The Sunday Times yesterday carried an interview with the historian Richard Overy, whose book on the Thirties (The Morbid Age) suggests parallels with our own fractious era. I was particularly struck by this paragraph:Overy left the Labour party in 1997, when Blair was elected prime minister, and now describes himself as a nonaligned member of the (nonexistent) sceptical party. His central political position — which is not really right or left — is that we need to resist the overweening claims of the state. “We are rapidly moving towards a society that is dominated by people in uniform. The state’s claims are increasingly absolute. That’s happened in a very, very brief period of time. We are in danger of creating a worse situation than the one we are fearful about.”A brief period of time. That's not something we hear very much. The usual language for the coming of the surveillance state - which most now recognise, and which some still welcome, though opposition is steadily increasing - is gradualist. The erosion of liberty. The salami-slicing of freedoms. A frog placed in lukewarm water that is slowly brought to the boil (Shami Chakrabarti's favourite metaphor). Function creep. Sleepwalking into a dystopian future of total state oversight. And so forth.
But it's not really that slow and gradual, if you think about it.
I think we at F2C can attest to that.
Remember, though, that we were warning others prior to our guinea pigdom, that they would also fall foul of the state-funded righteous lobby.
We were correct, of course, and now the new targets are ... err ... just about anyone who enjoys life. Not survives it. Lives it.
Starved as the country has been, by equality legislation (and there is nothing wrong with that), of groups to arbitrarily hate, the natural human urge to condescend and deride a minority has been directed towards those who were previously just, well, average Joes.
It is ochlocracy (mob rule) writ large and proscribed by government. The unclean are valid targets of ridicule and marginalisation.
The 'denormalised' have never been so 'unclean'. Minorities are now off-limits unless they are bon-viveurs, in which case, anything goes.
And, as The Hersiarch says, this hasn't happened slice by slice. It hasn't happened since 1997 when Labour, the instigators, were elected. It has happened suddenly over the past 3 years. A rumbling from Labour became a rancid fucking crusade. A charge against anyone who disagrees with the life that Labour have dicated should be lived. The life that the organisations which our runaway Department of Health have decided, in partnership with their chums in the highly-funded pharmaceutical industry, should be the norm.
It's not done for our benefit. It is done for profit, pure and simple.
And coupled with the profit, is the control it also affords our leaders. Control that they are too irresponsible to handle. Their solution is to watch our every move, to scare us when we don't want to be scared, to belittle us when they weren't elected for that purpose, and to do everything in their power to make sure that we don't walk up to the front gates of parliament and black their eyes with a heavy object.
It used to be the salami slice, but has turned into the mad chopping of a power-crazy administration drunk on power and influence.
It's time the stampede was halted. There are similarities with righteous bandwagon jumping 70 years ago, and it's time it was stopped and even, dare we say it, rolled back. Read Heresy Corner for the lowdown.