The Prime Minister, David Cameron is meeting with Virgin Media, Sky and other Internet Service Providers (ISP) supposedly to discuss the best ways of “protecting children” from pornography and “inappropriate” content. TheOpinionSite.org and others though believe that what Cameron really wants is to control what the public read and see online, as this government and others around the world continue to fail in their attempt to control and censor the Internet.
Mr Cameron seems to believe that parents themselves are totally incapable of maintaining his own traditional, Conservative morals; certainly, at least as he sees them. His view, supported by the NSPCC and ambitious (largely female) MPs, is that only the government is capable of protecting children
The truth is however that successive British governments have had such a strong control over UK citizens for so long, especially over the young, that Cameron is terrified at the prospect of not having such complete control over people’s lives.
As the Metropolitan Police continues to stockpile plastic bullets or “baton rounds”, action that they say is ‘appropriate’, sources indicate that the government is ready to bring in the army if – or more likely, when – social disorder breaks out across the country later in the year as public resentment continues to build following increasing unemployment and public expenditure cuts.
The government is allegedly “consulting” on the new Internet censorship, which include a default block on all ‘inappropriate’ content for new Internet and broadband sign-ups. However, if the government follows its usual practice, it will only ask the opinion of those groups which it know will offer support. So called charities, such as the NSPCC – now actually little more than an auxiliary branch of the government – “child protection experts” (whatever they are) and anti-porn protest groups together with individuals who believe that sex is something that no one should ever talk about, let alone access.
The usual bunch of “professionals”, including police and probation officers are also likely to be asked for their inevitably predictable opinion.
The one group that the government will most certainly not consult (whatever they may say) is you and me; aka “the public”. Instead, ministers and the moral right-wing will appear on television telling us that “the majority of the British public think that these measures are necessary”, even though in truth, the ‘majority of the British public’ will never actually be asked for their opinion of what is, in effect, blatant censorship of the Internet.
When TheOpinionSite.org asked the government exactly who would decide what is or what is not ‘appropriate’ for the rest of us to see online, they provided no answer. Nor would they comment on the capability of parents to do what parents are supposed to do – control their children and their children’s activities – on or offline.
The reality is, whatever politicians may say in public, that those in power – the government – truly hate real Democracy in any form. To bow down to “democracy” means to do the will of the people, something that governments the world over refuse to do every day of the week.
They fall back on the weak and pathetic argument that if the public are not happy, “they can always get rid of us at the next election”. Whilst that may be true in principal, it is far from the truth in practice. Given that all governments want more and more power, the election result is always the same, regardless of which party wins.
In Britain especially, it is true that the government has never really listened to the public. Indeed, when 2 million people marched against the war in Iraq, Tony Blair simply ignored them. When people protested against the latest financial cuts, Cameron did exactly the same. This is not new of course; Hitler, Mussolini and Saddam are just a few who were always well ahead of the curve.
However, when the public actually do come out and forcefully make the government take notice, the “protesters” – as opposed to “voters” – get arrested by the mighty British police and end up being fast-tracked through the courts which then, on the instructions of the government, impose excessively strong sentences upon these formerly “democratic” members of the public.
Governments – especially British and American governments (there is little difference between them nowadays) – absolutely hate it when they are not controlling every aspect of people’s lives. They like to tell us what we can eat, how much we should drink, try and prevent us from smoking, fine us when we take our children on holiday at the only time of the year that is affordable (during term-time), lock us up whenever they feel like it and store our fingerprints and DNA – even if we are later found to be innocent or released without charge.
All the above apply to both Britain and the US by the way.
Meanwhile, following Blair’s example, Cameron has now made it almost impossible to raise the funds to challenge the government in court, wants to introduce secret trials (known as “closed material procedures”), wants to scrap the only protection we have left – the Human Rights Act – and wants the unemployed to find work or risk losing their benefits, even though the government knows full well that there are no jobs for the majority of people, some of whom may have no choice but to turn to crime in order to survive.
