There'll always be an England,
And England shall be free
If England means as much to you
As England means to me.
-- words & music: Parker & Charles
The first time I wondered in a post if There Will Always Be an England? was in May of 2006. Things have not measurably improved since then, and in some ways the erosion of British freedom has accelerated.
Most Americans, present occupant of the White House excepted, treasure the special relationship with England that has evolved over the last 100 years. We have fought together, bled together, and died together maintaining what is now quaintly referred to as "the Free World." The portents are troubling and suggestive that England, the birthplace of our Democracy, has traveled so far down the path to soft despotism that their future is in question. A terribly troubling article by Melanie Philips offers the first example:
A quite devastating report by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary has admitted that the British police have staged a 30 year ‘retreat from the streets’ and abandoned the public to endemic thuggery which has blighted the lives of millions of people.
This report, by the Chief Inspector of Constabulary Sir Denis O’Connor, is a stunning admission of what can only be described as systemic professional collapse. The picture he paints is of a society whose most vulnerable inhabitants have been simply abandoned because the police have, as he bluntly observes, ‘defined disorder down’ -- and effectively out of existence -- as they have looked the other way.
The kind of yobbery he is talking about is, as he says,
a cumulative, corrosive issue that undermines the ability of victims to live in peace.
Yet the police by and large don’t take it seriously. The principal reason is that anti-social behaviour does not fall into the category of ‘crime’ – and therefore does not register in the crime statistics. And since for years now the police have tailored what they do in order to be seen to be meeting crime statistics targets set by the government, the victimisation of whole communities by yobbery has gone unaddressed.
Not surprisingly, those most victimized by "yobbery", which essentially means thuggery (muggings, petty crime, burglary) are the poor, elderly, infirm, and disabled. The causes are manifold:
The fact is that, over the past three decades or so, PC Plod has simply lost the plot. There have been many reasons for this: a denigration of policing street experience in favour of increasingly ideological academic qualifications as the criteria for promotion; the undermining of justice and morality by ‘victim culture’ and human rights law; the savaging of police attitudes by the politically correct inquisition; the politicisation of the upper ranks and their kow-towing to Whitehall interference and managerial gobbledegook.
Teachers are being forced to report children as young as three to the authorities for using alleged ‘racist’ language, it was claimed last night.
Munira Mirza, a senior advisor to London Mayor Boris Johnson, said schools were being made to spy on nursery age youngsters by the Race Relations Act 2000.
More than a quarter of a million children have been accused of racism since it became law, she said.
This is PC running out of control. It is inimical to freedom and mere steps away from re-education camps.
(It might pay to consider if there are efforts underway to institute another aspect of PC Thought Control on our children: U.S. Education Secretary Vows to Make American Children 'Good Environmental Citizens'.)
A third data point concerns the further erosion of speech rights in England:
Officers detained two men on September 15 and four more yesterday and all six were bailed pending further inquiries, Northumbria Police said.
''The arrests followed the burning of what are believed to have been two Korans in Gateshead on September 11,'' the spokesman said.
''The incident was recorded and a video placed on the internet.''
In a video still accessible on YouTube, six young men in hooded tops or wearing scarves over their faces can be seen pouring petrol on a book and setting it alight, before burning another.
Northumbria Police said the men were not arrested for watching or distributing the video, but on suspicion of burning the Koran.
Lest we become too complacent, in America we have our own version of threats to Free Speech, even aside from the pressure brought to bear by government officials on Terry Jones:
TAMPA — The preacher from Gainesville who ignited a firestorm of criticism over his plan to torch 200 copies of the Quran says he wants to move his church to the Tampa Bay area by the end of the year, NBC affiliate WFLA reported.
He's also facing a $200,000 bill for policing costs during the firestorm his plan created, The Gainesville Sun newspaper said. However, officials say they're not sure they can force him to pay.
England has become a nation which has completely surrendered to Political Correctness. There is no right to self defense, speech is severely circumscribed so as not to provoke protected victim groups, and the citizenry are no longer protected from society's predators. The Wolves have been empowered, the Sheep terrified, and the Sheep Dogs emasculated. The only remaining question is whether the process has gone so far that it is now irreversible.
England is a cautionary tale for America. There are those who would like nothing less than to follow down the same path. Here, too, there is a sense that we are fast approaching a point of flection, at which time we will either begin the arduous struggle to reverse course, or surrender to the Progressive erosion of our Freedoms.