Tag Archive: Control


There was a time when the Conservative Party were dead set against anything like a ‘nanny state.’ A Government of constant meddling and interference in things which had little or nothing to do with Government, but everything to do with Individuals and their “choices.” Yet here in 2012, we are seeing the emergence of something far more prurient and far worse than just hands-on, nosey-parker-type ‘nannying..’ We are on the verge of a Government lead and Ministerially ‘supervised’ “Nappy – State!”  It is bad enough that every single aspect of British Life now seems to carry all manner of penalties: whether people are smokers, drinkers, obese and over-eaters or just  unfit couch-potatoes, the Government now has its ‘nannies’ to run after and pursuade everyone that their life is not the ‘right’ life to lead and that the State, ie “Nanny” knows best!

All the Government’s ‘helpful’ advice about everything from “quitting smoking” or “reducing drinking”  is supposedly aimed at reducing the burden of costs on the NHS, who ultimately have to take care of us all when we fall ill. It is said that those who smoke, drink, eat or take drugs are more likely to fall ill, due to long-term damage to their bodies and the complications that arise from that long-term damage.

One can’t help but ask: What (exactly) happened to individual freedom and choice?

Wasn’t that always the battle-cry of the Tories: wasn’t it their core complaint about ever having a Labour Government in power?

There was a time I was a Party-Animal myself, and though I may not have drank to excess over the whole of my life-time, I certainly made up the short-fall in my teens and twenties. What I could not drink by volume, I made up for in percentage proof! I even ended up in hospital a couple of times needing emergency treatment for alcohol poisoning.Yes, I was very grateful to the NHS then!

In fact, in later months I became aware that (for me) getting continually wasted and the increasingly disgusting task thereafter of ‘sobering up’ was becoming tedious. I became bored with drinking. I also became bored with listening to my friends telling me what ‘great times’ they had while they were drunk (as if I hadn’t heard the same tales every single weekend for five years?)

It was only when I met the ‘love of my life’ that a Sea-change transformed my world. I never expected to meet someone so young who just captured my heart. We have all had someone similar: some of you will be married to the person you fell for, others may have entered into a committed relationship with him/her (though, as yet perhaps,  un-marked by Civil or Church ceremony.) After the birth of my first child (a boy) I felt it was time to make some profound changes to my life. I had no desire to ‘pollute’ my young Son’s world with my smoking.

Smoking was endemic in my family. My Mother smoked: my Father smoked. Under pressure from my peer-group I began smoking a little before my fourteenth birthday – (it was around the same time as I started to play Guitar, discover Girls and become hormonally and emotionally ‘volatile.’) My friends Andre Walters and Ian Hall were perhaps the most vocal about the ‘joys’ and ‘cool’ of smoking. I resisted as long as I could, but one Autumn afternoon in late October 1977 I bought Ten Embassy Number Six and took up a ‘family’ and ‘social’ habit that would last until I was a young man of 24 years.

It only took one alcohol fuelled argument and a sudden, catastrophic loss of self-control to convince me that, should I continue to drink at all, there would be the most unfortunate and tragic results. As I tended to smoke more when I drank alcohol, I decided to try to quit both simultaneously. It was not easy, and my friends and family didn’t make it any easier either! For a while I reduced the number of cigarettes to the bare minimum, or, I would change their nature – by smoking only Menthol cigarettes I thought I would break the habit, but it was futile. The only thing I could do was to quit drinking and smoking altogether!

So that is exactly what I did!

I never smoked again. However, it would be disingenuous to say that I never got drunk again, but in over twenty years I was drunk only twice. The rest of the time I was, by definition, ‘tee-total..’ In fact, there were a number of relationships which broke down and disintegrated because I no longer drank, even to be ‘sociable.’ Instead I took to Diet soft-drinks  and bottled waters. Over time I became much fitter and more enthusiastic about life, music and all the spheres of interest I was engaged in. It has to be said that being neither a smoker nor drinker did contradictory things to my love-life. Sex was a much more energetic and exciting experience, but the number of short-term girlfriends seemed to decrease because I was no longer going to bars or clubs or taking part in former activities.

