May Flexes Out Her Dominatrix Costume

“Holy tangent Batman!!”, screamed Robin to his spandexed partner. Translated into UK politics this roughly means that Theresa May is trying to revive the Communications Data Bill, otherwise known as the Snooper’s Charter, off the back of a security scare. The murder of Lee Rigby was a serious thing indeed but this is the reaction no sensible person was hoping for. A swingeing lurch into authoritarian security state territory is perhaps even the sort of thing that would elicit a twinkle in the eye of the average jihadist or fundamentalist.

Just to explain my bewildering introduction quickly, I do find it remarkable how dramatically the narrative has changed in just a week after the raging inferno of the European question and gay marriage legislation was threatening to tear Westminster asunder. The situation is still precarious of course, but for entirely new and distinct reasons. Other matters will sleep for a while, as now we find Labour and the Tories are squaring up against the Liberal Democrat minority to potentially see this far reaching, freedom killing legislation come into effect.

The reactivation of the bill is reactionary at best. We have been living through, as far as I could tell, a domestically, relatively, undisturbed period with regards to the War on Terror. One horrific incident, that all indications suggest would have been next to impossible to prevent under any circumstances, sees our legislators diving for the most unreasoned solutions. I have yet to encounter a worthwhile offering that insists the Communications Data Bill could have saved Lee Rigby, and if I did I would likely find it disengenious.

What security measure is there to stop isolated individuals perpetrating these vicious, localised crimes? Nothing within the remit of a true democratic government, is the only respectable answer. As things stand, this bill is a despicable invitation into the private lives of the 99% of decent people whose rights will, beyond question, be violated in the event of implementation. If there is any solution, it lies within asserted community campaigns to weed out extremism on a generational basis. Proactive, assertive and moderate voices working over a sustained time frame.

The politics behind the bill are clear. There are overly vocal proponents of a harsh response, generally profiled at Muslims, who are very angry at the government for “allowing” Rigby’s death. On the back of a general flirtation with right wing ideas that has somewhat scared the political establishment, they are seeking expedient means by which to bring this hotheaded bunch back into the mainstream. Short-sighted, disgraceful, disgusting and by my reckoning worth kicking up a real fuss over. Despite being generally uncomfortable with the EU and finding Clegg to be an unwanted, unwashed wet sock, I’m kind of hoping for a miracle intervention from either.

Who would have thought. Me, of all people, calling on Clegg as the voice of reason. After his calls not to damage the prospects of the gay marriage bill around that amendment farce, he could feasibly be working his way up in my estimations. I mentioned that a radical Muslim might get some enjoyment out of this theatre, watching us undermine our own principles of the relationship between state and citizen, actors that should respectively be transparent and private. This bill would be the final straw in the full reversal of that dynamic.

Yes, this is the modern world, presenting so many different forms of danger that can arguably be used to devalue the elder-formed great notion of a government being more accountable to the people. But as much as we should practically adjust for the modern world, that notion should always remain as the fundamental underpinning of the relationship. There is only one possible permutation of the enactment of this bill which could stand any chance of my not being sorely tempted to engage in some genuine civil disobedience.

If we lived in a country where the definition of illegality was narrowed to the point that I was at actually no risk from prosecution from the state for anything short of demonstrable violent crime, serious fraud or other infringements of a high calibre, then, and only then, could I maybe budge. I know myself and my ethics and believe that I properly function in society. If the state also shared this view and had no recourse to abuse their authority or seek to expand it, I would still be deeply uncomfortable with the idea of anyone looking into my private communications, but could abide by it from a legal standpoint.

That is so unlikely to happen however that it’s nigh on delusional of me to put it forward as a possibility. I’m just incredibly frustrated, having spent a great deal of time defending the political mainstream, in however a critical fashion, from the far peripheries of the political spectrum that would seem more at home with the kind of unacceptable measure that is the Communications Data Bill. Theresa May should resign, for nothing relating whatsoever to a challenge from Clegg, but simply because she is advancing this legislation against the interests of the people who elected her. Her delusion is the assumption that she works for our interests.

