Nazi Germany vs. Modern Britain: Some Similarities That Should Disturb You


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There has been a digging away at the core principles of Britain’s system of Law and Justice over the last decade which threatens to undermine it entirely. Today, we look at key changes in pre war Nazi Germany which saw the Nazification of Germany’s nation of Laws, and corresponding changes in the British justice system today.

We need to acknowledge the warning signs and uproot this resurgent fascism while it’s still a sapling, or we’ll be hacking away impotently at a mighty oak before we know it.

Godwin’s Law? Oh Give it Up

 NB2

No doubt someone is already preparing a comment accusing me of Godwin’s Law for making this comparison.  So I’ll take a moment to set out why I am making it, and why it does not conform to the term.

Godwin’s Law was intended to highlight the sort of ‘Little Hitler’ comparisons to the Third Reich.

Train conductor just gave me a fine for not having a ticket… Nazi!”

Health and Safety laws mean I can’t smoke in my office anymore…it’s like Nazi Germany in here!

The government is telling me I can’t smack my kids anymore…Fascists!

This is the sort of thing that Godwin’s Law pertains to.  This is not what I am doing today.  I am laying out some genuine similarities in the functioning of the state and private institutions of Germany between 1933-7 as it moved from a nation of laws to a nation of Nazis, with recent developments in British institutions.  These similarities should raise real concerns about the direction in which successive governments are driving our nation.  The reason I have chosen Germany is that it is the closest, most recent and most readily acknowledged example of such a transition.

Despite this, I accept that nevertheless many people are determinedly unwilling to consider the awful prospect that our government might not be acting on our best interests and will use Godwin’s Law as a tool of cognitive dissonance.  In essence, Godwin’s Law itself can become a tool of censorship, used to close down important debate about the authoritarian impulse of the state and corporate power.

Law and Justice

 Justizminister Dr. Franz Grtner er”ffnet mit einer Rede die erste Sitzung des Volksgerichtshofes im ehemaligen Herrenhaus in Berlin.

Prior to the commencement of Nazi Germany in 1933, Germany had operated under the Weimar Constitution in a Republican democracy since the end of World War I in 1918. Judges were independent, bound only by law, protected from arbitrary removal and duty bound (at least in theory) by Article 109 to safeguard equality before the law.

Protective Custody

With the reinterpretation of “protective custody” (Schutzhaft) in 1933, police power became independent of judicial controls. In Nazi terminology, protective custody meant the arrest–without judicial review–of real and potential opponents of the regime. “Protective custody” prisoners were not confined within the normal prison system but in concentration camps under the exclusive authority of the SS (Schutzstaffel; the elite guard of the Nazi state).

The End of Open Justice

The Nazis set fire to the German parliament building (the Reichstag) in February 1933 and pinned the blame on the Communists in a cunning move which was pivotal in bringing Hitler to power.  The point was to provoke such fear that Communists were mounting a coup, that a strong National Socialist was required to quell the rebellion and restore stability. It succeeded.

However, when the suspects were brought before the court, all but one of the suspects (a mentally incapacitated Dutchman who had confessed) were found not guilty.  The ruling so incensed Hitler and the Nazi’s that within a month they had passed legislation which removed the right to try cases of treason at the Supreme Court (Shirer, p269).  Henceforth, this responsibility would be carried out by the new People’s Court which was no court at all.

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Now, one might ask, how on earth is this in anyway similar to the British justice system? The Nazis are not the only government exploiting misplaced fears to curtail civil liberties.

In 2009, the former head of MI5 Stella Rimmington accused the British government of exploiting the fear of terrorism to pass laws intended to restrict our civil liberties. She was right.  In recent years, an astonishing amount of legislation has been passed curtailing civil liberties, the right to protest and the right to fair and open justice in Britain. The Labour government passed 25 Acts of Parliament and 50 individual measures to restrict civil liberties for UK citizens in the name of ‘national security’ in its thirteen year term.

Protective Custody

The US opened Guantanamo Bay and began kidnapping citizens from around the world, detaining them illegally for years without charge or trial and committing torture against them and the British government was complicit in it.

Control Orders were passed in 2005 and gave police the right to place citizens under permanent house arrest with an electronic tag without any judicial intervention, that is, outside of the court system. Between 2005 and 2011 fifty people were made subject to these control orders.

After promising to remove the powers on election, the Coalition government simply replaced them with TPIMS, which amount to the same thing but restricted the orders to a review after two years.

The Terrorism Prevention Act and other legislation give the State the power to detain citizens indefinitely by identifying them as a terror threat, without reference to a judge or a court. This amounts to protective custody.

The End of Open Justice

On piece of legislation you might not be aware of is The Coroners and Justice Bill of 2005 which removed the independence of Coroners, and gave the Executive (state) the power to suspend inquests or hold them in secret, even in cases of homicide.

