Saturday, February 25, 2006

Dreaming up the police-state in the bath

Great minds think alike and apparently so do I and Matthew Paris... We both think Labour ministers invent their proposals in the bath. He writes:

Here in no particular order is a selection of horrors of which a handful — unbelievably — have made it on to the statute book (and sunk into oblivion), a handful are bogged down in the House of Lords, and the rest have simply disappeared into an embarrassed silence. The point about all these is not that nobody should even have dreamt them up in the bath. Many brilliant ideas start in the bath, but so do many idiotic ones. The point is that none should have survived beyond the final gurgle from the plughole.

But is all the truly silly legislation Nu '1984-lite' Labour have thought up really getting bogged down indefinitely or disappearing without trace? And is the thinking behind it having no real-world manifestation other than the occasional press release and newspaper article? Not really.

Without sounding alarmist, we're lazing dreamily into a worryingly authoritarian place. Yesterday, the Independent reported on Nu '1984-lite' Labour's human rights record abroad.

But the state of our domestic political and social freedoms is shakier than I'd like. There's a wonderful article in the Grauniad this morning (I never thought I'd say that) about the rise in petty officialdom and less than a week ago, a teenager was fined for swearing.

It's a very English form of authoritarianism - legitimised as a challenge to unrespectable behaviour and making a fuss. But sometimes all of us have to or want to be rude, loud and/or challenging (the editors of F&M are ALWAYS rude, loud and challenging), and it's only then that 'respectable' people realise that what applies to 'yobs' can also apply to them...

Paranoid theory of the week: The Avatars in Charmed are actually a US parody of NuLabour. The parallels are obvious.


  • At 10:31 am , Blogger dynamite said...

    Mr Parris is rather rude himself: didn’t he asses Chris Huhne as “mysteriously and indefinably ghastly”?

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