Those Pesky Anarchists

Note: Since writing this, things moved on so the post has been updated to reflect those changes.

Obnoxio had better be watching his Ps and Qs, the police are out to get him, it seems…

What should you do if you discover an anarchist living next door? Dust off your old Sex Pistols albums and hang out a black and red flag to make them feel at home? Invite them round to debate the merits of Peter Kropotkin’s anarchist communism versus the individualist anarchism of Emile Armand? No – the answer, according to an official counter-terrorism notice circulated in London last week, is that you must report them to police immediately.

This was the surprising injunction from the Metropolitan Police issued to businesses and members of the public in Westminster last week. There was no warning about other political groups, but next to an image of the anarchist emblem, the City of Westminster police’s “counter terrorist focus desk” called for anti-anarchist whistleblowers stating: “Anarchism is a political philosophy which considers the state undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful, and instead promotes a stateless society, or anarchy. Any information relating to anarchists should be reported to your local police.”

Report here page 3 (pdf). Incidentally, the text is lifted unedited from Wikipedia.

Interestingly enough, they do seem to understand what anarchism is –  unlike some of the protesters recently who seem to think it involves more government, spending even more of our money.

Frankly, I’m appalled. Actually, no, I’m not. Not remotely. There was a time when I would have been shocked about such a statement, but not these days. Orwell’s dark prophesies about thought crime have been a reality for so long now, we should have expected this type of thing. What the Labour party honed and polished to perfection while in power, the Coalition now uses willingly to the detriment of our civil liberties.

So, there you have it, if you don’t believe the state is necessary, you’d better do the decent thing and nip round to your local nick and turn yourself in, there’s a good chap.

The result of increased requests by the police to report behaviour they deem suspicious has led to a hardening of my attitude towards them. These days, just being a bit odd will suffice –  such as not going out very much and keeping your curtains pulled (my neighbour does this). Oddly enough, we have been here before. Well, when I say “we” I mean Europe in general. It is precisely the technique the Gestapo used in the early days of the Nazi regime. They were under-staffed and couldn’t identify all those awkward buggers by themselves, so they used informants, actively encouraging people to spy on and report their neighbours –  a tactic enthusiastically continued by their effective replacement in East Germany in the post war years, the Stasi. The brief was pretty wide –  anyone who appeared “suspicious”, didn’t seem part of the community, mentally ill, loners, that sort of thing (it goes without saying that Jews were included, but that’s not relevant on this occasion) –  not to mention critical of the ruling party.

Of course, you can’t get more critical than being an anarchist –  someone who is openly willing a pox on all their houses.

I’ve said it before, but it seems it needs saying again; the state is not your friend.


Update: Such is the way with having to schedule posts. They occasionally go out of date. Since writing this on the morning of 1st  August when the news was fresh, the police have had a rethink.

The Metropolitan police initiated an embarrassing climbdown after a police station in Belgravia, west London, published a leaflet asking the public and businesses to report anyone with anarchist sympathies.

The call for information on a political rather than criminal group echoed a similar appeal for information about al-Qaida activity and “could have been better worded”, Scotland Yard admitted.

Better worded, eh? That’s what happens when you simply plagiarise Wikipedia instead of actually, you know, concentrating on catching criminals instead of going after people who have different opinions. Shit for brains doesn’t even start to cover it. Anarchism is a political philosophy and is not a criminal offence, and therefore does not warrant police attention. Violent behaviour is and does. Most of us can tell the difference.

“The Metropolitan police service does not seek to stigmatise those people with legitimate political views.

“People purporting to be anarchists have caused criminal damage this year to business premises, and government buildings in Westminster. The message we were trying to convey was to gather information on criminal acts to help us prevent crime and bring offenders to justice.”

See? Nothing to do with anarchism, because if you understood what anarchism was –  instead of just lifting it unedited from Wikipedia, you would realise that anarchists wouldn’t be seen dead at demonstrations demanding more government. Idiots.

11 comments for “Those Pesky Anarchists

  1. Robert Edwards
    August 2, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    There ya go! In the old detective novels, the plod always ‘licks his pencil’ when taking a statement or interviewing a suspect. I don’t mean like a dog does (because he can) but simply because he thought he had to. It’s when they started licking their biros I really gave up. It led to ‘Blue tongue disease’, which I understand to be a disease of ruminants.

    But obviously, in this example it’s a panicked phone call from an ex-Murdoch PR trying to hang on to his job…

    • August 3, 2011 at 12:08 am

      Licking a pencil? I think someone at the Met was licking a toad before they approved that leaflet. Or possibly it was a window.

  2. August 2, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    My mate Feaxede the Fox and I decided to give ourselves up to the Costumed Thugs, since we question the integrity of the Establishment and the desirability of the political system – and its window-licking adherents and camp-followers, and we thought it would save them a lot of time and expense hunting us down. But when we saw and smelt the crowd already queuing up to hand themselves in, we decided it wasn’t worth the bother. So we went home. Another wasted day..

  3. August 2, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    “The Metropolitan police service does not seek to stigmatise those people with legitimate political views.”

    Even in the climb-down, they’re still sinister. They offer no definition of ‘legitimate political views’, and, thanks to the anti-liberty legislation strewn throughout the statute, the line has purposely been blurred between holding and expressing political views and undertaking criminal acts of aggression.

  4. Robert Edwards
    August 2, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    The core, tragic problem with the police is that they have no natural officer class. They don’t feel they need one. Every single copper I have ever met, however senior, has either been either a complete oik (in the narrowest sense of the word), or totally incapable of any stretch of the imagination which goes beyond feeling the next collar. The late Gavin Lyall once described an Assitant Commisioner of the Met as resembling a ‘well-barbered Gorilla’. It was in a novel, though…

    Not all their fault, I’d be the first to point out, (because they are collectively too thick to feel the need) but with the number of new crimes on the book, and a static arrest rate (as far as I can gather – correct me if I’m wrong) – then the whole exercise – target-wise, which is how they are driven, must qualify as being an epic fail, as my kids say…

    And, Trooper T, once he have to depend upon the police (or even the Home Secretary) to define what is a ‘legitimate political view’ then we are all fucked beyond redemption.

    I’m reminded of the 1930s Kremlin coded language, so that when a harmless neighbour was invited to toddle over to Moscow to have a chat regarding ‘concrete political questions’ then the chances were that quite shortly afterwards the visitor would end up attempting to discuss these matters with the Red Army.

    It just won’t do…

    • AWM
      August 3, 2011 at 12:17 pm

      Interesting point about the police not having an ‘officer class’.

      I imagine it’s less true than it was, since they now have quite a few graduate candidates going through on an accelerated promotion basis, who will of course change the management mix and thus culture of the organisation along the way. Which could be good or bad of course but I suspect it can only be for the better, considering what we see now…

  5. Patrick Harris
    August 2, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    I don’t care if they “seek to stigmatise” me or not – just keep your black shirted, jack booted, nose out of my political life, for ever.
    It might give them more time to dish out On The Spot fines. (theft)

  6. Jeremy Poynton
    August 2, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    Frankly, Narcissists are far more of a threat than Anarchists.

    • August 2, 2011 at 7:42 pm

      Aye, they are that.

  7. August 2, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    I need to take my pills, LR – I find myself actually agreeing with you 100%. Is there a cure for this?

  8. banned
    August 3, 2011 at 2:51 am

    My mate Eddie was an Anarchist 35 years ago; he got done by plod for carrying an offensive weapon but the case was thrown out by the Magistrates who, upon Eddies request, returned said ‘offensive weapon’ which was the flagpole carrying his Anarchist banner.

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