The state appears to have a tried and tested method of getting public approval for laws or regulations that the take away our freedoms:
This is the approach that works so well, both historically and today:
Identify issues that invoke outrage, fear or other powerful emotional responses in the public
Wait until a particularly heinous event of the type identified in step 1 occurs, or engineer/invent a suitable event
Allow the popular press to sensationalize and simplify the issues, while whipping the public into a suitably outraged or terrified frenzy, demanding “Something must be done!”
Propose a law or regulations to “Address The Problem” The actual law will in fact take away the freedoms that the state objects to.
Let’s see how it works in practice, starting with one of the states favourite “Hobgoblins” -attacks by terrorist groups. Now terrorism is certainly real, but to put it in context in 2011 you were 8 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than a terrorist, 12 times more likely die by accidental suffocation in bed! You are in fact almost 3 times more likely to be killed by a lightening strike!
The Reichstag fire Berlin on 27 February 1933
1. The issue used, fear of terrorist attacks
2. The German parliament (Reichstag) caught fire, probably as a result of an arson attack by the communists. (Although in 1946, Hans Gisevius, a former member of the Gestapo, indicated that the Nazis were the actual arsonists)
3. Prussian Press Service reports “This act of incendiarism is the most monstrous act of terrorism carried out by Bolshevism in Germany” The Vossische Zeitung newspaper warned its readers that “the government is of the opinion that the situation is such that a danger to the state and nation existed and still exists”
4. The day after the fire Hitler asked for and received from President Hindenburg the Reichstag Fire Decree, signed into law by Hindenburg using Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution: “Articles 114, 115, 117, 118, 123, 124 and 153 of the Constitution of the German Reich are suspended until further notice. It is therefore permissible to restrict the rights of personal freedom [habeas corpus], freedom of (opinion) expression, including the freedom of the press, the freedom to organize and assemble, the privacy of postal, telegraphic and telephonic communications. Warrants for House searches, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed.
The 9/11 Attacks on the World Trade Centre
1. The issue used, fear of terrorist attacks
2. Two hijacked planes flown into the World Trade Centre in New York, causing the buildings to collapse and thousands of innocent workers and emergency services personnel killed. Al Qaida are widely accepted as having been responsible, but many Conspiracy theories question if the US Government was involved.
3. The event was so horrendous that factual press reporting was enough to concentrate legitimate outrage. However, most US headlines use the phrase “War” versus virtually none that use the more obvious word “Murder”. The Bush administration was very quick to link Saddam Hussein and Iraq to the attack. Despite the fact that Iraq was not involved 4 out of 10 Americans still think the War in Iraq was retaliation for 9/11
4. The US PATRIOT Act was rushed through Congress in just 6 weeks, becoming law on October 26th 2011. Containing 132 pages, it was according to Senators not read.
The Act sweeps away many freedoms including
FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION: Government may monitor religious and political institutions without suspecting criminal activity to assist terror investigation.
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION: Government has closed once-public immigration hearings, has secretly detained hundreds of people without charges, and has encouraged bureaucrats to resist public records requests.
FREEDOM OF SPEECH: Government may prosecute librarians or keepers of any other records if they tell anyone that the government subpoenaed information related to a terror investigation.
RIGHT TO LEGAL REPRESENTATION: Government may monitor federal prison jailhouse conversations between attorneys and clients, and deny lawyers to Americans accused of crimes.
FREEDOM FROM UNREASONABLE SEARCHES: Government may search and seize Americans’ papers and effects without probable cause to assist terror investigation.
RIGHT TO A SPEEDY AND PUBLIC TRIAL: Government may jail Americans indefinitely without a trial.
RIGHT TO LIBERTY: Americans may be jailed without being charged or being able to confront witnesses against them.
and the US Government has not been slow to use the provisions of the Act against non-terrorists
Another favourite issue, callously used by the State is Paedophile Murder. Again this is a real issue, but putting the figures in context a child is far more likely to be killed riding a horse, playing football or even being a passenger in a car.
1. The issue used, fear our children will be murdered by a Paedophile
2. April Jones disappeared on 1 October 2012, after being sighted getting into a vehicle near her home. A 46-year-old local man, Mark Bridger, was subsequently arrested and charged with Jones’ abduction and murder. Tia Sharp was reported missing from the home of her grandmother in London, in August 2012. Police discovered her body in the loft of the house seven days later, Stuart Hazell a former boyfriend of Tia’s mother was charged with Tia’s murder.
3. The press simply assume that watching porn caused the murders. Psychologists have been trying to demonstrate that violent porn increases rape for many years, both with direct experiments and statistical analysis. They repeatedly, find that there is no such link there is even evidence that watching porn acts a substitute and reduces the incidence of sexual crimes.
4. David Cameron announces a raft of measures, designed presumably to ‘protect us from child murderers” but instead amounting to default Internet Censorship (Not of Child Pornogrpahy, that is already illegal) but any pornography and sites that involve: Smoking, Alcohol, Web Forums, Anorexia, Suicide and other sites deemed offensive. Backed with the threat of legislation if the ISP’s don’t tow the line. The next step, following the Australian experience will be to block the sites of political groups and down the slippery slope to the sort of government censorship common in less democratic countries.
Other examples of scandals used in attempts to remove fundamental freedoms include:
When it comes to taking away our liberty, there is nothing the state likes more than a Tragedy/Horror/Scandal to outrage the sheeple and get them bleating for “something to be done”!
Unfortunately, as often as not, the something is done to them, rather than for them.