Micheal Cobley

Interstellar Tactics

 

 

 
 
 
 

Hey – what's the worst that could happen?

Like Reggie M, I bury my head in my hands with despair. 42 days. 42 horrible, damning days detention without charge, as passed by the House of Commons yesterday, on a majority of just nine. I`m not outraged, in the sense of being taken by surprise; everything that New Labour has done in office since Blair took us to war as Bush’s sidekick has carried a rotten odour, the miasma of something corrupt. So I’m not surprised, just feeling the anger.

Y’see, ever since those days in 2001 – with all the UN shenanigans, the frantic, failed flailing after a UN resolution backing military force, and the orgy of violence that fell upon the Iraqi people anyway – I realised that the whole Blair/Brown crew are not to be trusted on any topic whatsoever. If they are sufficiently callous and heartless to unleash the full force of Britains military on an essentially defenceless people, then they are capable of anything; every policy, ever proposal, every speech, every utterance is intrinsically suspect. As has been shown to be true by their despicably deceitful management of the education system and the NHS, both of which are being eaten out from within by market mechanisms, and the redirection of public revenues into undeserving private companies.

And their obsession with authority, with the redrafting of criminal law, giving both government and police sweeping, almost arbitrary power, is the most worrying of all. For the last 7-8 years I`ve got into the habit of looking at government security policies in this way: would this measure make it easier for a future government (with even less scruples than this one) to subvert the democratic process, intimidate the opposition and suppress dissent? The answer has, repeatedly, been yes.

As it was last night, after the vote.

As a science fiction writer, its practically my job to imagine the near future, to figure out possible holes in the road ahead, to creatively imagine the consequences of our actions, for good or ill. And right now, living in the shadow of Labour’s supposed anti-terror legislation, I`m feeling a shiver of dread.

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