At the Conservative Party Conference in October, Prime Minister Theresa May went out of her way to call libertarians her enemy.
She even said freedom lovers are as dangerous to the future of Britain as socialists. I’m not sure where she got that idea from, considering there are about 5 British libertarians, and I’m pretty sure one of them is just three kids standing on each other’s shoulders.
Regardless, now it’s election time and it looks as if May’s tactic of pissing off every single person in the UK might cost her the huge majority she was basically guaranteed.
But, before we gloat too much, I should point out that May is still the favorite. And that’s bad news because her party is one of the most authoritarian ever seen in a democracy.
Here’s just a few of the reasons that, if there is a group that’s dangerous to the future of Britain, it’s the Conservative Party.
Theresa May, the strong and stable candidate for the strong and stable Conservative party. She plans to strong and stably keep Britain strong and stable with her strong and stable policies. Strong and stable.
Putting May’s verbal tick (and her husband’s safety word) aside for a moment, May’s track record in power is terrifying.
I’ve talked about May’s authoritarianism for BeingLibertarian before, but fuck it, let’s do a speed round right now. As Home Secretary, May has:
- Banned khat (a drug about as addictive as coffee).
- Pushed the Psychoactive Substances Law, a bill that bans all “legal highs.”
- Invented “secret courts,” in which the state could prosecute citizens without letting them know the charge, see the evidence, or even attend the hearing.
- Introduced legislation that allows non-EU immigrants to be deported if they earn less than £35,000 a year.
Outside of May, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson (the guy who calls people “mugwumps” and tackles Japanese children) has said a Tory government would help America intervene in Syria. More worryingly, he also suggested that the Prime Minister wouldn’t have to consult Parliament before doing so.
In an interview with BBC Radio 4, Johnson remarked that it “remains to be tested” whether the PM has the authority to go to war without Parliamentary approval. He’s wrong of course, legally and morally. But that’s unlikely to stop this party’s inner circle from bombing another country if they feel like it.
In 2016, May’s government passed the Investigatory Powers Act 2016. What’s that? Only a law described as the “most extreme surveillance law ever passed in a democracy.” I guess it’s nice that we’re not quite in the same league as dictatorships., yet.
In case you’re not cool enough to know the details of British internet legislation, the law requires all internet service providers to keep a record of a user’s browser history. That record can then be accessed by a wide range of government bodies. The justification is “national security,” which must be why vital national security groups like the Welsh Ambulance Services and the Food Standard’s Agency are allowed to see it.
Still, maybe I’m over-reacting. After all, the Tories may be all about watching what you browse, but at least they don’t want to control what you say online.
Free Speech Online
Oh, except that they totally want to control what you say online.
In 2014, the party brought in Extremism Disruption Orders, which blocks anyone who commits “harmful activities” from accessing social media (even if they “do not break existing laws”).
And if that law could be justified as only effecting crazies, their 2017 Manifesto suggests they should be able to control what people see online. In it, the Conservatives announce that they see it as the role of government to “protect the reliability and objectivity of information online.”
You know, we free-speech activists often talk about slippery slopes, and how the government tampering with the free market of ideas can lead society into dangerous places. But at this stage we’re no longer even on the slippery slope. We’ve already slipped to the bottom, failed to get up, and had Theresa May personally kick the shit out of us.
With the Tories wanting to see, evaluate, and approve whatever you say online, I bet you’re glad you can at least relax and enjoy the internet’s one true purpose: porn.
Well, I hate to break it to all my fellow British wankers out there, but there have already been moves made to limit porn too. In 2016, seemingly out of nowhere, the government passed the Digital Economy Bill. Which tells consenting adults in the UK what kind of porn they’re allowed to access.
Acts considered too racy for the British public include “spanking,” “whipping,” and “Facesitting.” Apparently, these acts were considered too dangerous to encourage. After all, we all remember the Great Facesitting Massacre of 2009. How does one even get hurt facesitting? Crushing? Suffocation? I don’t know how many porn stars have died from facesitting, but I find it hard to believe there are any actors committed enough to filming porn who’d be willing to suffocate just to give the world Naughty Nuns 7.
Other taboo acts included “inserting more than four fingers into an orifice,” and “female ejaculation.” As much as I enjoy the idea of a government employee having to type “inserting more than four fingers into an orifice,” this is insane.
Theresa May, and the Conservative Party, have made one thing very clear during their short tenure. The British people aren’t to be trusted with big decisions like whether or not they want to take drugs, what news stories they read are real, and even what porn to look at.
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