Recently, when British citizens started to be released from Guantanamo Bay and seek justice for their treatment, the UK government first appealed to the courts to block the cases, then to redact information that would show their complicity in torture and rendition, and finally sought to pay people off.

As the compensation bills mounted, they changed tack and drafted The Justice and Security Bill, which stipulates that in future, all such civil cases will be tried in secret courts.  These courts would be blocked to the media and the state would be able to present its argument and evidence to the judge in the absence of the plaintiff in the case.

This decision ends a 700 year old tradition in the UK of open justice, in the name of national security but in reality, for the sake of state control of information and justice.

The Rev Nicholas Mercer, a lieutenant colonel who was the army’s most senior lawyer during the last Iraq war, told the Daily Mail:

“The justice and security bill has one principal aim and that is to cover up UK complicity in rendition and torture. The bill is an affront to the open justice on which this country rightly prides itself and, above all, it is an affront to human dignity.”

These two pieces of legislation have made it legal for the state to intervene in and end the investigation of suspicious deaths, and lawfully kidnap and imprison its citizens without ever being challenged in an open court. Open justice is no longer guaranteed.

Propaganda and the Demonization of Groups

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The Nazis used propaganda to such a degree and with such horrific results that the practise was widely condemned and the Ministries for Propaganda across the world changed their names….in itself an act of propaganda.

I would like to compare and contrast two specific pieces of propaganda, one by the Nazi Regime and one by the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper.

Theresienstadt

The Nazis made puff pieces about one concentration camp called Theresienstadt which made it look like a holiday camp.  The following is a film made about the camp.

The reality was that Theresienstadt was a transitory base to transport Jews from the East, to the death camps.  Of the 140,000 Jews taken to Theresienstadt nearly 90,000 were deported to death camps where they died.  30,000 Jews died at Theresienstadt itself.

However, the propaganda sold the lie to the German public that the Jews were taken elsewhere but treated well.  This allowed the holocaust to go on far longer than it might have if people had been forced to face the reality of it.

Guantanamo Bay

Guantanamo Bay is a detention camp which has imprisoned nearly a thousand (officially acknowledged) of detainees of the US (and British) government for years on end, without judicial intervention and under conditions of torture.

The Daily Mail however recently ran an article entitled “Inside Guantanamo Bay‘ which sold the place as some sort of recreation centre for the world’s scariest muslims. Alongside random pictures of fresh fruit, books written in Arabic and (gasp) halal meat, were quotes like this:

Far from languishing in a dank and desolate dungeon as many in the outside world imagine, inmates are in fact able to rent Harry Potter movies, borrow car magazines and even get strawberries for their tea.”

“To relax, prisoners can visit the camp’s in-house library, which contains a host of books, in Arabic and English, Hollywood blockbuster DVDs and magazines.”

This article is one of many staged in cahoots with the US military.  President Obama signed an Executive Order in 2009 to close Guantanamo Bay.  These articles have been released as the majority of the 166 men still detained without trial there have mounted a hunger strike in a bid to regain their freedomMore than half of these men have been cleared for release for months, yet remain behind bars regardless. Yemeni prisoner Bashir al-Marwalah wrote to his lawyer:

One cannot help but note the similar playbook adopted by the holocaust and Guantanamo bay apologists.

Outside of this isolated issue, the government has launched a propaganda war on the poor which has seen the unemployed, people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups suffering escalated hate crimes as a result.

We Need to Start Rolling This Back, Now

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You don’t prepare your system of law and justice for the best possible government; you prepare them for the worst possible government.  If this government hasn’t taken full use of its overwhelming powers, then another might. Only a person with no understanding of history, or grasp of social behaviour would ignore the dangers of a state engaging in protective custody, closed courts, poverty and propaganda on a people.  When these forces are combined, they almost inevitably lead to an unstable, embittered and violent society.  Britain is facing such circumstances today.

I wrote the above piece in March this year, and since then we have discovered that undercover agents have engaged in state sponsored rape of female activists for the purposes of extracting information, that undercover agents were used to smear the family of murder victim Stephen Lawrence in efforts to cover up their own racism induced botched investigation, and that GCHQ have been monitoring our personal internet use including reading our emails, messages and listening in on Skype calls for years.  We even find that the disbanded unit of Undercover Police responsible for some of the above, was simply renamed the ‘National Domestic Extremism Unit’, and that more than 9,000 people, most of whom do not have criminal records, have their data on this database – including surveillance.  The state is now gathering enormous data, through intrusive means of surveillance, on anyone whose political leanings are not aligned with the status quo.

We have the choice to wish it away, ignore it, become complicit in it or actively resist it.  Only the last option offers our and subsequent generations the hope of a better world, where the founding principles of our post World War II social contract are not only restored, but extended.  Let us be clear, we need to win some huge battles simply to restore what we have lost, let alone credit ourselves with having created a higher order of justice, freedom and access to information than we inherited.   So we need to start now.