But all of the above was my choice. I was not co-erced into giving those things up and I have few regrets about doing so. The advantages of becoming more physically fit and being able to breathe properly made an enormous difference to my ability to sing. It even affected my guitar-playing, as pacing one’s breathing is necessary in executing difficult or complex musical phrases: in short, I played a lot faster than before and with an accuracy that came from being able to concentrate without need for any ‘props.’

Yet, if I had decided to continue smoking and drinking, I would hope it would be equally seen to be my choice, and not the interfering, busy-body choice of Government. In any Democracy, what people do or do not do in their leisure time should be their own responsibility, and ultimately, any consequences should also be theirs. After all, it is Government and its subsequent legislation which has, all-too-often, actually given rise to social ‘problems’ in the first place. Government used to ‘sponsor’ the manufacture of Cigarettes in the UK and most of Europe. British American Tobacco was one of the most powerful Companies in Britain and had the largest, most powerful lobbying group. In the nineteen-eighties British American Tobacco were accused of trying to create a more addictive form of Tobacco: something that would ensure their revenues (and therefore Government Taxes) were both maintained and increased with a new generation of smokers. It is quite possible that this New Smoking Material found its way into markets in Africa, India and South-East Asia. Tobacco Companies were Advertisers in popular sports – particularily Football, Motor Racing and Horse Racing. In 1998, under Tony Blair’s Labour Government, the first of a series of bans came into force: smoking was no longer to be advertised during prime time television (ie. before the ‘watershed’ of 9pm, this was increased to a general ban on Tobacco Advertising on Television and in Cinemas. Eventually, a full smoking ban in both Public Places and At Work came into force – Clubs and Pubs were included, forcing smokers outside in all weathers.

The present Coalition have taken this idea of having a ‘general ban’ on the activities and pleasures of others, a step further. They have been mooting the possibility of enforcing a ‘minimum price’ for alcohol. (Of course, that does not extend to the kind of alcohols quaffed at Westminster or in the Home Counties) Their main aims seem to be targeted at the ordinary worker and teenagers of drinking-age. This is not the first time a minimum price has been put on alcohol, and it is not the first time the Conservatives have been in the vanguard of ‘Temperance’ initiatives. It is, however, the first time a Conservative/Coalition Government have acted according to principles they previously ruled out. Their dread of the introduction of a ‘Nanny State’ under the aegis of a Labour Administration has become the horror of a “Nappy State” being introduced to kerb (so-called) ‘binge-drinking,’ ‘obesity’ and even being ‘physically unfit.’ Every single adult in Britain is being treated, not merely as a child, but as an ‘infant’ – presumably, an ungrateful infant who doesn’t know what is best for them?

Yes Mr Cameron. We do. And none of it is any of your business. Unless you would like us all to hound the topers, drug-addicts and miscreants in your own Government?

Perhaps it is time you just stopped trying to ‘Nanny’ us all.. or better still, change your own nappy!

Government agrees to drop Benefit Sanctions in Workfare.. really?

I have to say that – this Government are not beyond using sanctions for the SAME/IDENTICAL purpose they intended in the first place! (ie to punish DWP ‘Clients’ for not going onto Workfare) but for other infringements (dress code, shoes not polished, listening to an iPod while ‘working’ etc. etc etc..) or by more circuitous means. For example not filling out their weekly  ‘job history’ while working for x,y or z..

Make NO mistake.