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3 Comments

Filed under Current Affairs, Politics

3 responses to “May Flexes Out Her Dominatrix Costume

  1. Mac

    A couple of quick hotch potch reflections. One on Ms May and 5,
    and the other a rough draft ‘back of envelope’ analysis in search of an important psych and religious/ideological differentiation threshold… which I haven’t ‘named’ and the contextual locus is still not crystallized in my mind… as making my dinner was more to the fore.
    ——–
    Yes of course the Security Service are already able to access data on a suspect’s internet usage. The salient word here being “suspect”.

    What May and the totalitarian control freaks want is the ability to trawl the nation’s communications en masse without specific justification or seeking court permission.

    Incidentally so far as all this government patting MI5 on the back for their sterling work (after) the Woolwich attack…

    What May should be doing is asking why MI5’s attempts to recruit Adebowale were so ineffective and ham-fisted that they resulted in him going around telling associates that “MI5 had been harrassing him to work for them”.

    That is indeed a sad indictment, and the fact that May doesn’t seem to realise this just illustrates how out of her depth she is “overseeing” security services.
    ——–
    Psychology: Where extreme ideology represents poison.
    About half the benefits I’ve identified may be offered by benign ideologies (mainstream religions etc).
    But I’ve been considering what distinguishes “attractive” ideological poison.

    Prospect of salvation from the emotional discomfort of personal failures, and moral incontinence (such as substance abuse).
    A salve and perceived remedy for disappointments, frustrations and damaged self esteem.
    A psychological crutch (or diversion) and an emotional anchor.
    A clearly illuminated path and well defined purpose.
    A plausibly righteous common cause to adopt.
    A compelling project to participate in and contribute to.
    The attraction of group fellowship, emotional comfort.
    The possibility of having acute emotional needs for validation and approval fulfilled.
    *A possible mechanism for healing and regaining control of one’s life trajectory.

    >>> Think I’ll indicate a “differentiation line” here in relation to the attributes of an ideology and the ‘needs’ of an individual.
    With conditions beginning to cross a threshold whereby the intersection of ideological attractions (bait) and individual vulnerabilities and needs (hunger), represent a significantly increased risk that from indoctrination in the ideology, arises an effective psychological and moral poison, capable of causing “malignant malfunction” >>>

    The attraction of joining forces with a like-minded group to demand more attention and respect.

    The easy option of yielding to peer influence and submitting to unquestioning compliance, as the price of acceptance by the group/ideology.

    An opportunity to blur out personal dissatisfaction, by focusing instead on the shared grievances and ‘demons’ of the group.

    The acquisition (or materialisation) of a tangible “legitimate” externalised target to blame, vilify and punish for the unsatisfactory state of the world as you perceive it. (Your messy uncomfortable world)

    Opportunities for “justified” participation in activities where it’s possible to unleash accumulated feelings of alienation or injustice, vengefulness and pent-up anger, by undertaking violent acts. Attacks against dehumanised victims linked to an enemy branded as evil by the group/ideology.

    *Or an easily achieved, “honourable”, “hopeful”, escape from life, (whilst achieving divine reward for taking other people’s lives)

  2. Jiminy Cricket Mac! Wonder what happens when you give this your full attention and time?! Again, gonna take a little spell to weigh up your thoughts and will get back to you. Beaucoup cheers for the response!

  3. Well in review, I think there’s less to challenge and this is more a case of recognizing these factors you’ve attributed to ideologies here. You would define these as primary factors? Was thinking about other possibilities but none were leaping out….

    The really salient point you make here is regarding Mi5 and May. Was reading an article http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/annie-machon/woolwich-murder-why-should-be-obvious_b_3342823.html?utm_hp_ref=uk

    Here Machon suggests that the CDB is unnecessary because Mi5 have all the resources they need, so either they failed over Woolwich or Woolwich could never have been prevented with security measures. Overriding point however, looking at May’s handling of the UK Border Agency and this, we should question her competence and judgement.

    Alan Johnson, former home sec, is cut from a similar anti-freedom cloth as well although it surprises me less coming from a Labourite. Should have seen the pair of them on the Andrew Marr Show, it was terrifying.

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