Britain Ponders (Again) the Benefits of Concentration Camps

So in the Libyan fable, it is told,
That once an eagle, stricken with a dart,
Said, when he saw the fashion of the shaft,
“With our own feathers, not by others’ hands,
Are we now smitten.”1

Sometimes it’s quite breathtaking to see just how far to the right British political opinion has been led. We really are just inches away from becoming a totalitarian fascist state – a situation that millions of our parents and grandparents fought and died trying to prevent in World War Two. And here we are, on the brink of sleepwalking into it.

A recent report revealed that senior figures in both the police and army are pressing to have internment camps built in Britain where thousands of people could be locked-up indefinitely without charge or trial. In addition to losing their freedom indefinitely, inmates “would be made to go through a deradicalisation programme”.

We already have the most draconian secrecy, censorship and libel laws in Europe, where so-called “D notices” can prevent the media reporting anything the state wants to keep secret. We already have secret courts, where people can be tried behind closed doors, and where they and their lawyers can be refused access to information about the alleged crimes they allegedly committed. Even Winston Churchill, who no one could rightfully accuse of harbouring left-wing sympathies, wrote that:

The power of the executive to cast a man into prison, without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgement of his peers, is in the highest degree odious, and the foundation of all totalitarian government.2

Mass internment camps would just about complete the creeping conversion into totalitarian government.

The given reason for this institutionalised paranoia is, of course, “national security”, an excuse the 99% are far too quick to buy. Like the now routine destruction of distant countries, supposedly to save those countries, we are now supposed to meekly relinquish our right to liberty – habeas corpus – so that we may be free. It’s very easy to cite appalling terrorist incidents as justification for whittling away yet more of the freedoms that our forefathers and foremothers shed blood trying to win. But those appalling incidents are sometimes not what they appear to be, because all too often in the past the terrorists concerned have been agents for the state.

I used to wonder why the IRA would often claim responsibility for carrying out some particular act of terror. I mean, why would anyone freely admit to being a terrorist? I still don’t know the answer to that, but I wonder if it’s because the IRA knew that Britain’s so-called “special forces” were sometimes causing the terrorist acts the IRA were accused of perpetrating. So if you quickly claim responsibility for the crimes you do commit, does it leave open the question of liability for the ones you don’t admit to? For example, the bombing of two pubs in Birmingham in 1974 was, at the time, the worst terrorist outrage on British soil since the war. Although the IRA was widely accused of the crime, and six innocent men were later imprisoned for it, the Provisional IRA never officially claimed any responsibility.

The time gap between some terrorist outrages in the past, and the passage of new draconian laws – laws whose passage through parliament might otherwise be strongly resisted – is often amazingly short. The far-reaching Prevention of Terrorism Act, for example, was passed a mere six days after the Birmingham bombings, on 27th November 1974.

Bloch and Fitzgerald, in their excellent study British intelligence and Covert Action also record that:

Despite public embarrassment of their security authorities, the British government achieved its main objective: the passage of strong anti-terrorist legislation through the Dail. Two conveniently timed car bombs, which exploded in Dublin the night before the vote, produced an overnight switch of policy in the opposition Fine Gael and labour Parties, whose votes in favour carried the measures through the Dail.3

And the gruesome “Patriot Act” raced into US law a mere 6 weeks following the destruction of the World Trade Centre – an event whose full details are still deeply opaque.

Now Prime Minister May has said, as part of her election campaign and in response to the recent terror events in Britain, “she will change human rights law” which would “restrict the freedom and movements” of those that present a threat. The fact that such laws already exist, where people can be imprisoned in their own homes, suggests that she thinks the concentration camps proposed by police and army chiefs are a great idea.

Plausible deniability

Evidence of cynical evil being carried out by our own trusted rulers, experts in the principle of “plausible deniability”, is obviously difficult to come by. But every now and then a brief flash of light is shone into this dark and murky world – when heroic whistle-blowers such as Manning, Snowden, and Assange, for example, provide the 99% with irrefutable proof – only to be rewarded not with honours, praise and glory, but with persecution, exile, imprisonment and death threats.

Not only have previous British governments already used concentration camps – in South Africa, and Northern Ireland – the Brits have also specialised in false flag operations for centuries. The very expression comes from the days when the Royal Navy’s battleships would sometimes sail under the national flags of other countries in order to trick unsuspecting foreign vessels to allow the Brits to get close enough to attack them and capture them as “prizes”, or sink them: legitimised piracy, in other words. Today the expression “false flag” is used for incidents where terrorist outrages are carried out by one group of terrorists pretending to be another group of terrorists. In the 1970s, when Irish terrorism was at its peak, a unit of Britain’s so-called “special forces” was assembled under the name of the Military Reconnaissance Force. Their purpose was to pretend to be IRA terrorists and cruise the streets of Belfast murdering people.

Such gems of proof of the cynicism of the British state are obviously rare, but because the proof is rare does not mean the practices are similarly uncommon. Far from it. Bloch and Fitzgerald, for example, recall the words of Kim Philby, the MI6 spy, who revealed the existence of:

A ‘Special Political Action’ section set up in the mid-fifties with the various tasks of organising coups, secret radio stations and propaganda campaigns, wrecking international conferences and influencing elections.4

And Stephen Dorril, in his superb history of Britain’s MI6, writes about:

The ‘false flag’ ploy, a favourite of MI6.5

Anyone who has ever had first-hand experience of the work of “special forces”, anywhere in the world, knows about false flag operations. For these people they’re almost routine. Yet for the 99% the concept is too far-fetched, and horrifying, to believe, and conveniently dismissed as “conspiracy theory”. But those who serve in the so-called “special forces” know the truth – as the rare Panorama programme about the MRF showed.

