This is (possibly) the last tilt I will have at the views of the “celebrity lawyer” who, in a newspaper interview, shared with us his considered views on law and order in Ireland.
He unashamedly declared his beliefs as follows; “ I am pro-police state. I would have every Garda in the country armed. I would tolerate nothing. Zero tolerance”
Does anyone remember Aesops Fables? Aesop was a Greek storyteller in ancient times who used his simple little stories as a way of illustrating a lesson or a moral. In one of these fables, called The Tortoise and the Eagle, (a story which had a messy ending), the moral of the story was; “be careful for what you wish for, because it might just come true”.
A police state is an odd thing to wish for. The Oxford English dictionary defines a police state as; “A totalitarian state run by means of a national police force, using repressive methods such as covert surveillance and arbitrary arrest and imprisonment to control the population”
If we ever manage to end up with a police state we can expect at least some of the following: The police are, as agents of the state, in control of the state. Many fundamental human rights are either non-existent or are severely restricted. There will be restrictions on freedom of movement and travel, there will be restrictions on free speech.
There is likely to be punishment for expressing any views which are critical of the ruling power. There will be no real distinction between the law enforcement agencies and our rulers. There will be a secret police agency which will engage in the surveillance and monitoring of the activities of all citizens.
All telephone calls, emails, text messages, internet browsing will be monitored and the information obtained will be carefully filed away for future reference, should the need arise. All writing, art, theatre and television will be subject to censorship. You are liable to be arrested and imprisoned on suspicion of having committed a crime, and you are unlikely to have the luxury of a trial before being convicted and sentenced. If you do, it won’t be a fair trial.
Other than that, it’ll all be grand.
If you would like to live in a country which is a police state, but just can’t find the right one, you could do worse than browse through the Amnesty International website where you will find some prime examples, many in very exotic locations. If you decide to make the move, remember every police state will have some form of secret police, and it is important to know how this system works.
There are two things to remember. Firstly, if there is a secret police, they will not be your friends. If you want to know how the secret police system works just have a look at a few examples reasonably close to home;
The Stasi was the official state security service of the German Democratic Republic (what was East Germany) between 1950 and1990. It was regarded as one of the most effective and repressive intelligence and secret police agencies in the world. If there was any doubt as to where the loyalties of this agency lay, their motto “Schild und Schwert der Partei” (Shield and Sword of the Party), says it all. During the same period the good old KGB in the Soviet Union looked after internal security, intelligence and secret police. There are many other examples flourishing worldwide.
The second thing to remember is; if you are in a police state and get tickets for the Secret Policeman’s Ball, whatever else you are doing, you’re not going to a charity gig for Amnesty International.