IMHO. Cameron is a nightmare, in so far as He is likely to be found to be – and the evidence of his wilfully ignorant and dismissive behaviour towards ALL those who oppose him and his Government,bears this thought out – a ‘Malignant Narcissist‘. In many ways He is perhaps the most institutionally dangerous PM we have ever had – because no-one voted ‘for’ him as such, yet He has destructively and unapologetically ploughed into every single aspect of the infrastructure of the Country.  The Coalition is headed by TWO malicious personalities. Nick Clegg is the archetypal ‘appeaser’ – the “good Cop” persona – but He too is Narcissistic – the difference is that He is also arguably, charismatic. Between the pair, they complete one intensely egotistical and fanatical “two-headed Dog..” Nick Clegg is so enamoured with the ‘power’ he has (literally) been “afforded” through the Coalition, that He will say anything and do anything to keep it. David Cameron on the other hand “knoweth He hath, but a short time..” and – because He is riddled with Class bigotry and certain ‘types’ of Racism – He is determined and obstinate enough to ensure it is HIS Government who finally bring down the ‘edifice’ (as He and his Inner Court perceive it) of Socialism: breaking apart forever the foundation stones of that which “The Working Class” depends for its security. ie. The Welfare State and National Health Service. If you want to see a vision of the future under this tawdry little man and his cronies – look to wretched America. A land now filled with invisible, stateless and vagabond people – all of whom have simply been abandoned without any kind of support. THAT my friends IS the lynchpin of “Thatcherism” in all its undiluted fury: and, until the bitch that bore the epithet “There is no such thing as Society” is six feet under, these Political and Ideological grotesques will continue to uproot innumerable British families and their impoverished children in the name of ‘Austerity.’ How strange that the ONLY ones who seem safe from this cull of Services and Civil Support Organisations (apart from the City of London and The Royal Family/Civil List) are those who presently inhabit Parliament- on ALL sides of The House? Yet THEY have NOT taken a single CUT in salary or expenses: yet they still protest, “We are ALL in this TOGETHER?”

Perhaps it is time the Government themselves showed some REAL austerity.. and cut their own throats!  Just my opinion of course!

Since the very beginning, Governments of all political ideologies have tried to ‘control’ as much of what the public thinks as possible. It is a factor that is absolutely vital to being able to maintain Government’s Party Political aims and aspirations, while governing the population of the Country as a whole.

It is a sobering thought that much of modern Government is about controlling what you and I ‘think‘… and even more importantly, ‘what we think we think!‘ 

It is not enough to control and direct the thoughts of the Public: the very things that make us think the way we do,  must also be controlled.

A simpler way of exploring this idea is to consider why football is considered to be so important to so many people?

On the surface one might say that, it is a spectator sport, full of excitement and high energy: or, that it is a game of physical and mental skill where only the best players are winners! One might go further and say that, as it is a ‘team’ sport it encourages loyalty, cooperation, devotion to winning, determination, focus and ‘teamwork.’  One might highlight the skillsets needed to excel as a footballer: physical fitness, mental alertness, keen awareness, the ability to make instant decisions, self-management, self-determination, leadership. Yet these are all positive characteristics, and, to excel in any walk of life, whether it be sport, academia, art, music or dance, there must also be characteristics which are regarded as negative. Selfishness and self-centredness, disregard for failure, the inability or unwillingness to bow to criticism, an expansive or robust ego, elitism, the ability to ignore or block-out the thoughts, opinions or criticisms of others: moreover, a violent and reactionary personality, the tendency to sub-psychotic rage, possessiveness, jealousy, avarice, greed and a controlling or domineering nature are likely to make a better athlete, than a pedantic, meticulous and stoic personality.

It could be argued that it is not primarily (or only) the ‘good’ and ‘advantageous’ aspects of personality that make eg. footballers “winners.” On closer inspection, one might come to the conclusion that it is actually the negative aspects of personality that push us further!

Historians and Archaeologists have often suggested that team sports like ‘football’ are a kind of  “sublimated warfare..”  and have grown out of (among others) the Ancient Mongolian practice of wrapping the head of an enemy, killed in battle, in a linen or cloth bag and hitting it with sticks around a field on horseback. There is also reference to the Ancient Mayans who  played a similar game with a human head, but that the head belonged -not to an enemy slain in battle- but a member of their Tribe who sacrificed themselves for the game.

