It’s hard to know where to begin with this post as it is so removed from the guff I usually ramble on about. So, bear with me as I struggle to put some order to it . .
Awaiting the Report Stage in the House of Commons is Home Secretary (Minister of the Interior) Theresa May’s ‘Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill 2014-15‘. (the link will take you to a PDF of the full bill) ‘So what!’ I hear you say, ‘Countering terrorism and providing security at home has got to be a good thing, hasn’t it?’ I would argue that countering the UK’s foreign intervention policies would do more to counter terrorism and improve security at home than any other factor in any equation you care to consider. But that is not the way these things work!
That said, the point of this post is to draw the attention of any of you who haven’t ‘yawned-off’ by now to the above mentioned Theresa May bill. It is probably the most insidious and subversive piece of legislation ever to passage through the so-called Mother of Parliaments. If any single thing marks the beginning of the fulfilment of George Orwell’s prescient predictions in ‘1984’ it is this bill.
Whilst we in Turkey are distracted by the antics of the current president more and more draconian laws are being passed. As those in the US were (and probably still are) agog at Kim Kardashian’s arse, Obomba signed into law the National Defence Authorisation Act which effectively stripped the Constitution and Bill of Rights. In the UK it’s immigration and UKIP that provide the main distraction. Behind the smokescreen the government is quietly putting in place the legislation required of a founding member of Oceania.
Oceania-blue, Eurasia-red, Eastasia-green, disputed-white
Oceania, you may recall from ‘1984’ was the entity made up of the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Does that ring any bells re: the present make-up of the English speaking, Anglo-Saxon ‘Security Five’? It was the land of ‘Newspeak’, the ‘Inner Party’, ‘Outer Party’, the ‘Proles’ and ‘Big Brother’. The UK (Airstrip One in the novel) was on the front line of the War Against Whatever. Ding-dong-ding-dong!!
So, let’s get back to the legislation; at first glance it appears to deal with such matters as surveillance, withholding passports, travel documents, other travel restrictions, etc of suspected terrorists. Fair enough, you might think. But then, on page 13 of the bill we get this:
RISK OF BEING DRAWN INTO TERRORISM
PREVENTING PEOPLE BEING DRAWN INTO TERRORISM
21 General duty on specified authorities
(1) A specified authority must, in the exercise of its functions, have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.
(2) A specified authority is a person or body that is listed in Schedule 3.
Which puts a duty on those who run said specified institutions (which I’ll come to) to report those they consider at risk of being radicalised or drawn into terrorism ie Thought Crimes. Specifically, “due regard” to prevent people under whatever care the institution provides for them, from developing or holding what the British government considers to be “extremist” viewpoints as defined by them. Is that thought crime or not? These are not people who have done anything wrong. They are just being fingered by some largely untrained person as being potentially problematic at some point in the future. What marks some potential future terrorists? It’s the way they think, the way they react to authority, the way they question the system.
So, what are these ‘institutions’? There are all the usual ones that you’d expect, local authorities, prisons, etc but there are also the following, and this is the really scary, Big Brother bit.
Listed under Education, child care etc on Page 47 of the bill:
The governing body of an institution within the higher education sector within the meaning of section 91(5) of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992.
A person with whom arrangements have been made for the provision of education under section 19 of the Education Act 1996 or section 100 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 (cases of illness, exclusion etc).
The proprietor of—
(a) a school that has been approved under section 342 of the Education Act 1996,
(b) a maintained school within the meaning given by section 20(7) of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998,
(c) a maintained nursery school within the meaning given by section 22(9) of that Act,
(d) an independent school registered under section 158 of the Education Act 2002,
(e) an independent educational institution registered under section 95(1) of the Education and Skills Act 2008, or
(f) an alternative provision Academy within the meaning given by section 1C of the Academies Act 2010.
A person who is specified or nominated in a direction made in relation to the exercise of a local authority’s functions given by the Secretary of State under section 497A of the Education Act 1996 (including that section as applied by section 50 of the Children Act 2004 or section 15 of the Childcare Act 2006).
Think about that – heads of schools and even those who run Nursery Schools are going to be required to finger those children they suspect of having subversive thoughts and to hand them over to so-called panels that will be set up for what? Re-education? And those at the head of these institutions will feel compelled to act on their ‘suspicions’ because if they don’t there will be those below keen to appease the powers-that-be and further their own career in the ‘Party’. No doubt, as is normal with these things there will be performance related benefits or penalties to encourage the wavering to fill their quotas. The country will be over run by informants and amateur Thought Police. Is that ‘Orwellian’ or what!
remind you of the Hitler Youth, Young Communists, Pol Pot’s young murderers?
