England is about to lurch further to the right. David Blunkett is said to be planning further “reforms” which will partially abolish the right to trial by jury, and end the “double jeopardy” rule by which you cannot be tried twice for a single crime. Police will also now be allowed to electronically tag suspects who have not been accused of any crime.
The right to silence was ended some years ago now, and armor-plated cameras routinely watch the‘citizens’ of Britain, piping their video feeds directly to central police monitoring stations.
It’s hard to be precise about these things, but I think most impartial observers would conclude that after these new ‘reforms’, the UK will actually be substantially further towards the authoritarian, fascist right wing than the USA. It’s the continuation of the trend I saw around 1995, when it became clear that the Labour party had been destroyed, and that the Liberals would continue to be kept out of power by the corrupt and undemocratic electoral system. The scary thing is that the UK government basically has no opposition; the Conservative party is rabidly in favor of increasing police powers and cracking down on pesky civil liberties as well. Don’t expect much public outcry; as far as I can tell the people of England are as complacent as ever.
I’m really glad I escaped when I did. I can’t imagine going back.
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