The modern game of football is indeed like sublimated war. It consists of two teams of eleven men (ten players and one goalkeeper) It is played between teams of different areas, localities, nationalities and continents. There are millions of football ‘fans’ world wide.

The desire to be on the pitch with the players during a football match can arouse very powerful emotions, such is the excitement generated. These emotions find different outlets – and for some, any and every match will end with violence, often between the fans of opposing teams, but sometimes directed towards their own supporters.

So. Why is football so important? Based on all the evidence we have about the game itself, the fact it is a form of ‘warfare’ without killing, but has all the excitement of a ‘blood sport’ (boxing)  is probably one of the most key factors!

Thus, any political party or Government trying to ‘control’ the thoughts and actions of a football fan needs to appeal to his/her loyalty, self-interest, elitism, goal-oriented personality, their selfishness, avarice, greed or violent/reactionary personas.They need to focus on exalting their sense of ‘self’ and making them feel unique, privelidged, gifted:

the ‘us’ as opposed to ‘them.’

In many ways, Government focuses upon the ‘fears’ of people far more than anything which suggests ‘security’ or ‘well-being.’ Hence the reason for focusing upon fears concerning : ‘Immigration, Employment, Housing and various types of State Welfare (including Tax and Benefits.)’

These are all issues which Politicians know are ‘hair-trigger’ emotionally driven issues. Read the following and think of how you felt while doing so….

The ‘reasons’ are many and varied, but they all hinge around the same racist accusations: the same Urban Myths! .. “Coming over here and…..!”

  1. Taking ‘Our’ Jobs..
  2. Not paying their Taxes..
  3. with too many of their Relatives..
  4. expecting Hand-outs..
  5. living off Benefits…
  6. getting Everything for Nothing..
  7. going to the top of Housing Lists..
  8. telling Us what to do..
  9. giving nothing back..
  10. using our NHS etc..like it was their own

The irony is, of course, that though many immigrants have found themselves in difficulty for a long time after they have come to the UK, they have often relied upon their own Communities (people who have already come to the UK) to help with settling in etc. In many instances the emigrés have been unable to speak English, which has been perceived as a reluctance or refusal to learn: yet, looking closer – one finds that some emigrés have religious and cultural reasons for not learning English. Certain Arabic/Islamic people (particularily Wives) are forbidden from leaving their houses without being accompanied by their Husbands. Others have experienced great hostility towards them by racist and bigoted individuals and families, being unable to leave their houses for fear of being set upon.

A greater proportion of Indian and Pakistani emigrés immediately start work for their families in established immigrant family businesses, without ever needing to claim any Welfare Benefits of any kind!.

It is perhaps, the perception of the relative ‘ease’ with which some immigrants seem to find their ‘niche’ in British Life that has been largely responsible for many of the grossly-exaggerated claims against them. Sometimes, when a lot of immigrants arrive from war-torn Countries such as happened with Bosnians and Croatians, it can leave those who are affected by emigrés arriving in their town, feeling as if they are somehow “getting everything they need.” But neglected houses are hurriedly decorated. Second-hand furniture arrives and the house is furnished. The family arrives and they are plunged into the local Community, knowing nothing of what to expect. Friends sometimes arrive to help as best they can, (for they too are strangers in a strange land,) and there may be an exchange of trinkets, rescued bric-a-brac, small things brought from home – now thousands of miles away.

They may be peasants, used to sleeping in conditions we might think are ‘inhuman’ or ‘squalid.’  They may be the equivalent of ‘middle-class’ people, having a good education and a good sense of their own ethnic identity. They may have been rich, used to much finer things, but now find themselves in great need and living only by the charity of others. They may live in fear for their lives – especially if they have come from war-zones where they experienced horrific ‘crimes against humanity.’ Whatever their misfortune, it seems there are those who cannot wait to double and re-double that misery. It is doubtless that some of the ‘urban myths’ (for that is exactly what they are) have become ‘mantras’ for the misguided and badly educated: the brutalized and abused of our own Country. Little wonder they feel so threatened and angry as soon as they see a darker skin!

