Showing posts with label Repressive States. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Repressive States. Show all posts

Monday, 21 December 2009

UK State encroachment backs off, but not far enough

The UK's New Labour Government seem to have backed off slightly from their frankly crazily draconian extremes of their criminal records check system after public outcry.

As usual the public are far too reasonable and don't complain nearly enough, about anything like enough.

The legislation was supposedly brought in to prevent another “Soham” child murder and essentially tries to and succeeds in treating practically any adult who may anything to do with children as a paedophile unless proven otherwise.

In practice this amounts to, effectively, a licensing system the individual must pay for themselves to be allowed to interact with the young.

The ludicrous - and typical for the New Labour State - thing is that there were perfectly good existing systems in place that, if they had actually been followed, would almost certainly have prevented the Soham murders.

Rather than address the failure to follow the existing system, New Labour rail-road through new, hastily and ill conceived authoritarian legislation. Legislation, that it is difficult to imagine would ever have been acceptable to previous generations, who had a greater respect for our historic ...and rapidly becoming just historical traditional liberties.

All of this is the New Labour states instinct to legislate and the ostensible reason is to protect children Ahhh. And with New labour there is always a subtext and one suspects layers of agenda.

The sub text will be “So it can not be a good thing to resist it can it?” It is there to keep children safe. In the same way as their National ID scheme is always to “fight organised Crime and Terrorism”. Speak out against it and you are “soft on crime”.

Despite the state's tactical withdrawal on some of the more draconian aspects of the legislation and the insane consequences that come from it the legislation is still Owellian.

It also, most dangerously of all in my opinion, establishes the precedent that the State rules who may interact with the young not the citizen.

Before the clime down it was seriously preventing job sharing friends looking after each other's children by private arrangement. May still impact of what mutual arrangements parents are allowed to make amongst themselves to drive their kids to school.

In the case of the women they were both police officers so were presumably subject to vetting anyway when they joined up. Insane. If this was not deliberately intended to result by the legislators then it was a piss poor piece of legislation. But then that is par for the course with the current government that apparently does not do thinking things through or joined up thinking.

As I mentioned what is being slipped in without anyone seeming to be aware is the precedent that the sate rather than the parent decides who is allowed to interact with and influence the citizen's child.

The State distracts like a grinning performing magician. “Look at my hand nothing up my sleeve Ladies and Gents, Girls and Boys.”

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Amnesty say Olympics are actually making things worse in China

One hears much guff that engaging the Chinese Government over the Olympic Games. There has been much talk about the possibility that the presence of western media (around 20,000 reporters) might help improve China’s human rights record.

It was not a good sign when British authorities, apparently colluding with Chinese oppression, decided to force UK athletes to sign a gag order, preventing them criticising the Chinese government, before they will allow them to attend the games. Why they felt it necessary to do this when other countries did not remains open to question.

Now it seems this may not necessarily result in an improvement after all. According to Amnesty International it is in fact making things worse.

Clearly the Chinese authorities see the prospect of any dissent as an embarrassment and are ruthlessly pre-emptively suppressing anything, or any one, that has the potential to flair up in front of the western media before they get there in numbers.

One only has to look at how they ejected reporters from Tibet and manipulated reports and figures. down playing the number of Tibetans killed by a factor of 10 or more. Or the vast numbers of troops they have sent into the country to suppress the native population.

Monday, 31 March 2008

Zimbabwe’s 'elections'

The results of Zimbabwe’s elections have still yet to be announced. The longer they take the more one worries.

It is clear that the old fraud Mugabe has stacked things as much in his favour as he can get away with - but will that be enough to keep him and his cronies in power?

The much abused opposition are certain they have won, but that is based on the counts at the polls, the results after they have been 'officially counted' may not necessarily be the same, or reflect reality.

Mugabe has managed to turn a country that was the breadbasket of Africa when he first became it’s ruler into the basket case of Africa. South Africa has been reluctant to intervene or criticise his regime. Most other African states have taken a similar or even more equivocal stance.

It would probably be the best result for Zimbabwe if Mugabe did the decent thing and stepped down. If the country could begin it’s probably long recovery, free of his corrupt racist incompetence.

I am sure the ‘Islington Tendency’, don’t even want to think such a thing – but he is clearly racist and/or cynically uses and panders to racism for his own purposes. I am not sure what is worse.

If this does come to pass, the UK should be very reluctant to become involved.

Zimbabwe was in a very strong position when it declared UDI. The UK worked to try to ensure a peaceful transition of power to majority rule, the country was prosperous and had an honest fair and functioning legal and political system at that point.

The terrible state of the country today is entirely due to the dishonesty, incompetence and corruption of it’s rulers since the advent of majority rule - and not the responsibility of the UK.

Though one feels for the ordinary people, when the time finally comes that the country gets the chance to recover, let Zimbabwe make reparations to their citizens who they have driven off their farms and let Africa repair the damage in their own backyard. The UK should not become any more involved than any other country.

Zimbabwe should not expect any more from the UK than any other country, except perhaps their immediate neighbours.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

China claims riots all Dali Lama’s fault

According to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, whom we must suppose represents the official stance of the Chinese Government, all the riots in Lhasa over the Han Chinese colonisation and cultural cleansing of Tibet are the fault of the Dali Lama - masterminded no less.

And moving on for those convinced by these cogent arguments – an opportunity to purchase the Marco Polo/Lugou Bridge.

Personally, I prefer the lesser known theory, that the riots were actually masterminded by Mother Theresa, operating out of a vast secret underground bunker somewhere near Calcutta, after first cunningly faking her own demise as the perfect alibi…

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Amnesty's concerns over freedom on the net

Amnesty International are raising concerns about net censorship ahead of a conference they are organising on the subject.

Amnesty are highlighting that the internet, "could change beyond all recognition" unless action is taken against the erosion of online freedom . Getting into a computing (main) frame ;-) of mind they warn that the "virus of internet repression" has now spread to dozens of governments.

Amnesty also attack companies such as Google - particularly their presence in China, Microsoft and Yahoo of all being complicit in censorship.

Tim Hancock the campaign director said:

"The Chinese model of an internet that allows economic growth but not free speech, or privacy, is growing in popularity. From a handful of countries five years ago, to dozens of governments today, who block sites and arrest bloggers".

"Unless we act on this issue, the internet could change beyond all recognition in the years to come. More and more governments are realising the utility of controlling what people see online and major internet companies, in an attempt to expand their markets, are colluding in these attempts,"

Amnesty point out it’s not just filtering, increasingly it was seeing ‘politically motivated’ closures of websites and internet cafes, also threats and imprisonments. In February, Abdul Kareem Nabeel Suleiman, a young Egyptian blogger, was imprisoned for four years for insulting Islam and defaming the President of Egypt.

Amnesty's is re launching their website to highlight freedom on the net