Mind you, not all ‘institutions’ will be compelled to comply with the law when it is enacted, and it will be! Here is a list of the exemptions from page 14 of the bill – you’ll find it revealing:
(2) The power under subsection (1) may not be exercised so as to extend the application of section 21(1) to—
(a) the exercise of a function referred to in section 21(4);
(b) the House of Commons;
(c) the House of Lords;
(d) the Scottish Parliament;
(e) the National Assembly for Wales or the Assembly Commission within the meaning of the Government of Wales Act 2006;
(f) the General Synod of the Church of England;
(g) the Security Service;
(h) the Secret Intelligence Service;
(i) the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ);
(j) any part of Her Majesty’s forces, or of the Ministry of Defence, which engages in intelligence activities (ie SAS, SBS my emphasis).
Did you get that? The Government, Parliament, MI5, SIS, GCHQ and even the bloody Church of England cannot be held responsible if they fail to prevent someone becoming radicalised or turning to terrorism (as defined by the above list of exemptions) but the head of a nursery school can! When you consider that British Special Forces training salafist, jihadi terrorists in Jordan and Qatar are exempt but you are not, that’s pretty rich.
So, when the principle at your local nursery fingers your child, grandchild (or great grandchild in my case) what happens to them? Pages 16-17 give you the answer:
SUPPORT ETC FOR PEOPLE VULNERABLE TO BEING DRAWN INTO TERRORISM
28 Assessment and support: local panels
(1) Each local authority must ensure that a panel of persons is in place for its area—
(a) with the function of assessing the extent to which identified individuals are vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism, and
(b) with the other functions mentioned in subsection (4).
(2) “Identified individual”, in relation to a panel, means an individual who is referred to the panel by a chief officer of police for an assessment of the kind mentioned in subsection (1)(a).
(3) A chief officer of police may refer an individual to a panel only if there are reasonable grounds to believe that the individual is vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism.
(4) The functions of a panel referred to in subsection (1)(b) are—
(a) to prepare a plan in respect of identified individuals whom the panel considers should be offered support for the purpose of reducing their vulnerability to being drawn into terrorism;
b) if the necessary consent is given, to make arrangements for support to be provided to those individuals in accordance with their support plan;
(c) to keep under review the giving of support to an identified individual under a support plan;
(d) to revise a support plan, or withdraw support under a plan, if at any time the panel considers it appropriate;
(e) to carry out further assessments, after such periods as the panel considers appropriate, of an individual’s vulnerability to being drawn into terrorism in cases where—
(i) the necessary consent is refused or withdrawn to the giving of support under a support plan, or
(ii) the panel has determined that support under a plan should be withdrawn;
(f) to prepare a further support plan in such cases if the panel considers it appropriate.
(5) A support plan must include the following information—
(a) how, when and by whom a request for the necessary consent is to be made;
(b) the nature of the support to be provided to the identified individual;
(c) the persons who are to be responsible for providing it;
(d) how and when such support is to be provided.
(6) Where in the carrying out of its functions under this section a panel determines that support should not be given to an individual under a support plan, the panel—
(a) must consider whether the individual ought to be referred to a provider of any health or social care services, and
(b) if so, must make such arrangements as the panel considers appropriate for the purpose of referring the individual.
(7) In exercising its functions under this section a panel must have regard to any guidance given by the Secretary of State about the exercise of those functions.
(8) Before issuing guidance under subsection (7) the Secretary of State must (whether before or after this Act is passed) consult—
(a) the Welsh Ministers so far as the guidance relates to panels in Wales;
(b) the Scottish Ministers so far as the guidance relates to panels in Scotland;
(c) any person whom the Secretary of State considers appropriate.
. . prepare a plan for the identified individual . . they are talking about Re-education Centres people! Thought Control! ‘Give me the boy and I’ll give you the man.’ as the Brothers of the Society of Jesus were wont to say!
if you think this is far-fetched consider that extraordinary rendition, waterboarding, rectal feeding, attack dogs, rape, etc are all ‘acceptable’ forms of enhanced interrogation. Who dies from extra-judicial killings by drones is discussed at the normal Tuesday meetings in the Oval Office!
1984 is a little behind schedule but has hit the jet stream and is making up for lost time!
Alan Fenn, Okçular Köyü