If there are two edicts I try to follow whenever I’m writing, they are, first, write what is true and, second, avoid cliche at all costs. I bring that up only as a preface before saying the following: the UK is walking down an Orwellian path. It’s nearly the cliche of cliches to say something like this, and yet it happens that the cliche is true. While there is most certainly a real thing known as a threat from Islamic terrorism, there is also such a thing as overreaction. What started as the British government’s attempt to ban extremist thought from social media and television (under the notion that some thoughts are too dangerous to enjoy the freedom that other thoughts deserve) then devolved into the conscripting of teachers that were to be on the lookout for children that might become radicalized.
To assist them with this, the government helpfully provided spy-software to use against students. Spy-software which itself was found to be exploitable in the most laughably easy of ways. This employed two of the most horrifying aspects of Orwell’s Oceania: the concept of thought-crime and the employ of citizens to fearfully surveil one another. And now it seems the UK is going even further, adopting Oceania’s reputation for the swallowing up of citizens should they be found suspect of thought-crime by those watchful citizens. Specifically, the Family Division of the Judiciary has put out a memo declaring exactly how it will remove children from the homes of anyone it suspects might radicalize those children. Here’s a snippet. FULL REPORT