The British Right are bleating about ‘freedom’ and a ‘draconian’ state because they can’t go out for a risotto. But they’ll applaud new TPIM anti-terrorism laws that could place unconvicted citizens under lifelong house arrest.
‘Freedom’ is a funny word. The people who most like to use it – the Right – portray themselves as crusaders for a cause as they abuse their keyboards to within an inch of their lives. Probably in a shed. They treat the word as a trump card (no pun intended). How can you argue against anyone’s freedom, you big bloody fascist you?
Thing is, these people pervert the word. They aren’t crusaders for anything more than their own freedom to do and say what they like. Maybe the freedom of people like them, too, as long as those people only do and say things they agree with. If you’re not ‘one of them’ then things are very different: They can’t get enough of ‘tougher measures’ and ‘longer sentences’. They’re proud to be law-abiding citizens and would love to see the birch brought back for wrong’uns, but put a speed camera on their street and they’ll scream blue murder at the ‘Nanny State’.
It’s a paradox, a contradiction, bare-faced hypocrisy – call it what you will – but there’s no greater example of it than what’s happening right now in the UK. And it could come back to bite us all, including them, on the arse.
While the Right have been whining about their loss of ‘freedom’ during lockdown – not being able to go to the pub, get a supermarket delivery slot exactly when they want it, or do the outdoor exercise that they never wanted to do before lockdown – they’re about to cheer through legal measures that send their country on a draconian
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