A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Tory pomposity and overstatement

Listening to the current range of Tory interventions in the House of Commons banging on with faux outrage about the Damian Green investigation being a threat to democracy, our ancient liberties etc., I am reminded of their predecessor Churchill's disastrous party political broadcast in the 1945 General Election campaign, suggesting Labour would institute a police state, which contributed to Labour's landslide victory that year:

"No Socialist Government conducting the entire life and industry of the country could afford to allow free, sharp or violently worded expressions of public discontent. They would have to fall back on some form of Gestapo, no doubt very humanely directed in the first instance."

The problem is that when you cry wolf by smearing legitimate police inquiries as attacks on liberty and democracy, you reduce the credibility of democratic politicians' warnings about real threats to liberty and democracy.

Attlee's rebuttal speech the next night was pretty good:

"When I listened to the Prime Minister's speech last night in which he gave such a travesty of the policy of the Labour party, I realised at once what was his object. He wanted the electors to understand how great was the difference between Winston Churchill, the great leader in war of a united nation, and Mr Churchill the party leader of the Conservatives. He feared lest those who had accepted his leadership in war might be tempted out of gratitude to follow him further. I thank him for having disillusioned them so thoroughly. The voice we heard last night was that of Mr Churchill but the mind was that of Lord Beaverbrook"

11 Comments:

Blogger Guido Fawkes said...

Tsk, tsk overstatement, eh. Not something that you would ever do.

5:05 pm, December 08, 2008

 
Blogger Mark Still News said...

We had Fascism from 1979 to 1997. After all that time under an extreme right wing government it will take time for democracy to settle in. Sometimes you have to remind the authorities we are not under the Tories any more. The Tory London Mayor allowed Green to be arrested and had full knowledge what was going on. Many Countries who have turned to democracy after a long spell of Extreme Totalitarian rule have to adjust to freedom, this Country is no exception but things can only get better.

Do you still have that Ringtone things can only get better, it was so corny for a Motto!

9:22 pm, December 08, 2008

 
Anonymous Rich said...

This Labour government is a fascist government and probably the most authoritarian in my lifetime. Power has gone to their heads and they are clinging onto power and using all their powers to do so,

It really is time to remove this government and refresh our democracy. It is also time for the nation rebel against the state. People have more power than they realise, even the slightest things can break governments.

Mass non payment of taxes and fines would cripple Labour now. We are already seeing the emergence of the old anti poll tax leagues who are currently training activists across this country.

Next year is going to be very interesting.

9:31 pm, December 08, 2008

 
Anonymous Dan J said...

Rich, you don't half talk a lot of drivel ("most authoritarian in my lifetime") unless you were born after 1984-5, during which period areas of Britain were truly exposed to state directed policing in the most hideous way.

1:49 am, December 09, 2008

 
Anonymous stephen said...

Dan J - talking in absolutes is of course nonsense. The Thatcher government was pretty authoritatarian if you were judged to be a 'political striker'. So how do you compare imponderables like the overt thuggish politicised policing of the miners strike and Labour's assault on privacy, ID Cards, data sharing and surveillance, etc. The answer is that you can't compare. I opposed Thatcher. Does that mean that I am not allowed to criticise Labour for its attack on civil liberties?

9:56 am, December 09, 2008

 
Blogger Mark Still News said...

The foundations for ID cards was laid down by Thatcher. The Tories really want them more than Labour do.The ID cards sooner or later we will get them if the government does not do it, the private sector will bring one out anyway to obtain services. Look at all the passwords we have and various swipe cards. The trouble is its an electronic age!

Before Oyster cards came out there was a lot of fear that it would be used to monitor our every moves.

The Oyster card came out on TFL 5 years ago apart from a few glitches its been a success.

In 1984 & 1985 if you were any where near a pit Town you had to carry ID and have a valid reason to enter. The Police would beat you up, if they thought you had anything to do with the Strike. Peoples mobility in the Mining Communities was severely restricted and that's what I call Fascism!

