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LABOUR THOUGHT POLICE MAKING US ALL CRIMINALS
Thursday April 16, 2009
By Leo McKinstry
ONE of the most chilling elements of George Orwell’s novel 1984 was the complete destruction of privacy.
No one could ever escape the iron grip of state control. even personal conversations and private thoughts were not safe from the oppressive party machine, which was constantly looking for any signs of dissent.
This is precisely what is happening in Labour’s Britain. Our country, once famous for its respect for individual freedom, is rapidly sliding towards the nightmarish world of the thought police.
That disturbing trend was highlighted this week by the case of David Booker, a worker at a hostel for the homeless in Southampton, run by an organisation called the Society of St James.
Recently Mr. Booker was chatting to a fellow worker and during their wide-ranging conversation he happened to mention that because of his religious beliefs he was opposed to same-sex marriage and practising homosexual clergy.
To his astonishment these private remarks were reported to his managers the next day. Mr. Booker was immediately suspended on the grounds of making “discriminatory comments”.
Brimming with the self- righteous fury that so often drives political zealots his employers proclaimed that “action has been taken to safe-guard both the residents and the staff” at the hostel.
On every level this heavy-handed move is dangerous and absurd. There is no suggestion that Mr. Booker ever displayed the slightest prejudice in his work.
Rather, in true Orwellian fashion, he is being punished merely for having committed a private “thought crime”.
His views can hardly be described as extremist. On the contrary the majority of the British public probably holds similar opinions.
Furthermore the Church of England, which governs the Society of St James, has publicly expressed opposition
to same-sex marriage and active homosexuality in the priesthood.
According to the logic of the hostel management the Archbishop of Canterbury should also be thrown out of his job.
But perhaps the most worrying aspect of the case is that Mr Booker’s colleague was so eager to report him to the hostel authorities despite the private nature of their talk.
Once more this is all too reminiscent of Orwell’s 1984, where “the person on the next table could be a spy for the thought police.”
In its determination to enforce its politically correct agenda Labour has created a climate of fear where personal trust has broken down and where certain compliant staff feel their first loyalty is to the state’s ideology rather than to workplace colleagues.
In the name of fighting homophobia or racism the public sector has become outrageously intolerant.
The Government might screech about the importance of “human rights” but its institutions show nothing but contempt for the individual rights of anyone accused of offending the official state creed of diversity and equality.
So in this culture of oppression a nurse from Somerset, Caroline Petrie, is suspended from her job for daring to offer
to say a prayer for an elderly patient, while a Tory councillor from Wolverhampton, Jonathan Yardley, is questioned by the police for two hours after making a mild quip at a public meeting about the status of transgendered people.
in true 1984 style Councillor Yardley was asked by the police whether he harboured “malign thoughts” about transgendered people.
When Councillor Yardley told the police that the question was “ridiculous” an officer replied: “it’s just a sign of the times.”
The interrogator was absolutely right. it used to be a principle of British law that individuals could only be investigated for their deeds, not their thoughts. But in their socialist zeal Labour’s ideologues have abandoned all notions of traditional justice.
We now have vast new categories of political and thought crimes to tackle the “enemies of the people.”
A Tory MP., Damian Green, is arrested for daring to speak out about immigration. A local authority in Dorset, Poole Council, uses anti-terror laws to mount a covert surveillance operation against a middle-class couple to check on their entitlement to send one of their children to a local school.
At a British Telecom call centre in Leicester 31 members of staff are suspended for the offence of circulating an Irish joke by e-mail.
Freedom is dying in Labour’s Orwellian state as official bureaucracy becomes ever more intrusive and powerful.
To keep the citizenry in check the Government is creating the world’s largest national identity database containing all our personal details and accessible to a huge range of public sector snoopers.
Not only will all of us soon be required to carry identity cards but also the Home Office is grabbing for itself the power to monitor all our e-mails and phone calls.
Already, thanks to the forest of CCTV cameras across the country and secret cameras even in our wheelie bins, we are the most heavily monitored people in the world.
Little wonder then that Richard Thomas, the independent information Commissioner recently warned that there was
now a real risk “of turning every member of society into a suspect.”
The bitter irony is that amid all this official bullying of the law-abiding public the state is so useless at dealing with genuine crime but that is only in keeping with Orwell’s 1984, where “nothing was efficient except the thought police.”