Monday 8 April 2019

Goodbye, Cruel World

Just back from several trips and I see the Government are going full on Middle East dictatorship back in Blighty.

Let's ignore Brexit for a bit, as there will be plenty on that this week.

Instead, the hand-wringers in chief have been getting upset about the internet and people saying stuff on it. 'Wont someone think of the children?" is the refrain and so of course now we have a new regulatory consultation. I can see some small merit in trying to stop social media from posting terrorist vids and livestreams - who wants that? However, state security and terrorism has been used by the Government since WWII to restrict freedom - who remembers not so long ago RIPA legislation being used by councils to spy on childrens' parents to see where they lived and if they could qualify for local schools.

So, of course, the Government instead have been taking their lines from their favourite companies, Google (who employ the ex-Conservative digital guru's, natch) and Facebook. Unsurprisingly as market leaders they are really keen on regulation to defend their dominant position. They are advocating lots of control that only they have the resources to police.

The form of this proposed regulation is fairly draconian covering:

"The plans cover a range of issues that are clearly defined in law such as spreading terrorist content, child sex abuse, so-called revenge pornography, hate crimes, harassment and the sale of illegal goods.
But it also covers harmful behaviour that has a less clear legal definition such as cyber-bullying, trolling and the spread of fake news and disinformation."

So, this website will be in real trouble, hate crimes are fast becoming the UK equivalent of the US wire fraud - basically, anything the Police or your enemies want to stitch you with is a hate crime. Trolling too covers anyone leaving a comment that is a little bit mean and Fake News, well what is one person's fake news is another's facts - it is the modern world (Let's think of an immediate example, crashing out of the EU will mean medicine supplies collapse in the UK - is publishing this fake news or denying it disinformation - who decides - the Government of course!).

So fun times ahead if this gets in. Maybe we can turn this into a Gardening Blog or some such, any ideas in the comments welcome.


andrew said...

On the one hand eric robeson is retiring

N the other hand it did not end well for the constant gardener

Scan said...

Interesting but not surprising that the people who usually label everything the Tories do as 'extremist' and 'far right' are actually very supportive when the Tories literally do something that far right extremist governments like to do.

CityUnslicker said...

+1 Scan

lilith said...

Rory Stewart (himself!) called me an extremist on Twitter (because I voted Leave and would be happy with no deal). Not a good way to talk to an erstwhile fan.

Raedwald said...

Since when did the Conservative party become the home of prod-nosed Big Statists, nanying ninnies, bansturbators, authoritarian dullards, command and control freaks, diet faddists, health fascists and narrow-minded interfering cretins who seek to censor our words and destroy joy with their dreary mediocity? Perhaps the mutton-brained dags and cretins would ban Shakespeare for the under-18s?

"I will grind your bones to dust
And with your blood and it I'll make a paste,
And of the paste a coffin I will rear
And make two pasties of your shameful heads,
And bid that strumpet, your unhallow'd dam,
Like to the earth swallow her own increase."

In a recent post I compared the Commons to the denizens of Dante's eighth malbolge and got an email from an SW1 reader warning me of the danger of inciting a 'Jo Cox incident'

Then a flock of 'senior' plods who presumably won their promotion on the basis of their ability to write in cursive script warned against using quite legal but 'intemperate' language - an off the record briefing revealed they meant terms such as 'betray' and 'betrayal' applied to parliament and politicians.

Who do these semi-literate clowns think they are?

"Weke, weke! so cries a pig prepared to the spit."

As William had it.

CityUnslicker said...

Raedwald - disturbing to see this. The quandary that I can see is that the advent of social media and anonymity has allowed a far stronger 'written' level of abuse than existed previously. However, words as 'incitement' is a government confection to allow persecution of any of those who criticise.

The idea however that everything is now a hate crime or trolling is very scary as it would mean the end of free speech. A much bigger debate needs to happen with clearer thought.

However, the Tories are no longer Conservative and Labour are run by statist nutters so none shall be forthcoming. Even the lib dems long ago gave up being liberal in favour of lefty hand-wringing.

The Brexit party has a huge portion of the electorate to appeal too if only they can get it right.

Anonymous said...


Apologies for the monosyllabic comment but it appears apt.

lilith said...

Bloody hell, Raedwald! Why do the police have time for this?

Raedwald said...

It's the National Police Chiefs Council - the successor to the discredited and crooked ACPO, and it's all in the name of running a 'shadow' national police service under the Home Office, far removed from all that pesky local democratic control.

The plods are slavering at the prospect of a UK Capo di Capi, the National Police Commander. As far as the runners and riders are concerned, nothing is more than important than their own ambition.

Dear God, it's high time we had another Royal Commission to sort them out ..

E-K said...

They can't police everything, there aren't enough people to do it.

You can just about guarantee that this will be used to stop a Farage-ist getting around biased BBC.

