I am indebted to a the Pride’s Purge blog for a story from South Wales which should strike a chill in your heart if you give two hoots about free speech and civil liberties. It is the sort of thing that Orwell might have written about as a warning. But that the increasingly authoritarian British state would have taken as a blueprint.
I start with Pride’s short article.
“A female disability activist had her home raided yesterday by South Wales Police who attempted to intimidate her into stopping posting comments on Facebook critical of government cuts and specifically the Department of Work and Pensions and their attacks on the rights of disability claimants.
In her own words:
I’ve just had the police forcing their way into my flat near midnight and harassing me about my “criminal” posts on Facebook about the DWP, accusing me of being “obstructive”. I didn’t know what in f**k’s name they were on about. They kept going on and on at me, it was horrifically stressful, and they only left after I started crying uncontrollably.
The police officers did not charge her. They clearly were just attempting to scare her into stopping her political activities.
The woman was alone in her own home. She was left feeling frightened and vulnerable – by the very people who should be protecting her.
If the police wanted to talk to her, why did the officers choose to enter her home at midnight on a Friday? Why didn’t they inform her in writing or interview her at a police station so she could arrange for a lawyer to be present?”
Exactly. The Police had no need to make a midnight raid. They could have called and asked her to come to the station with a lawyer at a time of her choosing. But that would have been pointless since it is clear that this brave but vulnerable woman has not actually committed a crime. Well, in Orwell’s world a “thought crime” but she has not actually broken the law.
Yet again the Police are being used as an arm of the State to suppress those who raise grievances against another arm of the state. The woman was, for all I know, writing gibberish on Facebook. But that is not a crime, otherwise 850 million folks around the world (i.e. all Facebook users who are not ‘bots or pets) would be guilty of it.
If the woman has made libelous accusations against the State then an orderly process can be followed. If she merely disagrees with the policies of the State the Police have no business interfering. They certainly have no business interfering in a way that is designed solely to intimidate.
This is truly shocking. Hat tip to Tom Pride.
Wait who is that knocking at the door? No worries it is only 1.30 in the afternoon. The Old Bill won’t be barging to shout at me and interrogate my PC over my new T-shirt design/article on Orwellian Britain for another eleven hours.