It starts with learning, rolling up our sleeves and joining with others.  It means both coordinated and organised and completely uncoordinated and disorganised methods of resistance yes, but invention too.  We must resist what is and what is intended, and invent something new and inspiring in its place. It’s time to get involved.

Take Action

Convention on Modern Liberty – get acquainted with the facts.  Know the nature of your rights.

William L Shirer: The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich – the ultimate tome charting how Nazism grew in Germany from the 1920’s through to the fall and the Nuremberg trials. I read this as I wanted to understand how a country could descend into fascism. It makes terrifying but sobering reading.  I do warn you that Shirer is a rampant homophobe, so be warned for the odd breath taking remark.

Reprieve – a great organisation working on open justice, an end to capital punishment and supporting Guantanamo and other unlawful detainees across the world.

Defend the Right to Protest – excellent information, together with direct action to defend the right to protest.

71 thoughts on “Nazi Germany vs. Modern Britain: Some Similarities That Should Disturb You

  1. Dave Poole says:

    You may like to join my Facebook page, UKIP=Naziism by Stealth,

  2. Gary Barker says:

    Godwin’s Law is merely a right wing device used to stimey free speech as there is no far left alternative. So the right are free to call people like Obama Commies while waving so-called Godwin’s Law around freely at those who argue against their far right stance.

  3. Stream Angel says:

    Speaking as someone who ended up making some nazi comparisons a mere couple of nights ago, I was very impressed with your careful explanation of the difference between Godwin’s Law being used stupidly & genuine comparisons that can be drawn. I think it is “safe” to make nazi comparisons in a great many political situations, because pointing out similarities is in way necessarily arguing that this is all leading to people being rounded up & put in the gas chambers. The way that authoritarian governements function & maintain control varies in different times & situations. The instruments of control used by first world countries are different from those used elsewhere, or in previous times. The tools of control are farmore sophisticated & “low impact” than they were in 1930s Germany (these days – spies don’t even need to leave the house to be spies – they can work from home using a laptop ). First world countries who present themselves as “humanitarian & democratic” will still use all the tools the Nazis used, but generally won’t use these particular methods on their own citizens. They will go to a third world or middle-eastern country & employ them there.

    • Stream Angel says:

      I can’t edit after I’ve posted but just noticed a typo – “pointing out similarities is in way necessarily arguing … ” should read ” pointing out similarities is in NO way necessarily arguing …..”

  4. bubromer says:

    Dear Scriptonite,
    Great post and one that reflects a thought that I’ve long had (since 2005-6) about the mainstream political climate of Britain.

    I would add other, less obvious, similarities with modern Britain and Nazi Germany. Firstly the way the mainstream media is in many ways a propaganda machine for “phony economics” and “divide to conquer” tactics such as stigmatizing benefits claimants, e.g. on the Jeremy Kyle show or even on “Saints and Scroungers” on the BBC which only serve, not only to stigmatize a vulnerable group, but also to distract people from the abuses by the rich and at the top. To my knowledge, only the Private Eye satirical newspaper has refrained from this tactic, choosing as it does to show the high levels of corruption in the mainstream media and political worlds.

    • bubromer says:

      Second, the religious belief in the scientific world view in British “thought”. All of the Nazi racial views were clothed as science and justified on scientific grounds and indeed science itself has lend itself to the disenfranchisement of not only the natural world and animals as intelligent beings, but also, for a long time, women, children, coloured people etc since they were seen as incapable of rational, independent thought.

      Populist Darwinism “survival of the fittest” is a prime example of the devastating effects of the scientific worldview on human beings and make us trust technology over the natural world, which is our natural home as human beings. In fact the whole talk of “natural resources” and “human resources”, the fact that we are now considered a “resource” just shows how far we’ve come in becoming slaves to whatever the techno-scientific-corporate world requires us to do. See book: The Lost Language of Plants by Stephen Harrod Buhner.

      I think the best authority on the link between modern Western “democracies” and the totalitarian states of Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, to which we can easily add the USA today is Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt, published in 1958, which clearly explains the workings and tools and origins of totalitarianism. See also her report on “The Banality of Evil”, “Eichmann in Jerusalem” where she discovered, as a reporter, that Eichmann, a man who was responsible for the deportation of millions of people to the death camps, was a very banal, cliche-ridden technocrat with no capacity for thought other than stereotypes and cliches – remind you of any of our current leaders and scientific experts?

  5. Gohumanity says:

    Since I first heard about revelations by Snowden, I knew that I had to do something. I have comnented
    on the danger of impact on libert of homo sepiens. To stop short of getting more knowledge and making other people aware of what is happening, I feel helpless. I admire all the organisations and individuals fighting for everyone’s liberty but feel like a hypocrite by letting them take the responsibility.
    By the same token, I am amazed at the number of people who do not know what is happening or do not care as , “they have nothing to hide:. I feel frustrated and keep thinking of Animal Farm. May be we should drop a copy of it in each home for them to read and maybe they will have an eureka moment.

