Wednesday 9 November 2016

The surveillance states in Britain and the US are now in the hands of maniacs

When people warned of the dangers of the ever more intrusive surveillance state and the growing indifference to international law and human rights amongst the political elites in the UK and US those elites and their cheerleaders scoffed at us. "Trust us" they said, pointing their fingers at bogeymen like Islamist extremists and paedophiles to justify their construction of an all-seeing surveillance state that would have made the East German Stasi turn green with envy.

Somehow the UK has now ended up with Theresa May's appointment as Prime Minister by a tiny band of Tory party elitists. As Home Secretary she was responsible for the introduction of all kinds of illiberal monstrosities. When the Snowden leaks revealed the massive scale of illegal data-trawling by the British secret services, she quickly helped them to cover up the lawlessness of their actions with the introduction of DRIPA. In 2013 she trashed the concept of open justice by introducing secret courts where a person can have their fate decided in a courtroom they're not allowed to enter, on charges they are not allowed to know based on evidence they are not allowed to see.

Not only has Theresa May enacted these appalling attacks on our traditional rights and liberties, she's keen as mustard to do more. She's been pushing her free-speech destroying "counter-extremism" measures to silence and intimidate innocent people who have committed no crime whatever. She's also been pushing her freedom-destroying "snoopers' charter" to allow the secret services to continue the mass trawling and retention of the private communication data of millions of innocent people. She's also spoken out time and again against British people having human rights, and is as keen as mustard to tear up our human rights and replace them with a set of allowances for the "lower orders" drawn up by her and her elitist Tory chums.

Across the Atlantic things are now even worse than Britain. Barack Obama spent his two terms in office overseeing the spread of the surveillance state, continuing George W. Bush's catastrophic interventionist foreign policies and massively expanding the US drone warfare programme.

Now that the American public have rejected the appallingly uninspiring "more of the same" Wall Street stooge of a presidential candidate the Democratic Party elite foisted on them, this horrifying military and surveillance state infrastructure has been handed over to a bigoted and mentally unstable maniac.

For hundreds of years people have been warning about the dangers of allowing the state to scrap our rights and liberties in order to supposedly ensure our safety. In 1755 the US founding father Benjamin Franklin said that "those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety", but people have failed to heed the warnings and we now find ourselves in a situation where these extraordinary new surveillance powers have fallen into the hands of a pair of dangerous maniacs.

In Britain Theresa May is determined to set the precedent that she can rule as dictator-in-chief by attempting to bypass parliament completely in order to make up the law of the land to suit herself. She's already proven her extreme dictatorial tendencies as Home Secretary, and now she's determined to grab as much political power for herself as she can get away with so that she can run the UK as a hard-right autocrat.

In the United States things are even worse. Donald Trump's fascistic proposals to impose religious purity tests at all US borders demonstrate his complete and utter contempt for the US constitution, and he's actually on record as saying "I wish I had that power. Man, that would be power" when asked about having the power to hack his political opponents (a crime that resulted in Richard Nixon being the only President in history who was forced to resign in disgrace).

What is more is that both of these blatant extremists have access to the nuclear launch codes. Theresa May has already bragged to parliament that she would willingly incinerate 100,000 innocent men women and children in a nuclear fireball if she wanted to, and 22% of Trump supporters voted for him despite thinking that he would trigger nuclear Armageddon if elected President!

The idea that the state is a force for good that would never abuse its military and surveillance powers in order to secure the interests of powerful elites was always an utterly naive fantasy - even at times when our political leaders weren't a deranged right-wing authoritarian and a bigoted and mentally unstable demagogue - but the warning was always there. Opponents of the ever expanding military-security complex have always argued that those powers were bad enough in the hands of any government, but that things could always easily get a lot worse upon the election of some lunatic or other.

And now look what's happened.

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