Terms of surrender
There's nothing new about tyranny, of course. It has been the most common form of government in history. We have dozens of names for them — Emperor, Monarch, Caliph, Supreme Leader, etc. — but they all represent the idea of ultimate power residing in one brain pan, whether of a saint or a paranoid sadist.
But today, in Western countries once held up as ideals of individual liberty and self-rule, we increasingly live under a soft tyranny that permeates our lives. It can be writ small or large, and it comes in many varieties, but whatever the format everyone experiences it so often that it comes to be expected, even normal. You could call it a secular priesthood of officials who believe they have been appointed to rule the state's population, not represent it.
The two examples here are both from the U.K., but this isn't essentially another "Britain self-destructs" posting. The soft tyranny may be more advanced in Britain, but it exists in these United States as well. Frankly, it's easier to find cases written up in British print journalism, which is not yet almost totally neutered like ours. The Daily Mail is perhaps the most consistent scourge of political correctness and devolved politicians. I forgive the Daily Mail for keeping itself afloat with gossip stories about celebrities and other lowbrow features because of its glorious urge to embarrass the quasi-Socialist establishment.
The top photo illustrates a story about a council worker (that's British for municipal leaf raker) who refused to allow a family to photograph their daughter in a public park they presumably paid tax money to keep up.
The couple tried reasoning with the warden and explained that Rebecca was their daughter. But he refused to budge so they were forced to pack up their camera and headed home with their day ruined. "It beggars belief," said Mr Brook, 35, an off-licence manager from Oldham, Greater Manchester.The U.K. may not be able to stop illegal immigrants coming into the country at will and settling down, but it apparently has a whole army of what are called "jobsworths" in Brit slang to harass easy targets, like middle-class people not bothering anyone. (A jobsworth is a low-placed officeholder or employee who enforces trivial rules in violation of common sense; it comes from the phrase "it's more than my job's worth to let you off.")
"The fact that a mummy and daddy can't take a picture of their own daughter is ridiculous. I could understand if it was in a swimming pool packed with other children or somewhere like that, but she was well wrapped up and as far as I could see we were the only people in the park." …
A council spokesman said: "We are committed to ensuring that all our parks are safe and welcoming places for all visitors. To ensure this happens staff are instructed to be observant and aware of the activities of park users and consider whether they are appropriate."
Incidentally, I notice that this family lives in Oldham, near Manchester. It made headlines a few years back for violence between the indigenes and the large Muslim population. The story makes no reference to the ethnicity of the "man in a high-visibility jacket" who told the family they couldn't photograph their daughter, and no assumptions are warranted, but I wonder. I also wonder if the same thing would have happened if it had been a Pakistani family.
The second photo is of the prime minister, Gordon Brown, signing an EU treaty today that is equivalent to the constitution that was rejected by French and Dutch voters in 2005, and has never been put to a vote in the U.K.
The Daily Mirror reports:
Buried in the Treaty's small print is a ruling that gives new rights to EU leaders to overturn decisions made by Britain's Immigration and Asylum Tribunal. Thousands of failed asylum seekers will now be able to take their cases to the European Court of Justice in Strasbourg where the final say will be handed to unselected bureaucrats in Brussels. …No revolutionary cadre has taken over the broadcasting and power stations. No red flag flies over the House of Commons. But as of today, the U.K. cannot even refuse an asylum claimant unless Big Brussels agrees (fat chance that it will turn away many asylum seekers). In practical terms, things won't be much different — the country is awash in immigrants, legal and that other kind — but the nullification of Britain's ability to select its own occupiers is now enshrined in law. Britain belongs to anybody who can fetch up on its soil.
Almost 170,000 deportation cases are already brought before the Immigration Tribunal every year, with each case usually lasting around two years. Giving failed asylum seekers powers to take their cases to Europe will cost the taxpayer millions of extra pounds as each case now already costs an average of £18,000.
It's hardly necessary to note that this nationicide was done without any agreement by the ruled.
No wonder the Kingdom is buckling sociologically, as well as politically, with endemic drunkenness, yobbery, and crime. Once-free men and women are now vassals to their government. That doesn't excuse bad behavior, but you have to expect it to some extent when people lose their self-respect. No longer being able to make your wishes known in anything but newspaper polls, and having no choice about who can add their presence permanently to your crowded island, is a lot to take aboard.
The EU president said, "The world needs a stronger Europe." He didn't need to add: and weaker citizens.