Did you feel annoyed, angry, disappointed, unhappy.. or did you feel a sense of pleasant agreement, consensus, satisfaction, engagement?

The problem is, of course, make the above statement to the British Public and you are likely to find yourself in political turmoil and losing any hope of being voted for. The Public does not want to hear the unvarnished truth. Such comments might make for good sermons, but they will alienate and enrage those ‘football fans’ we spoke of above. One cannot talk of ‘compassion’ and ‘generosity’ to those who are ‘self-determined’ ‘selfish’ and ‘greedy.’ They only want to hear things that appeal to them on the deepest levels of their being. Words like ‘Restriction,’ ‘Reduction,’ ‘Embargo,’ ‘Control’ and ‘Confront’ will positively emotionally excite, while ‘Apply,’ ‘Concern,’ ‘Attention,’ ‘Benefit,’ and ‘Allow’ will negatively emotionally excite.

Strangely enough, the word “Austerity” is also a word that seems to have a positive emotional meaning to certain individuals, while retaining it’s negative impact!

nb. It is of no consequence to Government or any Political Party to try to control ‘reactions’ to policies, events or issues: they are only interested in being able to control how we think..

(more to follow)

The Dissemination and Control of Information

1. The Internet

The Internet/ Web is by far the most nebulous form of media communications arena, and therefore is also the most difficult to control and contain. Many Governments have simply used Draconian Powers with which to shut down the Internet or restrict the user’s ability to ‘surf’ ( to look at whatever information, publication, media or other interests exist on the Web, without restriction) freely within a given Nation. China, for example, has, on numerous occasions blocked Google’s search engine from accessing material Chinese Authorities consider to be too sensitive or too politically controversial to allow being examined. Other Nations too have used a number of measures to restrict access to material that we, in Western Europe, the UK and the United States consider to be part of our accepted freedom. Whereas, certain countries within the Arabic Nations restrict access to information or media they consider to be “contrary or blashemous to the accepted (Koranic)  beliefs and morals of Islam and/or against the encumbent political authorities. ” Recently though, there has been a lot of talk about the need to ‘police’ the Internet – especially in the light of the World Wide Web being used by International Criminals and Terrorists.  However, it is at a local level, within the boundaries of supposedly Free and Democratic Countries that the greatest threats to all forms of freedom of speech and freedom of belief are being experienced. In the UK, the Government has started to use powers which can compel Internet Providers to hand over information and details about all manner of communications – in many ways, breaching their own Laws on Data Protection. They have also extended the Laws on Terrorism and what constitutes a Terrorist Action, by allowing the Security Services to effectively ‘spy’ on the UK users of the Internet. There are also plans being put forward to restrict Local (and therefore Global) access to Social Communication websites during times of Civil Unrest.. This is in direct contradiction to the behaviour the UK Government had towards the “Arab Spring” uprisings in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and (at present) Syria. It also means that, was there to ever be a Dictatorial Government in the UK – organizing opposition could not be made through Social Websites. Also, access to other websites hosting video, audio and other media would also be forbidden. This would make Government Dictatorship wholly incontravertible. It is hard to see how any UK Government could justify this approach. Even in the instance of the London Riots, the use of Social Websites has actually identified more rioters than CCTV alone. However, the freedom to oppose, criticize or protest against any political party or Government is being rapidly eroded by the use of  ‘Libel Laws.’

I will discuss this in more detail later, but for now – let us look at how the Internet is currently being controlled and contained.

Anonimity and the Intrusion of The State in matters of Personal Identity.

It seems that every time you wish to make a comment about something of interest to you, there is a requirement by websites to fill in your personal details. Even if the comment you wish to leave is innocuous – the same requirement is made by most websites. This has become more prevalent with Newspapers, who seem to require more information than even Social Websites. Why is this?

Simple: They want to know who you are, and as much as they can about you: whether to sell you things you don’t really want or just to have information (power) over you: they do not allow anonimity.