  6. Reblogged this on kickingtoryassonwelfare and commented:
    Our thoughts exactly . . . sobering reading. We need to be aware, but as always, we need to take courage. People ARE waking up. For example, here’s a REALLY useful blog I just discovered: http://budgetingadvance.com/ They cover loans and the new STBAs (short term benefit advances), which many are entitled to but the DWP don’t shout about (because as we know they are bastards, with the odd idividual noble exception I’ve heard of). I’d urge you to check it out if you are in financial crisis or experiencing delays; they are also looking for reporters if you’d like to get involved. As, indeed, are we! I will shortly be taking a sabbatical, so to speak, for the sake of my worsening mental health (being made abject and worthless in the media every day, and hearing every day about the demonisation, exploitation, subjugation and totally unnecessary destitution of fellow struggling beings due to the Self Servatives punishing the poor to protect the interests of the rich – identical to their own, conveniently, what with them all being public school bred millionaires – can do that). Laurie will still be here, and my wonderful other half and carer is planning some guest posts, but as we know, sadly there’s more claimant victimisation – on a daily, seems like hourly basis – than two or three people can keep up with, so if you’ve got a burning passion to fight these injustices and would like to contribute, drop us a line at kickingtoryassonwelfare@hotmail.com or tweet us @KickingToryAss. Love and solidarity xxx

  7. […] There has been a digging away at the core principles of Britain’s system of Law and Justice over the last decade which threatens to undermine it entirely. Today, we look at key changes in pre war Nazi Germany which saw the Nazification of Germany’s nation of Laws, and corresponding changes in the British justice system today  […]

  8. Everyone should be forced to watch Cabaret. It shows the slow creep into the Nazi ideology and its effect on everything.

  9. Tim says:

    Good post.Here’s a post I did ages ago comparing the propaganda alone. Note the words and themes used in both examples given:

    http://tim-theregency.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/nazi-uk-2010s-v-nazi-germany-1930-valid.html

  10. Nightingale says:

    I’m disabled, and feel every cut keenly, and feel very threatened by the ugly mood created and fostered towards us & other groups by this government’s propaganda. I actually don’t get out much (housebound etc.) but last year I felt I had to make a stand. The in-laws came to stay and spent 4 days trolling through every conversation at every meal & in between about the hate filled “facts” from their Daily Mail. Including the classic line “Those disabled scroungers they need a good kick up the arse, every one of them” Me? I asked – silence.

    So after they left I banned them from ever coming to my home again. This action has now spread throughout the family to their friends, so I hope that they all realise now that when they kept on saying “but we don’t mean you we know you are really ill” it meant f**k all. Yes, they did mean me. I will no longer accept the unacceptable because the perpetrators are old, or related or whatever.

    I find it also very unsettling when a long time friend, who is by all measures is a good man and lay preacher, said recently when I remarked about the welfare cuts that he thought that the country had to pay it’s debts somehow. Now I have to put him too into the IDS “Christian” without humanity or Christianity bucket too. So sad. It’s causing real divides in real lives & families.

  11. […] There has been a digging away at the core principles of Britain’s system of Law and Justice over the last decade which threatens to undermine it entirely. Today, we look at key changes in pre war N…  […]

  12. Alan says:

    It is indeed a very worrying time for us in the UK right now. Indeed, I have made many comparisons between our government and the Nazi’s myself in my facebook group, Vote of No Confidence in the UK Coalition.

    Posted by Vote of No Confidence in the UK Conservatives on Wednesday, December 14, 2011

    Personally, I don’t think that either I, nor you are over reacting her… 😦

  13. Is it just a case of people on the left always moving the goalposts rather than Britain turning into a Nazi state? What was once a jest comment or open discussion is now take as racism for example.

    Someone making a remark in jest taken as an insult, political correctness brainwashing creating taboos that keeps people silent?

    This thought policing infringes on peoples civil liberties and rights to free speech.

    Whilst I don’t agree with the far right, the far left for me is just as dangerous and often just uses derogatory remarks against any that don’t hold their views. Its quite condescending and un-democratic. Maybe some people are so convinced they are right and their way is the only way, that democracy does not matter.

    Another possibility is that actually the right and left just clash and are actually reactionary to each other?

    So to kerb the far right, we need to move away from the far left and towards the centre.

    • Scriptonite says:

      Your conclusion that British politics is too far to the left is just plain wrong. No evidence whatsoever to suggest that. If you mean that because we have become more socially liberal, accepting of difference (that political correctness you seem to dislike) a then yes, broadly we have.
      Economically we have veered very at to the right.
      As for the “thought police” thing. I’m not bothered that people have to think before they speak and consider the offence they might cause. That’s called manners. I find these “free speech” arguments in defense of basically wanting to tell racist jokes or make racial generalisations a little tiresome. Freedom of speech works both ways. You are free to say what you like, but other are also free to form opinions based on that and share them with you. So to argue free speech for yourself but moan about being criticised or held to account for what you say is a nonsense.

