Lefties have been warning anyone who cares to listen for two decades now, to smirks and eyerolling, about the UK’s stealthy march to a surveillance state, which it now is.
And to fascism of the creeping kind.
The treatment of Julian Assange accompanied by jeers, gloating and personal attacks from the “liberal” media like the Guardian is another step on the way. It’s easy to condemn tattoed louts in T-shirts who shout racist slurs as fascists or neo-Nazis, but the real rottenness in the state is in the intellectual classes. There are many ways in which they’ve demonstrated their moral decadence, let’s just say since 2001 though it’s nothing new. One of the current ways is in their attitude towards the fake charges against Julian Assange, and to his illegal arrest and ill-treatment amounting to torture.
Assange went too far. He exposed the secret state. “Britain’s secret state remains a dangerous political and bureaucratic cesspit, uniquely undisturbed by any meaningful form of political accountability” (Seamus Milne: “The Enemy Within”). Most of the intellectual classes want to keep it that way. There’s been hardly a murmur from them about Britain qualifying as an “endemic surveillance state” alongside the US, China, Russia and Singapore (Privacy International) and there hasn’t been and won’t be more than a rhubarb-mumble in the background at each freedom removed, each step towards authoritarianism.
Apart from being an attack on press freedom the treatment of Assange is a sly attack on Habeas Corpus, a test case, though not the first in recent years (see the case of Reyaad Khan and others). The state is asking how far can we push it, what can we get away with. Still waiting for the uproar from mainstream defenders of freedom…