To be anonymous is now perceived to be a threat to some idea of National Security.

To be anonymous or to attempt to be anonymous is regarded as a crime.

This is surely a bizarre and curious accusation, because those who are  in danger of being persecuted for their beliefs, attacked for their viewpoints and opinions and even in mortal danger if they are identified should be allowed to be completely anonymous. Yet the Government (and it’s predecessor Labour Government under the Prime Ministership of Gordon Brown) has determined that this is no longer allowable.

And that anyone who attempts to remain anonymous  has “something to hide..”

Yet: the truth is that, anyone who intends to breach National Security and carry out an act (or acts) of Terrorism will do so, irrespective of any information carried about their Identity.

The only true safe guards are those which are carried out covertly by Government, Armed Forces and the Security Services.

Indeed, during the Troubles in Northern Ireland – those suspected of Terrorism were subject to Diplock Courts, which consisted of  three UK Court of Appeal Judges, Prosecution and Defence Barristers, but no Jury. Each of these cases were heard in camera – that is, in seclusion from Press and Media. This was to “preserve the anonimity of those witnesses and members of the Armed Services and Security Services.” (ie MI5)

There is an increasingly irrational fear associated with anonimity – a fear which has been systemmatically connived at and profited by the Government, Police and the Security Services.

  1. Government  fears any and all anonymous opposition.

2.  Government  fears  any and all anonymous activism.

3.  Government  fears  any and all  hidden  identities that are not controlled or containable by the Government or the Security Services.

nb: Yet there are many who work within the Government who are anonymous to the Public, who did not vote for or appoint any of them. There are few who have even heard of the Chief Whip – yet, the most anonymous man in Government has immense power and he has never been voted for by anyone.. This extends to the thousands of Civil Servants who attend to the Government Idealogues who remain ‘faceless’.

During the last Labour Government there was a lot of fear fomented about Terrorism. The events of  The World Trade Center  on 11th September 2001 and The London Bombings on July 7th 2005 acted as a pursuasive argument to tighten the Laws on Terrorism. This lead to a raft of badly drafted and enacted Laws which did little to reduce the threat of  Terrorism, but only served to curb the freedoms enjoyed by British Citizens.

Then the ‘issue’ of Identity ‘theft’ on the Internet by international criminal syndicates became prevalent, and the Government tried to find a way to prevent it from spreading.                 Their ideas centred around “more information” being carried around, rather than already existing information being structurally reinforced.

In 2006 Prime Minister Gordon Brown launched his campaign to have Biometric Identity Cards (www.biometricidentitycards.info/articles/biometric_identity_cards.html)  imposed upon the British Public. Most of the arguments against such Identification Cards were about the overall cost- to- benefit ratio. By 2007 Brown and the Labour Government had been defeated in their aims.

2. The Media and Press

Many of the Newspapers we read belong to huge (yet largely “invisible”) Corporations, and many of the Titles of the different papers belong to the same corporation. News International – owned by Australian billionaire, Rupert Murdoch [and currently under investigation by the Leveson Inquiry into “Phone Hacking” at the now defunct paper, The News of The World. ] actually owns far more of the familiar UK Newspapers than might have been thought. These include – The Sun, The Daily Star, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, The Daily Express , The Times and Financial Times – all of which have so far,  not yet been investigated. This vast array of Newspaper titles are responsible for the dissemination of news information, political reportage, alleged ‘public opinion’ and a huge variety of other forms of news, – all of whom strive to portray a different identity, and all of whom are beholden to the same owners, senior management, shareholders and financiers. It is through these ‘political organs’ of dissemination that Government is able to repeat their policies and political ideologies, until, almost like a mantra, they can become embedded within the subconscious of the population. It is no small consequence that ‘politicized’ Newspapers are able to overwhelm (and therefore drown-out) dissenting, antagonistic or opposing viewpoints and comments, while appearing to give the impression that they carry the nation’s political and ideological consensus.

(more to follow…)