E-K said...

BTW. Just how do we think the security services build their knowledge of jihadist networks ?

Without such material as bate the trail will go cold.

Anonymous said...

I don't think this is a bit of protecting against competition, more the manboys have had a series of shocks.

Few people are taking their protestations of innocence seriously any more, too many leaks have pointed the fact FB are a big fan of porky pies. Parliament did a bit of grandstanding that upset FB a lot, and drove home just what governments can do if you treat them as ephemera. Add to the live streamed sex attacks, and now terrorist attack, they're not just staring regulation in the face, but potentially having their entire business model - based on pretty much being Orwell's Big Brother - smashed up.

This is a bit of a defensive play, doff the cap, be ever so 'umble, and get back to business as usual.

I'm surprised the government isn't defining them as publishers, as that comes with plenty of regulations and has been the one thing FB has tried to avoid from the start. They want their cake and to eat it, they want the power of publishers with none of the responsibilities.

The SV dahlings thought they'd captured government when Obama was in charge, they're having a rethink these days.

As for what happened to Raedwald... All I can say, thank goodness all that pesky knife crime has been solved! The police are going find the public lashing back if they're not careful, already a number of communities are self-policing, which hardly bodes well for the future of law and order, or even social cohesion.

We need a government willing to take them to task.

Lord T said...

I thought this was a gardening site... Must have my URLs mixed up.

This dictatorship has been a long time in the making. 50 years in fact since we started on this path and technology has enabled its acceleration over the last 25 years. In that 25 years all innovation has been stifled by the heavy hand of regulation and increased taxes while our people just slumber along because the heat is on low and the frog is being boiled alive.

The one good thing about the last few years is Trump and Brexit. Both have shown that their respective political systems are broken. Maybe we will have woken up enough people to fix it by voting but I doubt it. Our politicians are so hard faced that they are not even hiding it. They need these new laws to hide it from the plebs. Even in soviet times there were people muttering in the background. That will be us on Tor.

Raedwald said...

Brendan O'Neill on Spiked has a pithy judgement on the plod capos
"The police want us Brexiteers to tone down our language – f**k that."

Anonymous said...

CityUnslicker: 'Wont someone think of the children?"

No, certainly not our MPs who all bar one, have sat on their hands and watched while thousands of little girls have been abused by a group who have 'othered' their out community.

If rape on this scale had gone on in, say, Rwanda, it'd have been classed as a war crime.

So, no this internet initiative is not 'for the children', it's to smother free exchange of ideas. Thus making their chosen propaganda organs, the BBC et al, a complete waste of investment.

And 'they' risk losing control of the narrative.

Charlie said...

Meanwhile, a driver tried to knock me off my bike yesterday as I rode through Tottenham (I know) minding my own business, then shouted "acid" and sprayed me with liquid that turned out to be water, but I didn't know at the time.

I followed at a safe distance and saw him park up and go into a house. I called the police and explained what happened, gave them the VRN, description of the assailant and the address where he currently was. They wouldn't send a unit out.

Next time, I'll be sure to abuse the driver using racial or religious slurs, then they'll be out like a shot.

E-K said...

Exactly, Anon.

They are terrified of a UK Trump. What's he done btw ? Started wars and destroyed Middle Eastern civilisations ? Consorted with the Russians ? (We now know that the be the fake news that it is.) Allowed Marxists to take over his country ?

@ Raedwald

You're generally correct. Police chiefs are not always the calibre of the officer class of the military. A couple of exams via correspondence courses to get through and the most senior ranks become available.

Most importantly Political Correctness is a good career move. Generally it entails working from a cosy office policing only the police-able, compliant people - sooo much safer and easier than the difficult gangsta issues which no-one in power wants you to deal with anyway.

Pension safe - arse safe.

I left because I wasn't an effective police officer and wasn't prepared to carry the uniform for a further 25 years. I now realise that applied to 90% of the force - especially when they took McPherson lying down.

This is no longer a force, it's no longer a service - it's a ruddy great pension scheme with a Political Correction Squad attached.

CityUnslicker said...

Charlie - sad to here but you have the right idea now. If it was a identity based slur rather than 'acid' would you have received more attention?

I fear more likely is this is the traditional reason, you gave the address where they lived. The police know that is a scary wrong-un and promptly bravely decide to sit behind their desks.

Anonymous said...

E_K: "This is no longer a force, it's no longer a service .. "

There is on the internet the shameful sight of a British Policeman being overpowered and handcuffed with his own handcuffs. The responsible fellow ( who's ancestors hale from somewhere else ) was giving him a right biffing, and his little girl colleague was creaming herself watching.

Utterly, utterly useless.

On two occasions I've had something valuable nicked, all the bloody police did was offer me a Crime reference - then three months later phone and text me incessantly to get me to agree to close the incident.

Did I say they were utterly useless?