe in. That’s why many white, working class ex-Labour voters are switching to the BNP – yet another New Labour triumph…

35. Shatterface

In what way were Hitler, Mussolini, Pinochet, etc, ‘left wing’? They were visciously anti-union and pro-business: deregulation, privatisation and other forms of economic liberalisation in Chile were accompanied by massive expansion in state powers – and that’s the direction that New Labour have taken.

New Labour was road-tested in Chile, not the USSR.

I’m all for a reduction in state power – but not where that power is simply transfered to big business. The government has a legitimate role in areas where markets fail (welfare, healthcare, policing, etc) and in limiting the excesses of businesses whose single-minded pursuit of proffit undermines the rights of employees or has unexceptible consequences for the rest of society (environmental damage, etc): however it is not the state’s role to micro-manage the lives of individuals for the sake of those companies.

The authoritarian left concentrates power in the hands of the State; the libertarian right concentrates it in the hands of business; the authoritarian right has the State and business working hand in glove; only the libertarian left offers the redistribution of power among individuals.

36. douglas clark

Shatterface @ 36,

I see where you are going with your analysis, and I think there is a lot of truth in it. But all four of the positions you outline – and I appreciate it is shorthand, really I do – is that the vast majority of folk would not self identify with any of these options, at least not when put as starkly as that.

The problem with this sort of slice and dice is that, in a lot of ways, you alienate folk who would see themselves as closer to the demographic of a Question Time audience, rather than ideologically driven. Pragmatists, the whole bloody lot of them 🙂

People at large are not, generally, as engaged in politics as we might think they should be. But they do know right from wrong, and are quite likely to side with the little man against the power of the state or multinationals. It is people like that that we have to engage, rather than just talking between ourselves.

I suppose I’m trying to say that political engagement is a minority sport. Which is all very well until you want to change something. I’ll be going on about levers of power next!

Could I just add that I think your contributions on this thread have been excellent? I was particularly taken with your post @32, the argument that you make there is new to me and probably right.

douglas clark: what do you think of the phrase “distributed authoritarianism”?

Alisdair Cameron, you say that “ACPO is a lobby whose demands are seldom refused”. I would go further: it is also used to launder Home Office policy without the need to trouble Parliament. There is, for example, no statutory basis for the DNA, fingerprint, and sample retention policies – they were created by ACPO, with no debate in Parliament. There is likewise no statutory basis for the ANPR, again another ACPO policy, or ACPO police certificates (for visas).

“I am sure this sort of crap has come from some American right wing think tank”

Blair was seen as a pro-porn loony by many neo-cons.

They were never going to trust him, he was never of a like view, he was always seen as too ‘internet’ for their tastes.

A disaster waiting to get caught up with.

The ACPO were used to decriminalize child rape with the Crimestopper brothel initiative, they have an amazing knack of getting the wrong person to a niche portfolio

If I was a top cop, and was offered Domestic Violence @ ACPO , I’d say flap off, I don’t want folks thinking I’m battering my missus

This is another example of a corrupt democracy, or a shamocracy as it is becoming, run by the egomaniacal and criminally insane, using the devices of the law to fleece the very last out of its people.

Both the Nazis (a right-wing socialist organisation if memory serves) and the Communists did the same, when money runs tight, wring out the poor or even redefine them as the sub-human, to ease the collective conscience and make it easier to utilise them as a resource rather than a drain.

One could draw similar comparisons to the recent changes in the transplant regulations with presumed consent.

Sally’s comment, I am sure this sort of crap has come from some American right wing think tank. may have merit when you consider how many internees’s from American Christian Fundamentalist groups ZaNuLabour had working for them in their early years.

But Halloway’s,

“We’re in a police state already.”

No we are not. The police had nothing to do with this case as far as I understand it. How long before we get a ‘1984 was a warning not a handbook’ type comment???

all depends on how you interpret the phrase ‘police state’.

From the perspective of CDM family, and those who witnessed his execution by what they described as ‘out of control men’, and the direction of the coroner to not allow a verdict of unlawful killing to be brought could certainly fall into the area of an unaccountable police force, able to do what it likes and escape any form of retribution.

If police state seems to be inaccurate for some please supply a phrase would be a more accurate definition.

Habeas Corpus

This is truly shocking and what makes it even worse is the lack of mainstream media coverage events like this receive, as for comments on whether we are living on a police state there are certainly elements of one in this country at the moment. But my biggest fear on this front is not the present but the future, regardless of the actual motives of the current government at the very least they lack foresight in as such that they have essentially set up the legislature on which a police state can be created i.e. ability to imprison without trial.

The mainstream media has long been co-opted into the establishment with security handlers and the politically ambitious so its objectivity is questionable at best, complicit at the worst.
Hence the rise of the internet pundit, something that governments worldwide are already planning to combat by legislation, regulation, myth and rumour and the legal framework for being denied the right to be tried by one’s peers is well underway so one can envisage that imprisonment without trial would be not inconceivable.

