This past election saw Corbyn’s jump into mainstream legitimacy. Of course, many of us already saw the rising tide of change and the ideological putrefaction of greedy neoliberalism. But many simply could not see the forest for the trees. Their view obfuscated by piling shopping boxes in the ever growing ontological trolley … but also, absconded by the expert deflection and misinformation of traditional, established media. It wasn’t until election regulations forced the major stations to give Corbyn fair air time that people learned for the first time who the man really is, without media manipulation and the histrionics of Chinese whispers presented as fact.
Meanwhile, on the Internet…
Of course, change has been slowly building, even with mainstream eyes purposely averted. For the Internet unleashed a force not even the most intrusive of governments can control anymore… unless, of course, they truly come out of the totalitarian closet and ban it. Which failed politician, Theresa May, is now attempting to do.
While the MSM was becoming a lying circus even the most modestly mentally endowed could see through, people turned to alternative media for the truth. And a beautiful thing was born, and it carried Corbyn’s message. A message of hope for the young, old, disabled, vulnerable that this regime is mercilessly stomping on. For even Tory supporters and Daily Mail readers turned disgusted from lies peddled by the establishment to greedily protect its interests. And this new birth is a hopeful triumph of sorts.
For once and in a grand way, technology worked for the Left. Even if ignored by the powerful, and with technological barrages from the main platforms, people like me could get their message through. Despite a Facebook ban or two, and despite being ignored by all sorts of places, I still get to use the internet to promulgate my opinion. And so do hordes of real journalists and writers of our times. Those who, like Assange, struggle hard to survive when the establishment is usurping every rock they stand on.
Nowadays a real journalist is relegated to the dim lit corners of the internet, subject to financial coercion, the ingenious, subtle form of capitalist censorship. Mainstream media outcasts and heroes of this election were blogs like Skwawkbox and the Canary who, despite total side-lining by the mainstream press, forged a massive readership on the internet by sheer power of high quality content. Good sources, and good arguments, not bought by dollars nor covert influence.
On the other hand, you have the disintegration of the main press under the world’s embarrassed eyes. See the example of Stuart Ramsay of Sky News literally cooking a hoax to present as journalism. The public’s interest shifted from the mainstream media and, now, the true democratic beauty of the internet is unfolding, deconspiring the narrative presented in block by the MSM for so many decades. Of course, the decentralised, democratic nature of the internet is a kick in the teeth to neoliberal control.
Heist on Freedoms
Which is exactly why in the wake of crushing defeat Theresa May addressed, not how to alleviate the suffering for the many. Not how stop the mass murder and theft, not even lying about it. In the wake of Tory electoral disaster the Queen’s speech was delivered. The most memorable Tory policy revealed was… a new Internet. A controlled internet, to keep us all safe from harm, defined as offending content. Never mind if your healthcare is taken away, at least you won’t be offended on the internet. For a world where you hear nothing unpleasant, but can say nothing human. I write to warn us all of the grave consequences this would bring. Lest we all live in a dystopian American consumer society with uniform thoughts and a dilapidated culture… we must take this very seriously and fight it in every manner accessible.
Last winter, in the wake of a tsunami of new surveillance and censorship bills across the spectrum, I wrote about the tyrannical potential they pose. The mass surveillance in the Investigative Powers Act, the censorship in the Digital Economy Bill, and a plethora of other insidious bills passed here, in the EU and USA. I explained how under the guise of protection, safety and the scarecrow of an exterior enemy, totalitarianism smoulders in, here, as I saw it do in the communist Romania of my childhood. It is tempting to accept the pact of illusory safety over liberty, but the pretext is the same for all tyrannies. Ceausescu had the same rhetoric of protecting and defending against the enemies of the people. It’s vital to recognise this rhetoric and act against it while we still have democratic means to do so, and I am here to help a sedated British public identify the wolf in sheep’s clothes of neoliberal totalitarianism.
Motion to Repeal IPA and DEB
I am currently supporting a motion through the Labour Party to repeal the two acts (IPA and DEB), which I believe a left wing party has a duty to stand strongly against. You can use its model in your local CLP if, of course, you are a party member:
This body notes
The initial meeting of Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (1st August) Amber Rudd MP stated, “Real people often prefer ease of use and a multitude of features to perfect, unbreakable security”.
The pledge for a new, controlled internet in the Tory manifesto.
The Queen’s Speech announcement to introduce a Data Protection Bill and the publication of a statement of intent by DCMS.
That the ECHR guarantees rights of freedom of speech.
That the ECHR guarantees the right to privacy.
That the Human Rights Act is an essential law granting citizens and residents rights and protections from the Government.
That the Digital Economy Act 2016’s requirement for age verification is contrary to freedom of speech rights.
That the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 is in breach of the ECHR’s right to privacy; it legalises mass surveillance by the intelligence services.
That the Investigatory Powers Act is in breach of the ECHR’s right of freedom of speech; it legalises the regulation/prohibition of encryption technology.
That citizens and residents have a right to use communications technology encryption as an aspect of freedom of speech.
That the Labour Party will seek repeal and replacement of the Investigatory Powers and Digital Economy Acts.
That the Labour Party will seek to ensure that the coming Data Protection Bill enhances the right to privacy and does not increase state surveillance or censorship powers.”
The motion has been drafted in collaboration with Dave Levy of the Labour Friends of the ORG. Find his blog here.
Please get in touch with me via Twitter if want to discuss further or ally in this essential fight @MaraLeverkuhn