As we approach the end of the first year of the Tory regime ruling Britain, the damage wrought in terms of laws and policies passed and proposed has been extensive. Through deflections of “Islamism” and smokescreens of exaggerated terror threats, the casualties in this effort to form a “closed society” have been the civil liberties of all.
Briefly, neoconservatives prefer fascism-based despotism as a form of rule. Moreover, it emphasises duties as opposed to rights, the latter of which hinder the exercise of the power accumulated amongst the elite neocon statesmen. Understanding neoconservativism is imperative to make sense of the disparate events which have been taking place for years and which continue to do so under the cloak of fear.
Rushing through Legislation
The way in which the latest iteration of the unjust counter-terror legislation – the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (CTS) – was rushed on to the statute books was telling. It received royal assent without legislative scrutiny or public consultation.
The friend of “British values” that is Theresa May continues her crusade on human rights in Britain with the proposed Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill, which provides for unprecedented levels of mass invasions of privacy, allowing police and security services to track email and internet usage. Just like the equally draconian CTS Act, the law is being “rushed” through by May. The Conservative MP David Davis said,
“It all keeps with their strategy, which is to rush everything through. They know when they engage with experts they lose. This is the way they will try to get this through – on the rush. There’s no doubt about it.”
This is a theme prevalent with PREVENT too; supported by government funded endorsers, and contradicted by experts in the field counter-terrorism. The question which needs to be asked is, why are human-rights-stripping laws rushed through? Why do neocons try to avoid scrutiny?
A Broadening Application
Such laws – contradicting the rule of law – are often tainted by broad definitions. This allows for them to be exploited by those ideologically driven to pursue dangerous, discriminatory policies. Muslims, quite often to the indifference of broader society, have been mainly bearing the brunt of these laws. But the number of incidents of counter-terror laws affecting the broader populace is increasing.
We have already seen how counter-terror laws have been used to target journalists. In this year’s landmark case of David Miranda, where he was detained under the notorious Schedule 7 counter terror powers in order to confiscate a hard disc containing the leaked Snowden files, the court found that the clause as applied in the case of Miranda, was incompatible with the Human Rights Act.
In January this year, it was reported that police were using anti-terror powers to spy on officers who were blowing the whistle on racism. The powers were invoked under the abused Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. Tangentially, the report also brought attention to the structurally racist nature of the law enforcement institution, where police officers spoke of shooting “Paki kids” and “targeting f*****g Paki drivers”.
The case of “Asian grooming” gangs, where the “gang” constituted of three Asian male family members and two white women, has triggered May to exploit the opportunity, fostering a climate of hate which has already resulted in a murder, to exercise more powers to deport those with dual nationalities.
Theresa May through her actions has demonstrated her discriminatory attitude towards non-white people before, and has a consistent record of deporting mainly brown people. So this comes as little surprise. Of course, as highlighted by Middle East Eye columnist Charles B. Anthony, the question of equal application of such measures certainly comes into question as exemplified by the silence regarding the case of Rolph Harris.
The only comment I would add here is that this is a policy designed to mainly target the Muslim minority; Pakistanis for instance, are automatically citizens of Pakistan by descent, and generally have dual nationalities as it makes it easier to travel to Pakistan. As such they are more likely to be affected by such a policy – a textbook case of indirect discrimination. David Cameron, in his prison reform speech last month stated that prisons should be places of positivity and reform, so that the chances of “people going straight” when they come out are “maximised”. Clearly, this rehabilitative concern is only the preserve of white British nationals. Let’s boot out the “Pakis”, the ones we can at the very least. In short, it is a formalisation of the Muslim minority as second class citizens. Similar proposals in France in the terrorism context have been recently met with indignation, causing a furore in French society and politics. Yet, here in Britain, comparatively little resistance to such racist policies have been aired.
Incidentally, it is worth noting also that this policy is being pushed by someone who has twice appointed individuals connected to Westminster paedophiles to investigate the institutional paedophilia allegedly perpetrated by middle-class “white” MPs.
Aside from the structurally racist overtones, more pertinently, this case provides for yet more evidence of the growth of powers of an elite government riding the wave of fear of terrorism. The enhanced powers were introduced to strip the nationality of terrorists, which even then were controversial – they were applied to suspects not proven guilty of any crime. This power of banishment is now being applied to broader crimes, without a proper public debate. Once again, the broad net of terrorism has provided the springboard for yet more civil liberties-eroding powers.
At a time when children and public sector professionals are bring indoctrinated with the “British values” brainwashing programme, which trumpets human rights and tolerance as symbols of the new secular liberal civic theology, the neocon penchant for avoiding scrutiny, perpetuating underhanded discrimination and breaking down human rights continues. It is but a disconcerting reflection of the neoconservative aim to shape a “closed society” with neocons themselves at the entrenched helm of the country. Indeed, neocons are the greatest threat to Britain and the principles this country cherishes.