      • I wasnt refering to British politics being too far too the left. Rather that a very small minority of people on the hard left have infiltrated the public in such a way that is having an effect on the majority of the population.

        So in essence its the ideas of a small minority thinking that is policing the thoughts of the mass majority. How democratic is that?

        Of course I agree with you that out and out racism and jokes are unacceptable, but its got to the stage where it has just got too sensitive.Its gone beyond having good manners to be honest, and actually just creats taboos and promotes silence and makes people feel uncomfortable.

        I actually like the idea of many left wing ideas including the welfare state, and some socialist economics(but regulated as to not kill incentives and promote some self responsibility).

        But im afraid to say that the left does have an issue with infringing on peoples civil liberties when it comes to policing everryones thoughts, more so than on the right.

        Its a shame really because it is this reason why the left will not appeal to the mainstream, unless it ccurbs this controlling trait.

        I think on somethings we will just have to agree to disagree, but good luck with the site.

  14. I wish you’d discussed the propaganda against disabled people and their duty not to be a burden to the state. This is a massive, justified concern among disabled people now,. Michael Burleigh’s ‘Death and Deliverance’ really shows how similar peacetime Germany and contemporary Britain are in this respect.

  15. ttruk says:

    Well said, my thoughts expertly set down – good research and insight. Brilliant stuff.

  16. Gillian Kalter says:

    Having recently found out that my children’s paternal grandfather escaped from the Nazis by the skin of his teeth in 1938 and that their great grandparents and 11 other ancestors perished in concentration camps in 1942-43, I agree very strongly with this excellent piece. Let us not be naive. Too many people think it couldn’t happen in the UK. I am shocked by how complacent people are about the suffering being caused to others, particularly by the UK government.

  17. Since the end of WW2, every time you turn around, people are calling those they disagree with a nazi. Keep on dehumanizing and demonizing those you disagree with…..it was a staple technique of the nazi propaganda arsenal….

    • Scriptonite says:

      So the Nazi’s argued against secret courts, torture and withdrawal if civil liberties? No, ofcourse not. But thank you for demonstrating the “Godwin’s Law” section of the piece perfectly.

  18. andy says:

    this article is spot-on. Suggest you also watch/listen daily at 1pm to http://www.ukcolumn.org which is really getting to the bottom of the huge changes taking place in our society

  19. Mark Wood says:

    Good article, resonated with my own thoughts. Was intending on adding my bit by posting the famous “14 points of fascism” Did a little search on the Google machine and found a rather informative wikki page titled “Definitions of fascism” comprehensive list and a better post than my original idea, so putting the link here to share. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Definitions_of_fascism

  20. Great article. Timely and pertinent, if unsettling. Thanks!
    I hope you’ll excuse this shameless plug but I found it difficult not mention an allied one which dovetails nicely with yours (an anger-management piece, really…): http://www.globalresearch.ca/fighting-terrorism-or-repressing-democracy-britains-system-of-mass-surveillance/5311802
    Do keep up the good work!

  21. heidemcb says:

    Excellent piece, and particularly timely, for me. I have just submitted a complaint to Channel 4, regarding their upcoming airing of the programme Skint, a “documentary” on the lives of people in receipt of unemployment benefits. The people they’ve chosen for the first episode could have been created from the negative opinions of benefit recipients that spew from the mouths of Daily Fail – and other similar right-wing propaganda-mills – readers. I’ve urged them to reconsider airing the programme, as I can only imagine the back-lash there will be, when closed-minded people see the way this particular family choose to live – not always within the law – and react to it. When the Coalition’s media storm regarding supposedly fraudulent disability benefit claimants hit, there was a sharp increase in incidences of violence against people with disabilities.If there are people whose consciences allow them to attack a person with a disability, how much more quickly will they attack someone who is healthy, but unemployed? It will undo all of the work myself – and others like me – have done over the past few years to dispel the very image of the benefit recipient that Ch 4 is choosing to portray! It will take all of us of a like mind, working together, to stop this propaganda storm, to stop the marginalisation of the most vulnerable sectors of our society through cuts to or removal of their benefits, and to get rid of the draconian Coalition government that continues to tear apart the fabric of our society, seemingly unabated. Every word against them counts, every incidence of indirect or direct action counts, every letter of complaint, email to your MP, phone call to our local councillor counts, every protest – large or small, even individual -counts. It will build, and it will grow, as long as we stay focused on the objective, and don’t get sidetracked. WE’RE all in it together, and we can make a difference.

  22. […] There has been a digging away at the core principles of Britain’s system of Law and Justice over the last decade which threatens to undermine it entirely. Today, we look at key changes in pre war N…  […]

  23. me here says:

    This can be said about fascist states in general and it is better not to mention the most extreme version when yo have options. Similar and more detailed reports were made in the 1970, when Britain and the US were so keen to support the creation of a fascist state in Chile and when the military were publicly stating their willingness to overthrow a Labour government.

