Tony Blair gives the terrorists what they want
On Blair's new "anti-terrorist" policies and how, if we believe his rhetoric, he is doing the terrorists work for them by changing our way of life.
Changing our way of life
Even as the last echoes of the bombs faded on July 7th, it was clear
that the authoritarians of New Labour would use it to increase the
powers of the state as well as their hold over society. As Blair
uttered the words that the bombs would not change our way of life, it
was certain that he would do so -- egged on by the right-wing media,
Come August, and Blair did not disappoint. Before jet-setting off
on his holidays, he held a press conference to announce his
capitulation to the bombers -- and the likes of the Sun and Daily
Mail. He outlined a raft of plans to combat the terrorist threat his
own policies has helped to increase. After urging us that the
terrorists would not succeed in changing our way of life, Blair did
their job for them and announced that "the rules of the game are
changing." By that he meant the balance between civil liberties and
the state was shifting.
Mark one up for the terrorists. If they really do hate our way of
life and seek to end it, as Blair claims, then he has just appeased
them. What are a few hard won liberties compared to having to admit
to being wrong on Iraq?
These new ground rules will, apparently, include "deportation and
exclusion" for "advocating violence to further a person's beliefs or
justifying or validating such violence." It is doubtful that this
means that George Bush will be refused entry to our shores or that he
himself will be departed. Advocating violence or justifying it seems
to be perfectly acceptable if it is the state which doing the
And what of the new offence "of condoning or glorifying
terrorism"? Will this be applied to state terrorism? Say, for
example, "Shock and Awe" style policies? Or the levelling of whole
towns, like Fallujah? And what of Blair's "justifying or glorifying
terrorism anywhere, not just in the UK"? Will this be applied to
those seeking to explain such acts? And will it apply to state
approved terrorists? For example, would it have applied to those who
supported (and armed) the Contras in Nicaragua or the Afghan forces
fighting the Soviets? If, for example, a right-winger praises the
former for defeating "Marxist tyranny" will they be hauled into
He happily notes that the state "already powers to strip
citizenship from those individuals with British or dual nationality
who act in a way that is contrary to the interests of this country."
Sadly, it seems unlikely it will be applied any time soon to him or
his cronies. After all, his poodle like following of Bush has made
this country less safe and his home policies have hardly promoted the
interests of anyone, bar the wealthy and corporations.
Blair opines that our "duty is to share and support the values
that sustain the British way of life." Yet Britain is a diverse
country, riddled with cultural, class and social divisions even in
the white population. Most Scottish people, for example, do not
consider themselves as British for a start. And are the "values" of
the "British way of life" the same for a striking worker as for their
boss? Of course not.
The concept of one way of life in inherently totalitarian,
fostered by those who seek conformity to power. The diversity of life
ensures that there can only be ways of life, not a way of life.
Ultimately, by "British" Blair means whatever the state defines it as
-- in other words, middle class English who vote Tory (or Tony). Rest
assured that any new laws allegedly passed to combat Islamic
extremists will be used against the general public -- i.e. anyone who
does not fit into the "values" of those who rule this country and
their kept politicians. We know this because it has already happened
to anti-capitalist protestors.
That is why we must fight now to defend what civil liberties we
have and anarchists should be at the forefront of any such campaigns.
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