Almost exactly a year ago we published an article entitled “Britain To Become A One Party, Authoritarian Surveillance State.” It was a piece about Theresa May’s track record as a member of parliament, then as Home Secretary and predicted darker times ahead as PM. More recent events have made that prediction reality.
At the time we said that Mrs May had a somewhat dubious voting record when considering her vow on the steps of Downing Street to look after the interests of the many rather than just ‘the privileged few’ when accepting the role of unelected PM. She voted for the Iraq invasion in 2003, abstained from the smoking ban in both 2006 and 2014, she voted in favour of destroying Libya in 2011, voted for the bedroom tax and against scrapping it in 2014 and voted for attacking Syria. May is a flagrant supporter of privatising Britain’s public services. She has voted both for and against equal gay rights and voted more often against equal rights and human rights and voted against terminally ill people to be given assistance at the end of their life.
This says a lot about our PM. But there’s a much darker side being revealed of late.
In her role as Home Secretary, Theresa May resided over the Yarl’s Wood detention centre scandal, failed to identify the child rape rings of Rotherham, Rochdale, Sheffield, Bradford and Oxford and subsequent cover-ups involving the police, politicians and several ‘establishment’ judges, all of whom resigned. May left the Home Office with a fully demoralised police force.
She saw net migration promises of the ‘tens of thousands’ reach a third of a million a year, that in large part contributed to Britain leaving the EU. Theresa May was not a popular MP and has been described by almost all commentators as a ‘control freak‘.
Some opponents have categorised Mrs May as Henry VIII, the tyrant king of the 16th century, a comparison also favoured by those of her colleagues who complain that she treats them with the same brutality that Henry meted out to spouses who aroused his displeasure. And Mrs May doesn’t like a lot of things.
Since becoming PM she has authorised the censoring of thousands of pages of information on the internet each week, hugely increased the use of secret courts, proposed the scrapping of the Humans Rights Act, classified non-violent activism as terrorism, allowed ministers and government agencies to veto Freedom of Information requests, condoned the arrest of journalists under the anti-terrorism act and forced schools to hand over private pupil information – to name just a few anti-democratic fundamentals.
A whole host of mass spying and surveillance systems introduced (by our previous Home Secretary and now PM) is described by many commentators as; “totally out of control”, “the most intrusive in Western history”, “the most spied on in the world” and “the worst surveillance offender in the modern world”. The UN has valid concerns as well by saying “that the impact of this extreme legislation (known as the Snoopers Charter) will be felt around the world, and copied by other countries.”
You wouldn’t think it could get worse. But it is just about to – right under your nose.
At this point, the reader should try to comprehend what has already been lost.
We have a Prime Minister who advocates the complete 360-degree mass surveillance of civilian citizens – deemed illegal by the highest courts in Britain and the EU. She approves of Britain’s intelligence services acting in cahoots with the lawlessness of America’s NSA and CIA that has included involvement in the illegal extra-judicial assassination‘s of British citizens, not to mention knowledge of kidnap, complicity in forms of torture and doing little to stop executions of political dissidents and opponents.
After whipping up the Russiaphobia debacle, it is clear that the skill sets of our current PM lie not in diplomacy but the suppression of free-speech, the degrading of hard-won civil liberties and the slow destruction of human rights built up over the generations. Meanwhile, Mrs May presides over our greatest post-war challenge in the form of Brexit and is facing what The Times newspaper calls ‘political implosion’.
Theresa May’s new Fusion Doctrine is the policy of a dictator. There was no discussion or debate with elected representatives. The surveillance state has just announced it has no limits. This really is quite scary stuff.
The Espionage Act of 2017 is designed to arrest and imprison whistleblowers, journalists and their editors and then treat them as foreign spies. The Committee to Protect Journalists defined this law rather charitably as “preventing journalists from fulfilling their mission to hold power to account.”
The Digital Economy Act of 2017 is nothing short of a new national censor that can block websites without a court order and is doing so right now. Hundreds of thousands of perfectly innocent websites are now blocked without notice to the owner. Many are opposition voices, that’s all, they are not extremists. This Act uses the cover of protecting children from ‘adult content’ online. OpenRightsGroup says –
“Once censorship is in place, politicians will think of plenty more things they can ban.”
All of these tools of suppression are imposed in an order and for a reason. Theresa May is an authoritarian leader. She believes in both hard and soft power and represents a form of totalitarianism that is essentially hidden from the public.
In the absence of political competence, she is eager to justify the augmentation of the British industrial-military complex just like Thatcher, Blair and Cameron did. Through her methods of amplification, Mrs May has substantially added to the fear-mongering rhetoric – a sure sign of her strategic geopolitical weaknesses.
“The UK will do what is necessary to protect ourselves, and work with our allies to do likewise”, she declared last November when accusing Russia of meddling in elections.
Any political opposition to May’s more shrill Russophobia and the wider official state-sanctioned fiction that it represents, is clearly regarded by the establishment as little more than ‘fake news’ which, has to be contained.
And of course, it is being contained, supported by insidious laws with impressive language that suggests matters of national security – such as the ‘Investigatory Powers Act’ and the ‘Espionage Act’. The former is designed to spy on and catch opposition voices and dissenters, the latter to punish publishers with extraordinary brutality for a modern Western democracy.
Today, we find civil liberties groups horrified that the government has been re-writing ‘torture guidance’ in secret. MI5 and MI6 had already been embroiled in the scandal of the torture of detainees held overseas when May presided over what was quite rightly described as a deep and lasting stain of UK complicity in extraordinary rendition and torture over the so-called ‘War on Terror.’ The American’s carry on like this all the time – but Britain should not. However, the Cabinet Office declined to say why rights groups were not being consulted as they should be.
It is clear that Britain’s traditions of freedom and fairness are being completely dismantled bit-by-bit by this government.
In 2011, David Cameron promised a new era of transparency. Theresa May vowed to do the same. Neither delivered. In the meantime, Britain is slowly tipping into a darker era defined by secrecy and oppression.
Legitimate opposition and holding power to account are now seen as existential threats to what appears to be the emergence of what can only be described as an attitude of (long-gone) imperious powers. Undisclosed and undiscussed ministerial powers are being granted under the guise of Brexit and ‘taking back control.’ Dangerous and deceptive Acts of parliament shroud an ideology deeply entrenched by an elite political class seeking to consolidate its power.
The irony, lost on Theresa May herself, is a stated commitment to civil liberties, human rights, free speech and sense of fair play – wholly contradicted by her voting record and assault on the very tenets of what it actually means to be British.
This can be seen exactly in her speech of 2010 when the Tories came to power and she was Home Secretary. There was a Government pledge to rebalance civil liberties and the powers of the state. The Home Secretary herself promised to correct “mistakes” made by the Labour government which, she said, was allowed to “ride roughshod” over civil liberties. Mrs May said that she would reveal the findings of the review in the autumn, in which she then said: “National security is the first duty of government but we are also committed to reversing the substantial erosion of civil liberties.” Then, in power, did exactly the opposite.
Theresa May has single-handedly created a corporate surveillance state designed to entrench a sense of untrustworthiness and fashioned to divide civil society. We have much to fear from a desperate Prime Minister, especially one who is prepared to drag the entire country to the edges of an international crisis bordering a cold-war delirium with a nuclear-armed super-power and endanger us all.
The purpose of this self-serving strategy is to frighten the civilian population, which is constructed to preserve their control and perpetuate powers over society being lost under the authority of the European Union.
She is ‘taking back control,’ – sadly, we are not.