  24. David Bramhall says:

    Good article, but spoiled for me by the use of the unnecessary apostrophe in “Nazi’s”. All right, you may call me an old pedant, but if you disturb and alienate all the old pedants in the world you’re going to lose a fair number of readers. Old pedants are people too, and often quite thoughtful ones.

  25. Carl says:

    Great article…which I suspect will be totally ignored. It seems an unfortunate truth that not enough people seem to give a damn. Every sensible discussion on the subject is quickly hi-jacked by fools with their own dubious agenda. In short, there is no political cohesion in Britain so we can’t hope to be other than shark bait. I did used to have hope, honest! I just see less and less evidence of revolution as I see greater need for it. Think I’ll just watch ‘Don’t Lose Your Head’…that should take my mind off it.

  26. What offensive and ill thought out nonsense this article is.

    • Scriptonite says:

      How is it offensive? I’d have thought the greater offense was the state imposing secret courts, protective custody, imflammatory propaganda and bogus austerity.

      • normankeena says:

        ‘greater offense’ ‘state imposing’ ‘secret courts’ ‘protective custody’ ‘imlaammatory propaganda’ ‘bogus austerity’ okey maybe me aught have put ‘state imposing secret courts’ still and alll it seems like gobbledeegook

        s’rry annoyed at meself: having read the authors article a number of times, still confused… yeas surely: state reacting/acting , like temp situation, temp laws. okey … how long is a piece of string, kind of thing. Yeash some Magna carta is oul, some bills of rights younger. Justice is an ideal. not some permanent officer of some so called court. How aught modern state behave when current narative appears to depict, as if under threat : sure; some ‘we/our government act/reaact , enact, make pact, sack jack.. whatever

        What really hurt me was , well maybe i read too much into it. What hurt me was , well .. Ye do know there was a revolution in europe more then once and also lately… Germine history don’t go from martin luter – hitler : Where is for example rosa luxemburg

        wondering now at what stage others … well would love to know :

        http://yanisvaroufakis.eu/2013/03/14/lest-we-forget-the-neglected-roots-of-europes-slide-to-authoritarianism

    • Mark Watkins says:

      I would love to hear a reasoned explanation exactly why it is offensive and nonsense.

    • David Bramhall says:

      To whom is it offfensive, exactly? Since I am not responsible for any of the events or legislation metnioned, I didn’t feel offended at all.

    • JLT says:

      I think this article is brilliant, its thinking is innovative and it breaks new ground. So I was going to try to respond to Mr Pennington’s comment with some intelligent pithy remark. But then I Googled the words “Liam” and “Pennington” and “nonsense” and realised he’s rather fond of the word “nonsense”. {DFTT}

  27. Phil Loud says:

    What a great article,and seemingly well researched.What can be done? I personally don’t hold out too much hope,i’d love to see the population witholding council tax payments,closing bank and credit card accounts,running vehicles on used vegatable oil therefore starving oil corporations and the treasury of £billions and boycoting multinational food stores which are a death sentence for independant local shops,i have an extreme hatered for Tesco and refuse to spend a single penny of my hard earned cash in any supermarket/subway/starbucks/McDonalds etc,but I know i’m in the minority and that the mentioned corporations aren’t shaking in their boots over my actions! Also as a nation of disgruntled citizens there was,in my eyes,a perfect oppourtunity to stand up,be counted,and riot against the corporate stranglehold,government policies and biased laws being forced upon us by swindling MPs……perfect timing for a show of public disdain,yes?……yes of course……but what happened instead?…NO RIOTS…..but widespread LOOTING,not making a stand,or even any sort of point,but robbing,burning and destroying small independant family run businesses. In short,we are the minority,the tabloid buying,x-factor watching,fast food eating,head-in-the-sand morons are the majority…..and the majority rules…alas.

    • Scriptonite says:

      If you look at the other comments here Phil you’ll see your definitely not alone in your ideas about decoupling ourselves from the capitalist economy. Yes, they might not be shaking in their boots at your action, but you will inspire others and they inspire others and so it goes. Might take time but so what? Better to be working towards something better than joining in with the debasing of our whole way of life.

  28. JLT says:

    Many thanks for an excellent and thoughtful piece of writing on the current state of play within the field of British (and European) politics. Disabled people are being targeted and victimised throughout Europe but, as you have correctly identified in the past, the spearhead of the propaganda campaign appears to be well and truelly established in the UK. You may wish to check out some of the speeches on the plight of disabled people elsewhere in Eurpoe, here:
    http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sed/speeches.do?sessionDate=20130312

    Atos, under the orders of the DWP, is sorting disabled people into two specific categories, the acceptable “Arbeit macht frei” (fit for work) and the unacceptable “unfit for work” (and therefore a financial burden on the state and, if no family is available for support, is suitable for residential care).

