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Don't Be Hoodwinked

Liberty can't be lost.

Photograph by Dino Reichmuth

General elections are oh so civilized and bring out the best in people, not! Roll on Thursday, the general election is getting boring. Political campaigns are the biggest hypocritical joke on the planet and it's now got to the mud-slinging final days. Each of the main party leaders have had everything but the kitchen sink flung at them to slight their character and policy has long gone out the window.

The main reason I am spoiling my ballot is policy. We have seen some questionable policies from all the parties and they all have an authoritarian air about them.

The Conservatives are using the recent terror attacks to push, already in the manifesto, policy on internet content control–I am not down with this policy. Who gets to decide what is appropriate? What if what I am writing now was deemed to be inappropriate simply because I'm questioning the validity of this policy?

Around the globe, internet content control is already being written about in other countries' legislation, including America–this is alarming. At this time us commoners find it a very useful platform to share ideas, arguments and beliefs; for that to be curbed under government say-so at a global level, who's opinions will be approved?

Without serious safeguards we could see alternative views that don't follow the narrative of government or the most fashionable opinion, or a global agenda being removed under the label of "inappropriate". What would that actually do to free speech if the government is given power over internet content? At this moment in time there are already people being censored on social media platforms for having a different political opinion. YouTubers from all different kinds of media are being demonetised in a bid to curb free speech, and loads of alternative news media outlets are having to find other ways to fund their long standing popular YouTube channels in order to continue to supply free content to everyone.

Don't get me wrong, I think some content on the web shouldn't be there, but the more authoritarian a government is, the more sneaky people become. Plus, I am 100% sure that because of the Dark web, the content in question will never even be deleted, it will just move to a different platform, pushed into the shadows. But what would get pushed into the shadows? Would it be a terrorist organisation's propaganda or people that criticise their government too much?

The fact that it is an issue being hashed out at the global level, internet censorship should be worrying to everyone. The State as the all-knowing power? I do not desire to live in a society like China, that has internet censorship. People in governments and government bodies aren't necessarily the most upstanding people within a society and some have demonstrated a lack of morals and and have proven to close the circle if one of their own is trouble; they can't possibly have power over the people, and if they did, how can the people keep their government in check?

Once upon a time the Conservative party used to believe in liberty of the individual & now, just like Tony Blair's New Labour, all political parties are catching the globalist socialism disease–including the Conservatives. I am not against the state actually protecting the vulnerable or even having a safety net if folks fall; across all political parties the same policies appear and it's just the spin that is different.

Liberty of the individual is what any modern civilized society should be striving to provide for each citizen. The more free the individual, the more productive and innovative the society becomes. Helping people is one thing, and being dependent on the state is another. It isn't good for the soul to suck on the state's teat. Human beings are ingenious and should be striving to be as free as possible. Governments in western societies should be writing policies to empower the individual and not slowly strip away our liberties.

This is happening at a time when Scotland is desperately looking for an alternative narrative to the SNP, Labour is bust hand in Scotland for 'No' voters and many of them are considering, for the first time in my lifetime, voting Conservative; I think they need to get more policy savvy.

We are at a turning point in human history and we can't have liberty lost along the way. I am in no way, shape or form suggesting to vote Labour; instead, they are far too communistic for my taste and take socialism to state-sucking level that Uncle Tony Blair would be proud of and there is not much difference in policy between the SNP and Labour.

Scotland and places across the UK need to be more mindful of the policies that are in manifestos and the excuses they will use to pass legislation that removes our rights and liberty–Don't Be Hoodwinked.

The State is made up of public servants. It isn't their place to tell the people how to live their lives. In a society that is bound by laws, if folks are breaking laws online it is the job of government to enforce the existing law, as well as writing new laws. There is far too much focus on new legislation rather than implementing and using existing legislation (or amending it) to achieve desired outcomes.

During Theresa May's statement after the London Bridge attack she said something rather puzzling.

While we have made significant progress in recent years, there is - to be frank - far too much tolerance of extremism in our country. So we need to become far more robust in identifying it and stamping it out across the public sector and across society. That will require some difficult, and often embarrassing, conversations.

What did she mean by that? Minorities have enjoyed over and above rights in this country since 1998 and I think we have to start addressing the fact that if protecting minority groups is having a detrimental impact on society as whole, then why are minorities given a protective status that gives them no requirement to be part of the country's society?

For a society to work there has to be cooperation between all people and also a respect for the traditions and laws of the host country and the people that that come in for these traditions. Has it gotten to the point that people are scared to say anything against any minority group?

We already had a wall of silence in Rotherham.

Did this situation arise because people were too scared to say anything against a minority group? Do minorities have more protection than the majority? There are too many questions left unanswered and calling folks racist because they raise legitimate concerns isn't going to work anymore.

The first job of any government is to protect the people, and with 3 terror attacks in the UK this year alone, we need to be addressing subjects that have been silenced due to fear of offending folks. If our laws have protected the few over the many we can't let that continue or we are failing our children and will come to see our liberty lost due to forcing incompatible societies within our own society that aren't bound to become part of our society.

On The Turning Away by Pink Floyd

No more turning away

From the weak and the weary

No more turning away

From the coldness inside

Just a world that we all must share

It's not enough just to stand and stare

Is it only a dream that there'll be

No more turning away?


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