There seems to be a slowly-growing awareness that our very own governments, no matter their apparent political ideology – Labour or Tory, Republican or Democrat – are directly linked to the massive rise in global terrorism. Jeremy Corbyn, leader of Britain’s Labour Party, has been outspoken in his demand for radical reform of Britain’s foreign policy. He knows, as many of us do, that there is a direct link between Islamic terrorism and British support for illegal wars in the Islamic world. The connection is obvious to anyone with a properly functioning brain: if you deliberately hurt innocent people for no good reason or, even worse, to somehow profit from doing so, you will create a lot of anger, anger which, in the absence of justice, will demand revenge instead. British foreign policy has for many years been hurting innocent people for no good reason other than generating corporate profits.

British governments have been warned many times about the likelihood that their foreign policy decisions would invite retribution, and warned by people who should know what they’re talking about. Eliza Manningham-Buller, for example, ex-chief of MI5, said that Blair’s illegal war in Iraq “increased the terrorist threat”; and Stella Rimmington, another ex-chief of MI5, talking about suicide bombers generally, said “to ignore the effect of the war in Iraq is misleading.”

But misleading is what our trusted leaders do exceptionally well. Reaction to Jeremy Corbyn’s perfectly rational call for major changes to British foreign policy was met with a storm of self-righteous indignation from both the Tories, in the shape of Foreign Secretary Amber Rudd and leader of the LibDems Tim Farron, both of whom affected to be “outraged” that Corbyn could suggest such a thing.

This appearance of shocked, wounded innocence to voices-in-the-wilderness such as Corbyn’s pointing out the blindingly obvious is, of course, the standard response of nearly all of those in positions of power, from government ministers to bemedalled generals and admirals to arguably the most cynical power-brokers of them all, the mainstream media.

It doesn’t have to be like this

Public opinion, which is real political power, is shaped by two main forces. Firstly, the education system, which is primarily responsible for training us how and what to think. Secondly, the mainstream media, which supplies endless information to the 99% about how our world appears to be working. These two powerful forces, increasingly controlled by the corporate business world, carefully shape and maintain public opinion so that it never strays too far from acceptable norms. A tiny fringe of outspoken criticism is tolerated, indeed even sometimes encouraged, to create the illusion of impartiality, free expression and “balance”; but such voices are rare and quickly and crushingly dismissed by the far more powerful faces of established respectability.

The truly infuriating thing to understand is not only that none of the mayhem that’s unleashed around the world is necessary, but also that it could be easily remedied. The ceaseless and deliberate destruction of millions of lives, together with the catastrophic ruin of our life-sustaining planet – which right now is enduring the biggest mass extinction of species since the meteor strike at Chicxulub – is not only wholly unnecessary.  It could all be so easily stopped, and good, responsible administration of our planet quickly arranged – for the first time in history. That could be so easy to do.

The biggest obstacle is now, and always has been, the people we mistakenly allow to lead us. Perfectly symbolised by the Occupy Movement as the 1%, they comprise a tiny fragment of society who wield almost absolute control over 99% of the rest of us. Edward Dowling once observed that,

The two greatest obstacles to democracy in the United States are, first, the widespread delusion among the poor that we have a democracy, and second, the chronic terror among the rich, lest we get it.

This chronic terror among the 1% is ever-present, and grows as their greed grows and increases the oppression of the 99%. The report that outriders of British power, senior police and army officials, want to build concentration camps is consistent with this fear. Such camps have never increased the safety and security of the general population, and they never will. They do, however, help to consolidate the grip of the super-rich over societies that they are systematically looting.

The role of the education system and the mainstream media in maintaining this situation needs to be recognised and clearly understood. A better world is not only possible, it could be created with astonishing ease and rapidity – given that 99% of us would love to live in a better world. The problem lies not in visualising alternative and better models of society, it lies in breaking free from the vice-like grip the 1% have around the throats of the 99%. For the 1% the world could not be much better than it already is. For the 99% it couldn’t be much worse, and the desire of our trusted leaders to lock us up in concentration camps is dazzling confirmation of those facts.

The fact that Theresa May can suggest, as a vote-winning campaigning proposal, law changes that could lead to building concentration camps in Britain shows the extent of the brainwashing of the 99%. With Muslims being murdered in their own homes in industrial quantities by Zionists, the US and Britain, Islamic rage is easy to understand; why British people continue to vote for the perpetrators of western terror is not. Muslims don’t need re-programming nearly as much as Tory voters do.

  1. Aeschylus Frag. 135 []
  2. Essential Chomsky, Anthony Arnove, p. 89 []
  3. British Intelligence and Covert Action, Johnathan Bloch and Patrick Fitzgerald, p. 222. []
  4. British Intelligence and Covert Action, Johnathan Bloch and Patrick Fitzgerald, p. 39 []
  5. MI6, Stephen Dorril, p. 281 []

John Andrews is a writer and political activist based in England. Check out John's books: Fiction: The Road to Emily Bay; Non Fiction: The School of Kindness; The People’s Constitution. Read other articles by John.