Politics of Fear

While listening to the radio last week I learned that I am a member of the paranoid liberal bourgeoisie. Well there you go. News to me. Maybe I should be wearing a PLB badge to alert others to my sensitivities.

Apparently I am so designated because I do not think the UK parliament should be ditching the Human Rights Act in favour of a British Bill of Rights. I prefer to live in a country that respects humna rights of all people, and makes it as easy as possible for anyone whose human rights are infringed to be heard here at home rather than having to head for Strasbourg, with all the expense that entails.

And repealing one act, and replacing it with an another will not be cheap either. I thought the government wanted to save money, not profligately spend it because David Cameron doesn’t agree that prisoners should have the right to vote. Apparently the thought makes him feel physically sick. There are any number of things Dave and his chums get up to that make me fell physically sick, but I don’t expect the Exchequer to fork out to stop them. If only it would.

So for those of you confused about the HRA, this might help. It does not, as misreported in a certain paper mean that a man who held police at bay could demand KFC and the police had to supply it or his rights would have been breached. When the day dawns, as I hope it will, when animals have to be raised in humane environments, KFC will probably cease to exist. While I am on the animal bit, how many of you have signed the petition to stop the puppy farm breeding Beagles for experimentation that Dave has approved? Come on now. It’s not that hard. Or opposed the relaxation on hunting with hounds (also Beagles) meaning foxes will now be legally chased to exhaustion and torn apart in the name of sport. For all we hear that hunting is about controlling foxes, if you grew up in the country as I did, you learn that foxes are often nurtured just so that the local hunt can have the pleasure of killing them.

With plans for mass legal surveillance, intrusions into personal privacy that infringe our human rights are on the cards. I recently saw a stage production of 1984, currently at the Playhouse Theatre in London. It is all too easy to draw comparisons with 2015. Yet a while ago the governemnt wheeled out an avuncular looking spokesman, the sort of chap you’d think a kind old buffer, to make reassuring noises about how most of us would be happy to have our every message, our every call monitored, in the name of National Security, and poopooing Liberty’s and Amnesty International’s concerns.

Well actually no, I wouldn’t be happy. This is my country too, and security must be balanced with respect for privacy. The roposals are intolerable, undemocratic and unjustified. I look to the government to protect my privacy, not to inavde it; to uphold my human rights, not to undermine them. These are the politics of fear, of divide and rule, that play into the hands of terrorists and dictators.

Saying those who disgree are the paranoid liberal bourgeoisie is namecalling, a form of bullying that seeks at belittle and mock. Not the behaviour of people to trust with our democracy.


6 thoughts on “Politics of Fear

  1. A fine, fiery post! Hypocrisy and greed know no boundaries, it seems. Also universal are the hunting covers of “management” and “control,” when we do things that perpetrate the massive numbers of the animals we desire to hunt.

    The political name-calling is just as ludicrous, and you’re spot on about the intent to distract from the issue at hand by belittling and mocking (alas, that seems to appeal to some people). The greater presidential campaign here is already out of control.

    • I do get annoyed by the abuse one gets for standing up for things like human rights. Surely if we aspire as a species to greatness that means respect for everyone regardless of race, creed, gender, ability or anything else you might name. We have had too many examples in human history when people are regarded as other with horrendous results. Name calling might seem trivial, but it silences and ridicules voice we need to hear.

  2. “Paranoid liberal bourgeoisie” – is that not the non sequitur of an epithet you have always striven for? So for us ignorant ones, is this an end run around protected rights to allow yet more violations of a private citizens privacy?

  3. Thanks for a well argued post Isobel…I agree with you wholeheartedly…I was in London on Sunday for the rally of Hands around Norton Folgate and at least we were still able to publicly demonstrate our feelings against the violation of an historic part of London in the name of corporate greed. I feel even after tonight’s meeting of the council there will be more direct action to come on that campaign that is if we aren’t all rounded up by the powers that be in the meantime….

    • Respect! I have signed the petition but not taken to the streets. Not so very long ago, I remember walking around Spitalfilelds when there were no hipsters, no aspirational buildings. I just wish I could remember what I have done with the photos I took. A friend of a friend was married to a relatively famous artist and had a house there; a warren of rooms in a semi derelict street. Probably worth millions now and owned by a banker. My ancestors would have probably lived there when they came as immigrants from France.

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