This latest attempt to introduce Internet censorship is a particularly big government lie however and relies, as does so much of legislation today, on the excuse of “child protection” in order to try and ensure that the legislation gets through Parliament and becomes Law.
It relies on the moral blackmail of the public and even of politicians so often used in recent years and also upon the fact that most people do not want to be seen coming out against anything to do with “protecting children” for fear of criticism.
Most of the public are, regrettably, so disinterested in politics that they do not even notice these measures going through, a little like the IPP sentence of which 90% of the public are still unaware.
Others are simply not able to understand what it all means, public ignorance of politics being encouraged by the lack of political teaching in our schools. Tony Blair especially, relied on these factors to introduce more than 3,000 new criminal offences during his tenure, in effect allowing anyone to be arrested and held for some reason or other, justified or not.
Whilst Cameron’s government has been tinkering around the edges with sentencing, such as getting rid of IPP sentences but at the same time doing absolutely nothing about the 6,500 people already serving the sentence, the government has not abolished any of the 3,000 offences created by the Blair government – and nor does it intend to do so.
With regard to the Internet, it is seen by governments around the world – and particularly by the UK and US administrations – as giving people too much freedom and too great a facility to tell the truth, educate others and expose the government for what many believe is the dictatorial and oppressive, power-grabbing leviathan that it is.
Having tried everything to persuade the ISPs that the proposed Internet censorship measures are acceptable and having failed, Cameron and his MPs together with those in other parties who enjoy the power they have – particularly the female MPs led by the Home Secretary, Theresa May and MP Claire Perry for the Conservatives and the likes of Caroline Flint and Yvette Cooper for Labour – are now once again falling back on the “child protection” argument.
If child protection was the real reason for the proposed measures, the government would take other action; such as making the sale of Internet equipped phones to children illegal or fining parents for allowing their children to access porn, etc.
What the government really wants is the power and ability to designate certain websites as “inappropriate” or “harmful” – and not just to children but to adults as well.
That way, every time the government came across a site it disapproved of – like TheOpinionSite.org perhaps – instead of having to fight in court to close it down, it would simply make it impossible for people to access. Thereafter, the government could censor the Internet in whatever manner it sees fit.
Be warned: Do not end up being sucked into the idea that everything that is proposed by the government as being necessary to protect children is really so. It often is not.
For example, the NSPCC has said that it does not want any “half way houses” or “half measures”. Personally, I do not remember ever voting for the NSPCC or any other child protection charity, especially one that many believe spends most of the money it receives on supporting itself rather than the children it allegedly protects.
Further, we are all aware of the disaster that CRB checks have become and of their failure to protect children ; the same applies to the Sex Offenders Register which, by its very nature, can only alert police to the fact that someone is a sex offender after an offence has been committed.
The secret snooping and storage of our emails and telephone calls has also been described as necessary for the protection of children – but only after the government could not get the public to accept it any other way.
And when your husband, wife, brother, sister or child ends up in a secret court undergoing a secret trial, do not start to complain. The writing has been on that particular wall for a very long time and no one amongst the general public has said anything against it.
If you honestly believe that politics does not affect you, you could not be more wrong. In truth, it affects absolutely every aspect of your life, from how much you pay for your food to how long you spend in prison when you are arrested for something that you did not even know – and could not believe – was an offence in the first place.
Don’t be surprised either when you log onto your favourite website and find that it has been blocked on the instruction of the government. It will happen if nobody stands against it. The only real question is how long it will take.
If the public want to stop the “mission creep” of Internet censorship then they are going to have to stand up and stop it themselves. Nobody in the government and no organisation or charity that relies on such measures for their income is going to help.
If the public does nothing, the government will get its way.
It’s up to people themselves of course as to what they do or otherwise – but they should not bleat that they weren’t warned when they finally realise that it is too late to do anything about it. It will be far too late when they realise that it is the government and not they themselves that now decides what they can and cannot see on the Internet.
The warnings are clear for all to see – if they want to.
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