11:53 am, December 09, 2008

 
Anonymous stephen said...

The foundations for ID cards was laid down by Thatcher

Actually they were laid down by a civil servant whose name I forget in 1939. Since they were abolished in 1952, by the Tories, the Home Office has been pushing the idea to anyone who would listen. There were several backbench attempts to introduce them in the 1980s. All failed quickly. The Tories seriously considered them in the mid 90s as 'entitlement cards' but they were voted down in Cabinet.

The Tories really want them more than Labour do

I don't think that's true. The Home Office wants them more than any other agency in government.

The ID cards sooner or later we will get them if the government does not do it, the private sector will bring one out anyway to obtain services

I am not trying to be funny, but we already have various 'id cards' and we really don't need another one. Security issues with current passports/driving licences could be fixed cheaply and easily without the need for a universal identity register and government data sharing initiatives. This is all extra and has little to do with establishing identity.

Look at all the passwords we have and various swipe cards. The trouble is its an electronic age!

That's authentication and is not the same as proving identity. I don't prove my identity when I use a hole in the wall, or a credit card or logon to a password protected web site. I authenticate and my actual identity may be crucial, not very important or not important at all. Bundling the issue of authentication with the very small number of statutory reasons for establishing IDENTITY is one of the government's worst howlers and why the technical strategy for implementation is still in flux.

In 1984 & 1985 if you were any where near a pit Town you had to carry ID and have a valid reason to enter. The Police would beat you up, if they thought you had anything to do with the Strike. Peoples mobility in the Mining Communities was severely restricted and that's what I call Fascism!

Which is why anyone on the left should be opposing new powers to force us to carry ID Cards.

1:08 pm, December 09, 2008

 
Blogger Mark Still News said...

I am not opposed to ID cards in general, as we really carry loads around already.

What I object to is:
The access given to the data base.
Private Companies having access.
Every Tom Dick and Harry special rate Agencies working within the Home Office purging the data Base.
Out sourcing the data base to the far away places thousands of miles away because of the cheaper costs.

I Remember in 1981 the Tories actually done a database with the private Company The Economic League. The database had all the left wing subversive element on it.
All you had to do was write a letter to your Newspaper and you were classified as a subversive and then blacklisted from local Magistrate who w Employment.There was cases of Liberal Democrats being listed and Vicars. All you had to do was write a letter of complaint to your local MP and you were put on it and these bastards got away with this! Wake up smell the Coffee we had an Orwellian fascist Government from 1979-1997

11:51 pm, December 09, 2008

 
Blogger anonymous said...

I do agree with Mark Still News regarding oyster cards.

I used to work with someone who was not a nice person. When the oyster cards came out he said that he was outraged that his moves were being recorded and monitored and that he would buy a single or return ticket for every journey and not have a money saving travelcard anymore.

I soon left the company and would love to meet my ex-colleague again; not for his dire company, but to laugh at how broke he must be!

The stupid fuss that some people make when new things come along...

12:55 pm, December 10, 2008

 
Anonymous stephen said...

I am not opposed to ID cards in general, as we really carry loads around already

I am not opposed to voluntary ID Cards that I am not going to be fined £5,000 if I fail to produce it on demand to a police or immigration officer!

What I object to is:
The access given to the data base.
Private Companies having access.
Every Tom Dick and Harry special rate Agencies working within the Home Office purging the data Base.
Out sourcing the data base to the far away places thousands of miles away because of the cheaper costs


Absolutely, the National Identity Register is the main reason to be opposed. And just think what The Economic League could do with the database state being trialled by Labour :(

4:10 pm, December 10, 2008

 
Blogger Mark Still News said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_League_(UK)

Some of the Directors formed another data base blacklisting service called CAPRiM The new right wing blacklist service http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Congress/7727/caprim.htm

How do these bastards get away with this?

12:05 am, December 11, 2008

 

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