Shatterface

The government timed the privatisation of the police perfectly: with more and more people out of work and amassing debt the state needs a police force unencumbered by public oversight.

It’s not only debtors who have to worry: Liverpool’s L1 shopping precinct isn’t the only one in the UK where PUBLIC STREETS are now policed by a PRIVATE POLICE FORCE.

The correct term for Labour is ‘Corporatist’: a malevolent partnership of authoritarian state oppression and free market economics.

It’s a more successful variation on what Pinochet attempted.

Corporatist is a very accurate word to describe this government but I found it more interesting that Pinochet was brought up and remembered that in the October of 1998 the former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, the only country in Latin America not to support Argentina in the Falkland Islands Conflict, was arrested at the request of Spanish judges, seeking to extradite him to face charges related to more than 4000 political killings alleged to have taken place in Chile. He was in the UK to undergo surgery.
Home Secretary Jack Straw ordered he was too ill to extradite and allowed him to return to Chile.

Nice to have friends in high places isn’t it?

Alisdair Cameron’s comment sums up very well our current predicament – but we have entered a dark period indeed: New Labour have ‘legitimised’ the use of force, surveillance, and intrusive powers upon the whole citizenry (excepting the ‘great and the good’,naturellement) by a whole host of agencies: councils, bailiffs, security guards sundry contractors etc.

But all of this goes beyond what we have been conditioned to perceive as a right or a left wing argument. They are both attached to the same beast and to try and define whether the jackboot on your neck belongs to a socialist or a fascist or a bailiff seems a bit of a moot point when you’re fighting for your breath.

41. Jasper von Blowhole

Halloway
““We’re in a police state already. ” No we are not. The police had nothing to do with this case as far as I understand it. How long before we get a ‘1984 was a warning not a handbook’ type comment???”
___________________________

Um… 1984 was a novel of ideas and Orwell’s intent was to warn us, if you know anything about it. It didn’t cease being relevant because we passed the title year. Come to America where we just endured 8 yrs of the Bush admin using it as a handbook: Groupthink in the opposition party, Duckspeak in the media, propaganda used as a cover for massive ignorance and institutional impotence, sloganeering along the lines of “War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery” …dismantling civil rights was called the “Patriot” Act, weakening environmentals laws, was called the “Clear Skies” intiative.

Did you really mean for me to dispense with Orwells ideas? I’ve yet to meet anyone who’s read it who doesn’t refer to it as the most important book they’ve ever read, to understand the bullshit screen of bureaucratic nonsense and power grabs we live with. Get a copy.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Britain is run by cunts « Amused Cynicism

    […] it’s claimed its first victim: Andy Miller, 78, a retired pub landlord and father who had recently returned from hospital after a […]

  2. £360: the cost of living - Chicken Yoghurt

    […] Laurie at LC) Posted on January 18th, 2009 at 5:29 […]

  3. Police state economy claims its first victim | hilpers

    […] Police state economy claims its first victim You remember how just before Christmas, they put into force that incredibly scary law giving baliffs the power to use ?reasonable force? against debtors? You know, the law whereby it?s okay to smash down old ladies? doors if they have unpaid parking fines but not okay to use similar force on billionaire tax-dodgers on the Isle of Man? Well, that law has just claimed its first life. Andy Miller, 78, a retired pub landlord and father who had recently returned from hospital after a stroke, collapsed and died from a heart attack whilst being forced to a cashpoint by baliffs ?under duress?. The father-of-five collapsed last week on his way to a cash machine in Accrington, while the bailiff parked and waited for the money. The death is not being treated as suspicious. Well, actually, I think it?s pretty damn suspicious when baliffs are allowed to pursue frail old men to the point of physical collapse, whilst billions of pounds of unclaimed tax is ignored as long as it?s the wealthy committing fraud on a massive scale. I think it?s suspicious, when the poor and sick are hounded quite literally to death whilst Brown tries to persuade us that the economic crisis is a ?test of character?, that we need to need to show ?wartime spirit?. There?s a war going on here, that?s clear enough now, but I?m not sure who the bad guys are meant to be anymore. I?m furious, and I?m frightened. This isn?t the freer and fairer world I was promised in 1997, when my mum told me that everything was going to be alright now that Labour were in power. This is an economic crisis forced on us by the rich, and now the poor are paying the ultimate price. Is it me, or did it just get colder in here? http://www.liberalconspiracy.org/200…-first-victim/ […]

  4. Liberal Conspiracy » Police state economy claims its first victim | creating a new liberal-left alliance at This is Omar’s blog

    […] Liberal Conspiracy » Police state economy claims its first victim | creating a new liberal-left all…. You remember how just before Christmas, they put into force that incredibly scary law giving baliffs the power to use ‘reasonable force’ against debtors? […]





Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.