What is happening in the UK is terrifying. No, I’m not talking about Brexit, the event that has gripped news media and turned it into a frenzy. I’m referring to far more important matters. Matters that, if left unchecked, will turn the UK into one of the most authoritarian countries in the world.

Just one example of this authoritarian trend; soon everyone in the UK will require age verification or the purchase of a special pass from a local retailer or newsagent in order to view pornography online. I say soon since the British government have in the past been completely opaque in revealing exactly when the plan will be enacted. The current date set is July 15th, but this is just another of many given dates for the enactment of the laws, so I would not be surprised if it changed again.

This isn’t the first time that the UK have implemented strangely authoritarian sex-related laws though. Previously, they introduced legislation banning certain sex acts from being performed in the UK in front of a camera. Why? I have no idea. It was not made illegal to view those very same sex acts online. It was only made illegal to record them being done.

You might be wondering why I’m bringing up these issues. Sure, they’re a bit daft, but who cares. You might even be thinking ‘porn is a bad thing for society anyway, so I don’t care.’ I can understand this mentality, but these new laws are simply a symptom of a much larger, technocratic mindset.

Before these pieces of legislation were even suggested, Theresa May floated the idea of implementing controls on the internet. However, these controls weren’t just going to be small things, like the blocking of certain piracy sites. No, it was to be full “Chinese-style cyber-blocking action,” to use May’s own words.

While this specific policy has seemed to have gone away, the authoritarian mindset certainly hasn’t. Chances are, if you’re reading this website, you’re already familiar with the case of comedian Markus Meechan, known online as Count Dankula.

For those who aren’t though, Meechan was charged and convicted of a hate crime for uploading a video of him teaching his girlfriend’s dog to do a Nazi salute. Why did he do this? Because he thought it was funny, and he wanted to annoy his girlfriend.

The UK police and prosecutors didn’t share that sentiment. These two groups didn’t like it at all, and, as such proceeded to ruin this Scotsman’s life by tormenting him and his family, as well as rendering him utterly unemployable.

But Meechan isn’t the only person to have fallen foul of this law. A teenage girl was prosecuted for re-posting rap lyrics in honour of a boy who died in a traffic accident, and the Telegraph reports that as many as five people a day are being prosecuted under the legislation used to prosecute Meechan.

All this is happening while the UK is experiencing a huge surge in the amount of violent crime, especially knife crime, something the nation has been impotent in fixing. However, that has not stopped them introducing legislation that does nothing to solve the problem yet makes life far more difficult for the innocent public.

In the UK, it is illegal for you to buy a knife if you are under the age of 18. This includes the purchasing of disposable plastic knives. It is also illegal to carry a knife for any reason whatsoever, as this now convicted fisherman found out. The most egregious of these convictions though was the jailing of a mentally disabled man for carrying a potato peeler in a public place.

These authoritarian laws have not only harmed the general public though, but have also been put to work against Britain’s political undesirables. Tommy Robinson was convicted of Contempt of Court and thrown in jail just hours after he was first arrested for the suspected crime, a move that was later described by the judge who quashed his conviction as a move taken ‘without due regard to legal process.’

So where is this all headed? The UK is a country rapidly falling into a state of disarray. On one hand, you have a land where violent crime is skyrocketing, and where people in its capital live in fear of terrorist attacks, knife attacks, and moped gangs.

But then you also have that country’s own government, who are failing to tackle these massive problems, coming down like a ton of bricks on the average man. The UK government has implemented knife laws, ‘hate-speech’ laws, and now even porn laws that seem almost tailor-made to strip the British of their liberty, while doing nothing to prevent those who are out to do harm to their fellow man.

The United Kingdom exists in a state of utter ridiculousness, and its government appears neither to have the will nor the desire to remedy this. Instead, it opts instead to oppress its own population out of fear they will rise up against it. It is an authoritarian system, make no doubt about it, one that will stop at nothing to remain in control.

Perhaps it’s about time to start calling Britain Airstrip One.

Peter Caddle

Posted by Peter Caddle

Peter is the Burkean's resident expert on all things popular and cultural.

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