    We were living under the illusion that disabled people had a right to independence but the scrapping of Disability Living Allowance and the Independent Living Fund and rising bills for social care and personal assistance, means that many otherwise independent disabled people will now be forced to live in the ghettos of residential institutions.

    If the recommendations of the Commission on Assisted Dying are brought in, how soon before we face an Action T4 in the UK?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Action_T4

    or, with the withdrawal of Income Support, DLA and ILF
    http://calumslist.org
    has it started already?

    Just one point of criticism (I’ve raised with you before) is about the use of language to describe disabled people.
    http://www.scriptonitedaily.org/2013/01/the-tax-cut-time-bomb-april-showers.html

    Some people use the terms “disability” and “impairment” interchangeably, in particularly people who adopt (whether they know it or not) the Medical Model of Disability. “People with disabilities” sits right up there, as a Medical Model term.

    On the other hand “disabled people” as utilised by the Social Model of Disability, recognising that disabling conditions are imposed by society.

    There are some excellent essays on the subject including:
    http://www.saifscotland.org.uk/fileuploads/low-res-saif-social-model-8338.pdf

    It states:
    “Disability is … a particular form of social oppression and focuses on the barriers (attitudinal,
    environmental and organisational) which prevent disabled people from having equality of opportunity in education, employment, housing, transport, leisure and so on.
    Given the above definition, it does not make sense to say ‘people with disabilities’, just as you would not say ‘people with black skin’ or ‘people with female gender’, for example.
    ‘People with disabilities’ is really used to link people with their medical conditions and implies that the difficulties experienced by disabled people are a result of these impairments.”

    and brief summaries such as:
    http://www.scope.org.uk/about-us/our-brand/talking-about-disability/social-model-disability

    Again, thank you for continuing to highlight the plight which so many people and, in particular, disabled people face under this current regime. As you point out, the government has launched a propaganda war on the poor which has seen unemployed people, disabled people and other vulnerable people suffering escalated hate crimes as a result.

    • Scriptonite says:

      Thanks. Have been painstakingly referring to people with disabilities and not disabled people after misunderstandng your last post. This explanation makes total sense.

  29. Mark Watkins says:

    I personally think an economic strike would hit the hardest, as a previous contributor put, to stop buying “corporate products”. If we, en masse, ignored the major supermarkets, tried not to use our cars so we weren’t buying petrol, held off on paying our council tax and utility bills, took out no credit or overdrafts, stopped buying newspapers and refused to watch tv, therefore alarming advertisers, even for a couple of weeks, we could send shockwaves through the arrogant halls of power. I think this is a winning idea, but I shudder at the thought of trying to mobilise even half of the population to do this, or how to co-ordinate it on a nationwide scale..

    • Scriptonite says:

      Absolute agreement here. We need to cut of the funding of this system at the source…and we’re the source. It’s our taxes and our consumer spending which enables the whole thing. Even the hedge funds, futures & derivatives traders ledgers are full of hypothecated funds from our mortgages, loans and credit cards. As you say, mobilisation is the key and I think we’re basically on the first rung of that one….getting people in the know, getting them to see the limitations of the world placed on them arbirtrarily and that they CAN make it another way. Even this little internet exchange is part of that. This is something we can do everyday in conversations with people at home, at work and online and as it builds, it coordinates. Think of it as laying down verbal gunpowder, safe in the knowledge that a naked flame will appear 😉 Ofcourse, the harder work is building the alternative…and thoroughly exciting it is too.

  30. Pat Nurse says:

    Sorry to disagree slightly here but denormalisation of a targeted group of people is very much in line with Nazi ideology and as a lifelong smoker for 45 years from childhood I challenge to walk a mile in these new Govt imposed shoes and tell me that you don’t feel you’re living in dark times. Govt paid for adverts that personally abuse my social group is very much in line with Nazi thinking. I accept for the sake of comfort – not health – that people shouldn’t smoke where there is no other choice – such as in the office – but I disagree entirely that where there is choice smokers should be made to feel disgusting, like lepers, as if they stink worse than shit, (when smell is subjective and it isn’t against the law yet to like the smell of fresh tobacco burning) that they are killing “innocent” babies, that they can be (legally) denied work if an employer doesn’t like them just because they are smokers and not that they smoke at work, that they can be denied the healthcare others are entitled to when they have paid far more for it in taxes over a lifetime, not to mention NI and other taxes. As for the rest, I do agree.

    • Katz says:

      I see your bid of personal freedom to smoke and raise my freedom to socialise in public places without having to wash myself and every item of clothing afterwards so that I don’t go to work next day smelling like an ashtray. When children come to school reeking of smoke because their parents smoke – who is thinking of their health and freedom to be free of addiction.

      I also remember a good friend who would be alive now if he hadn’t been a smoker. A father, colleague and friend gone too soon. Comparing your right to kill yourself and pollute our environment with the Nazi-like scapegoating of the disabled and poor is wrong.

      Nice straw man you’ve put up there. Careful he doesn’t catch fire.

