The UK Riots - Just What The Government Needed?
Words by Mista Montana
As the flames flickered across London and putrid smoke bellowed from innocent people’s livelihoods, almost everybody here in the UK last week began to fear for their own safety.
But it wasn’t just the fact that these carnivorous ninja-like rioters,illusive and rarely shown on any live media coverage, were running the streets with malice but moreover it was the sinister, almost imaginary lack of response from the police that caused so much concern.
Live news footage showed rows of heavily armed and aggressively-attired riot police all stood still,passively watching as blatant, almost-Hollywood-esque criminality exploded into the night skies of our country’s capital city without consequence or even a suggestion that it would result in punishment. Confused yet masochistically entertained by a cocktail of live news footage, our nation failed to consider why our worst nightmare was unfolding before our eyes; people were openly and barbarically breaking the law and the government were allowing it to happen. For days.
At this point in the article we could be forgiven for joining the leagues of internet conspiracy trolls and start using words like ‘agenda’ and ‘planned’, in an attempt to explain the motives for such apathy on our law enforcers’ part. But saving that for my radio show, the real aim of this post is to address the terrifying ways in which the government executed new levels of punishment, once the riots had ceased.
As expected, the rioters were all rounded up and one-by-one sentenced to serve prison time for their unruly actions. Most sentences had the prefix of “months” rather than years and the nation championed our police force for their work in punishing these “others”.
Then came the first step to tyranny on the government’s part. A young man was given a four-year sentence for creating a Facebook page which announced that a riot had happened in his local area. He had apologised to those who had been panicked by his light-hearted joke and quickly deleted the page. But not before the government had smelt the blood of every British person’s civil rights.
They arrested him and gave him one of the most punitive sentences delivered to any offender since the riots had started. He had no previous convictions, he clearly wasn’t a threat to society and wouldn’t re-offend but the government deemed it necessary to imprison him for four years of his life. Were they simply seeking justice or is this something much more sinister?
This case marks a scary turning-point in the relationship between the police and the citizen. This young man’s only crime was a thought. He had an idea and he expressed it. He was then arrested for having that thought and then given a sentence that a sex offender would complain about. And all for a thought.
Not only does this mark new territory in terms of what constitutes a ‘prison-able offense’ but it delivers a macro message regarding the new powers of the government, from both a regulatory perspective and a judicial angle.
This man wasn’t a criminal - he was an everyday person with a Facebook account and an idea. He never intended to riot, his page wasn’t about him intending to riot and obviously he never did riot. But he had thought, he typed it and he was put in jail. This everyday person with a thought and a keyboard was given a bigger sentence than most of the slime balls who went out and mindlessly destroyed their own society.
So what does this mean? In a similar way to which America gained total control over the actions and speak of its people after the 9-11 self-bombings, the UK government are now about to embark on their own duck tape crusade, to not only stop free-will in action but now, as this criminal case shows, the government are finding rooms in prison buildings for those whose only crime is a thought.
I find the sentencing and thought-policing of this Facebook user shocking but guess what…we are all next..