Oh George Orwell, it’s amazing how prophetic 1984 really was. You may have been off by a few decades, but you definitely got a lot right.
A chilling comment by British Prime Minister David Cameron suggests that even people who obey the law won’t be “left alone” by the state if they engage in anything the government deems to be “hate speech,” including “bigotry” and potentially criticism of homosexuality and feminism.
Preparing to introduce a new counter-terrorism bill later this month, Cameron laid the groundwork for the measures by remarking that the state not interfering with people’s lives if they “obey the law” was a “failed approach.”
“For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens: as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone. It’s often meant we have stood neutral between different values. And that’s helped foster a narrative of extremism and grievance. This Government will conclusively turn the page on this failed approach,” Cameron stated.
The London Independent branded the quote, “the creepiest thing David Cameron has ever said.”
According to BBC News, the new anti-radicalization laws could even ensnare those who voice politically incorrect opinions.
“Would those who oppose homosexuality or multiculturalism or feminism be accused of threatening values of tolerance and equality?” asks the BBC’s Mark Easton. “Could Russell Brand’s argument against voting be regarded as threatening democracy?”
The new measures are being introduced under the justification of combating Islamic extremism, a dubious claim given that Cameron’s government has repeatedly backed actual jihadist groups in the conflicts in Libya and Syria.
Just incredible. Western countries move closer and closer to totalitarianism every day, and most people either don’t see it, or actually celebrate it. I understand that a lot of people are passionate about their causes whether it be gay rights, equality for women, combating racism etc. The problem however is that some of these people are incapable of seeing the bigger picture and assume that everyone MUST think like them, or else they’re just a hate filled bigot. They are incapable of using their logic and reason to out-argue those who disagree with them, and instead resort to silencing them.
I think this is a very dangerous way to think. It’s all well and good to feel that way when you’re on the side that’s popular, but society and its values change over time. If you went back in time and told people that gay people would one day have equality, they would think you were insane. Who is to say, what kind of proposals might have popular support in the future? What if there was a big campaign 20 years from now to lower the age of consent to 13 (not just with other teenagers, but with adults as well). I’d be fully opposed to that because I believe it’s wrong, and nothing could possibly change my mind. I’m sure a lot of my peers would agree with me.
I know that I wouldn’t like to be treated like some hate filled monster (or criminal in this case) for following my conscience and what I feel is right, just because society at large thinks differently. That is why I don’t treat the no campaigners in the upcoming gay marriage referendum like that. I may disagree with their views, but in a free society, I will respect their rights to express those opinions.
Western countries don’t need restrictive laws punishing speech and opinions. We live in a society were people can debate and if the arguments are flawed, people will find those flaws. This is truly disturbing what Cameron is proposing for Britain. I only hope that not only that it doesn’t happen, but that our own elites don’t get similar ideas.