      • Carl says:

        Pat, herein lies the problem. You’re excellently considered and written piece is met with ignorance and distain by a typical scaremongered sucker. The biggest barrier to improvement in this country is that put in place by those (the governing classes) who seek to divide the nation into polarised groups who in turn argue over trivia whilst the country burns behind their back. Britain is lost.

      • Anonymous says:

        I think the poster has some valid points. Just because you detest smoking and lost a friend to it doesn’t change the fact that smokers have been demonised. No, I don’t smoke.

  31. Beautiful article. I only have one problem with it.

    Resistance is futile! And I don’t mean “hopeless!”

    The mechanics of this universe generate equal and opposite reactions to each action. If you resist, you create more to resist! Resistance is quicksand. Don’t go there.

    The better method is to walk away! Stop buying Corporate products. In fact, stop using their currency. The effect? Atrophy! They’ll simply shrivel up and die.

    Check out James Corbett videos on YouTube and http://www.CorbettReport.com.

    Also, check out http://localorg.blogspot.com/ for pragmatic solutions to political problems.

    And http://project-byzantium.org/ for one idea on creating a parallel internet that governments cannot attack with SOPA, PIPA, CISPA, TPP or similarly draconian legislation, like those in the States.

  32. Philip Brennan says:

    I have very similar feelings about things as they stand now, and no, this is not a case of Godwin’s Law in the slightest.

    Meanwhile I would like to point out an article / book excerpt of Giorgio Agamben’s archived here concerning the State of Exception, as it feeds into a lot of what is discussed here, but also taking examples from elsewhere in modern western history: http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/009254.html

    In order to understand how the Third Reich happened, and how similar tyrannies also occurred in the 20th century, one must become conversant with two major factors in governmentality – Foucauldian Biopolitics and Raison d’Etat. These two things play off against each other in all modern nation states, and are at the heart of every tyranny of the 20th and 21st centuries.

    The fact that the United Kingdom is itself a biopolitical state governed under raison d’Etat does not bode well for us at all.

    • Scriptonite says:

      Agreed and thank you for sharing the link. Always happy to have links placed here that give people a broader understanding of the issues discussed. We’re in trouble. We really need to wake up to this fact to turn things around.

  33. sinsi says:

    Just wondering if the motivation to write this article was at all influenced by the television series “the Untold History of the United States” by Oliver Stone, particularly episode 2

    • Scriptonite says:

      🙂 Haven’t had the pleasure of seeing it but will look it up. No it was inspired by a thought process after watching the British parliament debating and voting in favour of secret courts. It reminded me of the language that was used to justify changes to the german parliamentary process and justice system in the early years of Nazi rule. Then some further research revealed something rather endemic.

  34. squarboid says:

    great article, thanks for writing. Indeed, it seems however that a majority of people in the UK are not even aware of the propaganda war being waged on the poor and vulnerable, nor how it is waged and why it is a tragic misdirection.

    Not a day goes past where i don’t see some bigoted remarks or an ignorant defence of the persecution underway by some brainwashed supporter of whatever the government and its media tells people to support.

    Trying to wake people up, who sometimes appear to me as the vast general public in numbers, can be infuriatingly circular due to their denial and perceived need to fit in with the perceived consensus (again we have the BBC, Sky, Daily Mail, Sun, et al to thank for that – but only to an extent. People are fearful to face the truth because the have to face how they have been complicit and bear the responsibility and guilt of their words and actions).

    How do you deal with this? Slapping them in the face is tempting but i would suspect unproductive. The internet is a great way of diseminating information, but it seems from my experience only the people already open minded enough to have removed the blinkers come across it. True there are more coming to terms with things, but often in an apathetic way – i.e: “What can i do? besides the footy/xfactor is on and its all just a comedy act anyway haha”.

    I remember when fliers and posters for action and awareness used to be handed out, put through letterboxes, pasted on walls. You never see that nowdays… just some advert for a foam parties at some local student dive, etc. Perhaps the advent of the internet has had some negative effect on activism and social awareness raising in communities.

    • Scriptonite says:

      Excellent and thought provoking comment. I have similar concerns about the mixed blessing of the internet. One the one hand it grants access to a lrager audience, and yes at the same time it allows people to channel this information by their interests so allows people to ‘tune out’. I also fear that we are relying in too great a degree on limiting our dissent to tweets and so on, rather than attending public meetings and taking direct action such as protest and civil disobedience. How do we counter it? I think that’s the challenge of our time. Personally, I try and tell as many people as possible about what’s happening, and stay in uncomfortable conversations with those who would rather ignore what’s happening. I firmly believe that we can and will turn this thing around, but it’s sometimes frustratingly slow..changing one mind at a time and being part of a growing dissenting minority until it’s ig enough to really make a difference.

      • We can start with civil disobediance, not paying council tax (would be popular and not enough prisons for non payers). Just generally make life awkward for those who have the power currently.

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