I recognise that reading the comments on CiF is a surefire route to apoplexy and insanity. However, this is an excellent bullet-pointed list of Mad Things That Angry Right Wing People Believe, and hence worth reproducing:
In response to your puzzling question, what specific ‘freedoms’ have we lost? And please be specific. Although it was not directed at me personally I trust you will not object to an input from one who has served the crown in the defence of the freedoms our forefathers fought for. How are these for specifics?
• We are no longer able to share a joke with our ethnic or gay friends in case we are in the earshot of interfering snoopers who will report us for racist or homophobic remarks.
No, incitement to racial or homophobic hatred is illegal, making racist and homophobic remarks is entirely legal (whether you’re doing so as a joke with your ‘darkie’ and ‘bender’ mates who secretly despise you, or out of actual bigotry). Anyone who says otherwise is either ignorant or a liar.
• We cannot object to the relevant planning authorities regarding the siting of Gypsy encampments as this is invariably translated by officialdom as a racist offence.
This is just mental. Obviously you can object to the relevant planning authorities about anything. Anyone who says otherwise is either ignorant or a liar.
• Photographing policemen in uniform is now an offence under the terrorism act. God knows why, because if a uniformed policeman is not undercover, his occupation is plain for all to see if one wanted to put a bullet in his head.
No, it isn’t. The CPS has to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the intention behind taking the photos was to help terrorism. Anyone who says otherwise is either ignorant or a liar.
• We are not allowed to take photographs of railway stations, airports etc under the terrorism act.
Yes, you are. There isn’t even any legislation at all that could be misinterpreted as banning this. Anyone who says otherwise is either ignorant or a liar.
• We are not allowed to take photographs of our own children, never mind anyone elses, in various school group activities as we are all suspected paedophiles.
This has the grain of a point, although it’s got fuck all to do with the government and everything to do with other bloody parents complaining.
• We are not allowed to smack our children but teachers and parents, alike, are subjected to verbal and physical abuse by delinquent children. Only the other day it was suggested we should be banned from shouting at the little treasures.
Smacking children is entirely legal. Nobody sane or important has suggested banning shouting at children. Anyone who says otherwise is either ignorant or a liar.
• We are not allowed to shout abuse at politicians, particularly at party conferences, for fear of being detained under the terrorism act.
…whereas in the past you’d have been detained for breach of the peace, and also let go once you stopped being a tosser.
• We are not allowed to carry out a peaceful demonstration in the vicinity of Downing Street, the Houses of Parliament or now even coal fired power stations.
This one has a point, although it remains to be seen exactly what the power station demo busts were about.
• We are not allowed to eat or drink whilst driving for fear of persecution or should I say prosecution. Actually it amounts to the same thing.
Evil ZaNuLiebour, making me *look what I’m fucking doing* whilst in control of a two-tonne missile.
• We cannot travel on the tube, with or without a haversack on ones back, in the certain knowledge one wont be shot seven times in the head under the shoot to kill policy.
On the plus side, if you look Irish rather than suntanned, you’re probably less likely to be shot seven times in the head under a shoot-to-kill policy than under prior governments.
• We cannot smoke in public places unless of course one is a member of parliament and enjoy the comforts of the Commons bar.
Smoking is allowed in outdoor public places, and banned in the Commons bar. Otherwise, spot on.
• We cannot buy wine in a supermarket if accompanied by a minor.
So the government is responsible for one supermarket cashier being an idiot now? It’s legal to buy wine in a supermarket when accompanies by a minor. Anyone who says otherwise is either ignorant or a liar.
• We cannot go into hospital without fear of contracting MSRA or other bugs.
MRSA emerged in the 1960s, is lower in the UK than most other countries, and rates are falling. Otherwise, spot on.
• We have lost the rights to justice when any criminal act is carried out against us by a thief or violent thug.
What does this even mean? You can kill someone entirely legally in self-defence, and almost all violent acts against ‘civilians’ (ie not drunken fights between twats) are punished by imprisonment.
• We cannot walk the streets without being under surveillance but yet the criminals including some elements of the police always seem to escape detection by this means.
CCTV is massively important in bringing criminals to trial, and indeed in exposing misconduct by coppers. Yes, they sometimes make the tapes disappear when it suits them (Menezes comes to mind), they should be punished for this.
• We have lost all rights to question the spending of our public servants in local and national government.
What the blazing, flaming fuck? Every right-wing git spends every second of their waking day questioning the spending of public servants in local and national government…
• We were denied the right of a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty as promised in the Governments manifesto.
Yes, technically true. We have a parliamentary system rather than a plebescite system because most people are idiots who shouldn’t be allowed to operate machinery, never mind determine complex constitutional arrangements – nonetheless, once the government had made that idiotic promise, they should have kept it.
• Our DNA will be stolen from us and kept on file if arrested for any minor offence even if not subsequently charged.
…whereas if it were only ‘if charged’, that’d be OK? Yay extra-judicial punishment. We should either keep *everyone*’s DNA on file or nobody’s; anything in between is daft. (I’m probably in favour of a… in general, I don’t really give a fuck about ‘privacy’ freedoms, it’s ‘not being coshed round the head and locked up’ freedoms that matter).
In short, a couple of real things, mostly nonsense. That’s a pretty good summary of the current government’s critics, wouldn’tyasay?
Relatedly, I’m now going to vote Labour in the next election, since my new house is in the same constituency with the same, excellent MP I had two houses ago. And not the revolting bastard who ‘represented’ me in my last house, in between flirting with faded TV starlets and cosying up to evil religious loonies.