Liberal Britain must fight back

“Britain is now a centralised single-ideology state, as secure in the grip of a superpower as any former eastern bloc country. The Whitehall executive has prerogative powers as effective as politburo decrees. Unlike Venezuela, critical issues such as the EU constitution or treaty are denied a referendum, regardless of Blair’s “solemn pledge”. Thanks largely to a parliament in which a majority of the members cannot bring themselves to denounce the crime in Iraq or even vote for an inquiry, New Labour has added to the statutes a record 3,000 criminal offences: an apparatus of control that undermines the Human Rights Act. In 1977, at the height of the cold war, I interviewed the Charter 77 dissidents in Czechoslovakia. They warned that complacency and silence could destroy liberty and democracy as effectively as tanks. “We’re actually better off than you in the west,” said a writer, measuring his irony. “Unlike you, we have no illusions.””

Read the rest of this very thought provoking opinion piece by John Pilger here.

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6 thoughts on “Liberal Britain must fight back

  1. Very interesting indeed and some good comments too below it, some questioning the facts and the way he presents them.

  2. Out of interest, I checked one of the facts question by “DPavett” in those comments. He says that Pilger’s quote from the Rowntree Foundation that the inequality gap is the worst for 40 years is false. But it’s not – it’s true. According to at least two other sources it is anyway including the BBC:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/6901147.stm

    http://www.esrc.ac.uk/ESRCInfoCentre/about/CI/CP/
    Our_Society_Today/News_Articles_2007/UKinequality
    40YearHigh.aspx?ComponentId=21173&SourcePageId=17746

    I mean I haven’t had time to check more points but it makes me wonder how many Guardian readers really want to face the truth and how many just want to prove Pilger wrong. I mean, John Pilger is probably to the left of many Guardian readers and I think many of the things he points out about Britain paint such a shameful and frightening picture of the country that the readers are living in, that I think some just get really upset with him and want to believe things are not so bad.

  3. You are probably right but you have to just be aware of his agenda, as you do when you read anything. I like what Pilger has to say. I am not saying he is wrong but he is presenting a certain view of reality. You can see my job is making me very cynical of anything I read without researching it myself. Not a bad approach I guess.

  4. Yes I agree you should be suspicious of anyone’s agenda and that’s why facts are useful. In the case of the Rowntree Foundation’s report, John Pilger stated a fact and someone said it was wrong when it is in fact true according to several other sources. I guess you could question the Rowntree Foundation’s agenda though. It depends where you draw the line and say “Ok – this has been “scientifically” proven to be true”. When that’s done, someone’s agenda doesn’t matter anymore. I guess that’s why we need a return to the values of the Enlightenment era instead of these days of spin and PR!

  5. I agree and the media are some of the very best at spinning! Even better than Government.

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